All the Write Turns

Authors square off in Buncha' Young Artists fest


Rating: NNNNN


Beginnings

First theatre memory?

kate rigg: My mom at the Shaw fest screaming, “Who is wearing perfume that smells like armpits and Raid?”

sean reycraft: Seeing Seana McKenna and Colm Feore in Stratford’s Romeo And Juliet in Grade 9. I was the kid who wasn’t throwing Smarties.

Major influences/mentors?

rigg: Whoopi Goldberg circa 1984, George C. Wolfe, Lily Tomlin, French and Saunders, Eurythmics, Springsteen, Neil Freeman (formerly of York University) and Lynda Hill.

reycraft: Roxanne MacDonald (high school drama teacher), Timothy Findley, Peter Hinton, Tanja Jacobs, John Murrell and Buffy creator Joss Whedon.

First show you wrote?

rigg: A grade two farce involving a dead fish, a gun, a hiccupping fit and a couple of fart jokes. Nothing’s changed.

reycraft: A grade 12 fusion of General Hospital and Three’s Company.

The Work

What’s your show about in one sentence?

rigg: A dispossessed adopted Asian baby makes good by becoming an alt-culture skate Betty.

reycraft: Your brother’s dead, you’re ravaged by guilt and you’re snowed in with the most annoying couple in high school.

What’s your biggest challenge with the show?

rigg: Trying to bring the electronic world (video feed, animation, e-mail) to the stage.

reycraft: Not writing Pop Song, Part Two.

What’s the key to writing for young audiences?

rigg: Not writing as if for mentally deficient nimrods.

reycraft: Never preach or teach a lesson. They’ll laugh at humour, but they’ll identify with rage.

Describe your writing style.

rigg: Brash funny hiphop crazy edgy hard easy friendly demented fun hyper-intelligent complex political irreverent freewheeling non-linear experimental with classical influences poetic.

reycraft: I always write comedies… until the parts where everyone dies.

Last play you saw and loved?

rigg: Hedwig And The Angry Inch off-Broadway… cuz it rocked!!!

reycraft: R.M. Vaughan’s Dead Teenagers at Rhubarb!

Who or what’s your muse?

rigg: Pop culture and the sounds of the city.

reycraft: Whatever pisses me off at the time.

The Career

You’re an agent. Sell yourself.

rigg: She is funny, a rebel, a bitch. She’s a media whore. Exploit her.

reycraft: He won the Fringe 24-Hour playwriting contest, a Chalmers for a play he wrote in a day, and got into the Canadian Film Centre with a script he wrote overnight. Hire him before he dies from exhaustion.

Best career move?

rigg: Returning to Canada, where the heart is and the beer is strong.

reycraft: Not sticking with that pesky acting thing. Then moving to L.A…. and coming back.

Best break in theatre?

rigg: Understudying in Paul Rudnick’s off-Broadway hit The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.

reycraft: Sky Gilbert slotting my first play in Rhubarb!

Worst part-time job?

rigg: Cleaning toilets. And getting all my orders wrong in a quiche bakery.

reycraft: Waitering at a kosher Chinese deli in Thornhill.

Theatre vs. TV/film?

rigg: All, none, whatever. It’s all good. It’s all a bunch of crap.

reycraft: In theatre, everyone thinks they can act. In TV, everyone thinks they can write.

What do your parents think of your profession?

rigg: Parents think of their kids?

reycraft: OK as long as I get my name in the paper so my mom can show people. Like now.

Second Thoughts

If you weren’t in theatre, what would you do?

rigg: Be a full-time rock ‘n’ roll groupie without the sex part, or start a dating service for drag queens.

reycraft: Be fabulously wealthy and in a healthy, stable relationship.

Worst stage experience?

rigg: Haven’t had it yet.

reycraft: Doing the Polkaroo show at Ontario Place. It’s hard to take your future profession seriously wearing polka-dot shorts and dancing with an 8-foot kangaroo.

Any hidden talents?

rigg: Can do a billion sit-ups. I have athletic abs despite layers of fat on top.

reycraft: Any talents I possess have long ago been made very public.

You’re the love child of two artists. Who are they?

rigg: Shakespeare and Missy Elliott… with a little Jennifer Saunders on the side.

reycraft: David Mamet and Aaron Spelling… with Michel Tremblay as Wacky Uncle Mike.

jonkap@nowtoronto.com

glenns@nowtoronto.comtheatre profiles

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