Tuesday, January 1, 2013

In a Word...Charlotte Corbeille Coleman on Sudden Death

Invading the Darkness

Charlotte Corbeil Coleman graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada (2008) in the playwriting program. Since then she has written for theatre, radio, film, and television. Selected writing credits include a CBC radio play, The Summer of February. The End of Pretending, which won the 2002 Summerworks Eye Audience Choice Award, and went on to do a run at the Regent Theatre in Picton, Ontario.  Scratch, which won the 2007 Herman Voaden Award, opened Factory Theatre’s 2008/2009 season.  Scratch was nominated for a Dora award in the category of Outstanding New Play in 2009 and a Governor General's Award in 2010.  She directed and co created Highway 63: The Fort Mac Show (Arts and Culture Tour of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2012, Theatre Passe Muraille 2011) a play about the Oil Sands and the people that live there. Most recently Ms Corbeil Coleman has written for CBC’s Afganada as well as for the Showcase TV series KING.

CHARPO:  We know the process is more complex than that but for some writers there is an "aha!" moment when you know: this is a play. Did you have such a moment?

CORBEIL COLEMAN: I woke up one morning and had this image of a man doing a thick line of coke and then looking up to the audience and saying, I want a baby.  

CHARPO: Describe the genesis of the piece from writing to getting it into Matt MacKenzie's hot little hands.

CORBEIL COLEMAN: I wrote it as part of a two part piece for my graduating year of the National Theatre school.  Part one is Sudden Death, John Kordic's story. Part two is A Perfect Circle and it's the story of his stripper fiancée. They take place on the same night. His is structured like a hockey game, hers like a striptease. They're stand-alone pieces but they do share one scene. Matt was a year under me at school and saw them. He's a huge hockey fan and he's been bugging for me to do something with the play for years and then finally got fed up with me and took charge. 

CHARPO: A woman playwright? Hockey? Really?

CORBEIL COLEMAN: Really. The first thing I read about John was a story of him crying in the dressing room after a game because he got into a fight on ice and his father refused to talk to him after the game. The image of this tough enforcer crying was really interesting to me. And hey, I thought a 22 year-old girl should write a hockey play.

CHARPO: It’s being billed as a dark comedy. How dark is your life?

CORBEIL COLEMAN: Semi dark, but then I don't really understand comedy without darkness or darkness without comedy. 

CHARPO:  Nudity? Let's help you sell tickets…who, exactly, gets naked? You have some pretty nice looking actors in this show!

CORBEIL COLEMAN: I won’t give it away…But I will say that it’s not my dad [Layne Coleman], writing a play and having your dad get nude is even too dark for me!

Sudden Death is at Next Stage

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