Build a theatre, bigger budgets, bigger shows, national tours, more staff, take over the world.
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois
Brett Christopher has been an active member of the Canadian theatre community since graduating from George Brown theatre school in 2001. Celebrated as both a professional actor and director, he has worked with a variety of theatre companies including, but not limited to: Canadian Stage, Stratford Festival, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Theatre by the Bay, Segal Theatre, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Western Canada Theatre, Magnus Theatre, Sunshine Festival, Port Hope Festival, Actors Repertory Company, and Convergence Theatre. He is also the recipient of both the Masques and MECCA Awards for his performance of the solo show I Am My Own Wife at the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal. Before coming to Theatre Kingston, Brett was the Head of Marketing and Development/Artistic Associate at Gananoque’s Thousand Islands Playhouse under Artistic Director Greg Wanless. Currently, he is the Artistic Producer of Theatre Kingston, sits on the Kingston Arts Council’s Advocacy Committee, and is the Chair of the City of Kingston’s Arts Advisory Committee.
CHARPO: Tell us about your community. Do they make it easy or difficult to run a professional company?
CHARPO: You have fairly eclectic seasons - Canadian plays, American plays - dark comedy like Vigil, proven hits like Red. Does every production represent a chancy thing or is your audience open to just about anything?
CHARPO: Like all bosses, I suspect you're planning next season. Anything you want to share with our readers?
CHRISTOPHER: Hmm - the 14-15 season announcement is still a little ways away but I can leak that we are currently commissioning Judith Thompson to write a play inspired by author Merilyn Simonds' Kingston-set novel, The Convict Lover. (Like many Canadian theatre artists of my generation, Ms Thompson was a huge inspiration growing up - her plays resonate so very deeply. When I'm sitting having a coffee with her bandying about ideas and themes for a play, I really do have to pinch myself. (How on Earth have I earned this privilege??) That script will be workshopped in October with a full production slated for May 2015. In fact, we're currently in preliminary discussions with Corrections Canada about producing the play in the recently shuttered Kingston Penitentiary, a maximum security prison that sits in the middle of Kingston. That would truly be a dream project to construct a piece of theatre in such a storied and haunting edifice - all my fingers are crossed on that one.CHARPO: Dreams for the future? For you and the company?