Ligature Marks at Edmonton Fringe Festival

Ligature Marks
Walterdale Theatre (10322 83 avenue) August 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23


An interview with Taylor Chadwick.

Morgan Smith and Christopher Schulz. Photo credit: Dave DeGagné of dbphotographics.ca

Morgan Smith and Christopher Schulz. Photo credit: Dave DeGagné of dbphotographics.ca

Describe your show in five words. 
Murder is a multiplayer game.

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?
It’s the story of two losers who can only be winners if they work together. After 2 years in prison Terry is coerced into crashing with his ex-girlfriend Jill who promises him the bandwidth he needs to play his favourite online multiplayer game, Noir. While Terry games, Jill works to get the relationship back on-track but neither seems willing to sacrifice for the other. Sacrifice is truly made when Noir becomes more than just a game and the two of them need to work together to pass this level in their lives. A twisted romance about love, video games and getting away with murder.

Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with the script – how you found out about it and what made you want to produce and direct it?
I was searching for a small cast script that had not been performed here so I went to Northern Light Theatre’s Trevor Schmidt (who reads more plays than anyone I know) and asked if he had read any dark, funny and intelligent 2-handers in the last while. He knows my style (a little askew but rooted in reality) so he suggested I check out Mac Rogers’ (the playwright) work on indietheatrenow.org (which is an awesome website for writers and producers). I looked at Mac’s stuff, read Ligature Marks and decided after the first read that I wanted to do it. It had the humour, the narrative, the weight, the darkness and the newness I was looking for. It is the type of show I would want to see at the Fringe festival.

You describe Ligature Marks as a “twisted little play” – my favourite type of play! What are some of the themes or ideas that stick with you, personally, from this play?
The reason I call it “twisted” is because the narrative is the really twisty thing in it. At first the play is about a couple of losers, then its about a video game, then it’s about being in a relationship, then the play is literally a video game and someone gets murdered. Mac writes a story about a real relationship but uses the idea of video games to allow the characters to “play” more with their desires. As a video game nerd and theatre artist I was instantly floored by it.

Personally, this play hits a lot of nerves with me and the cast. I don’t want to go too into it because I could go on about my personal struggles for a while. I think there is a lot of interesting information to take away from the play’s text. This play is about communication and relationships. How do you let someone know how you truly feel? How do you show respect for what other people in your life want? It’s a play about facing your problems, dealing with them and knowing that you are not alone.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?
This is the Canadian Premiere of the show. Mac was touring the show in the US earlier this year and received stellar reviews including 5-stars at the DC Fringe and Best of the Fringe in Cincinnati. If you are looking to disappear into a piece of theatre this year then we might have just what you are looking for. Mac is a burgeoning playwright in NYC… here is a chance to get on the Mac Rogers band-wagon before his work is all over the place. It’s been great to work on and a pleasure to build. I’m looking forward to sharing it with audiences.

Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?
Oh man. My cast/crew are awesome. My company (What It Is Productions) may be new to the fringe but our team is made up of experienced fringe artists. Morgan Smith is Jill. She is probably best known for her work with her multiple kick-ass Fringe runs with Human Loser Theatre (Cheerleader!, Game Face, Elektra). My good friend Christopher Schulz returns to the Edmonton stage as Terry. Chris was last seen in Alias Godot – Theatre Network, Some Girl(s) – Northern Light Theatre and The Glass Menagerie – The Citadel. My crew is the icing on the cake… Taking on set/lights is Sterling Award winning Lighting Designer Scott Peters (Let the Light of Day Through – Theatre Network), original music from What It Is Podcast’s sound guru Brian Bergum, graphic design from dbphotographics’ Dave DeGagné and stage management from Andrea Murphy (East of Berlin – East/West Collective).

Of course, I highly recommend getting to know Mac Rogers. You can find him on twitter @macwrites and his website macrogers.org. His plays are awesome and you can read a few on indietheatrenow.org.

The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca

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