Crack at Edmonton Fringe Festival

Walterdale Playhouse (10322 – 83 avenue) August 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24

An interview with Kristen Finlay

Crack at Edmonton Fringe. Photo credit: Janine Hodder

Crack at Edmonton Fringe. Photo credit: Janine Hodder

Describe your show in five words.

Wine, friendship, feather boas and breaking-free!

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

Three friends go away for a weekend to a cabin in the woods to celebrate the 40th birthday of one of them. As with all friendships of 3, there are tensions.  The birthday girl, Christine (Joyce LaBriola), is the hub and the other two women, Pam (Anne Marie Szucs) and Angela (Rebecca Ponting), are quite different so there are some conflicts that arise between them.  As the weekend progresses, secrets are revealed that help to bring the three women closer together and turn Pam and Angela into allies.  

I love the title of your show: Crack. Can you give us a bit of insight into what that title means to you in context of this show, both literally and figuratively?

The title comes from the Leonard Cohen quote, “There’s a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets through.” It’s also a reference to feeling trapped in a life that you’ve built and wondering if you can break out of it – crack it – so that you are not locked into a specific path.  From the playwright, Anne Marie Szucs: I’ve been working on various iterations of this play for 7 years, so the themes have evolved as I have. I first wanted to explore friendships between women – what makes them last, what makes them collapse, what makes them so necessary. Then, I started thinking about public vs. private selves. How much of ourselves do we truly disclose to our closest friends?  Are there parts of ourselves we never expose?  And if not, why not?  Now, I’m intrigued by women in mid life. Are we really living the lives we thought we’d live?  “Ring the bells that still can ring.  Forget the perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light get through” (Leonard Cohen).

What attracted you to Crack and made you want to direct the show?

Those who know me, know that friendships are very important to me.  I cultivate them.  I maintain them.  I like being friends with people who are both different from me and similar to me.  I also have been in that situation where I bring friends together and find that just because I am friends with a person doesn’t mean that my other friends will be. I liked the tug and pull between these three women and how it was so clear that they were all learning from each other and leaning on each other.  I also liked that there were three real women who were all strong in their own ways and that they all surprised me by not being stereotypical.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

Fun Fact: This show has likely the most props than any other show I have ever directed! Those props lived in my living room in a pile for over a month. I have a very patient husband.

Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?

The show is directed by myself, Kristen M. Finlay and written by Anne Marie Szucs.  It features Joyce LaBriola, Rebecca Ponting and Anne Marie Szucs.  Sound design is Erin Foster-O’Riordan. Stage managed by Kirsten Jensen and ASM’d by Andie Mullen.

The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. I’ll be previewing shows up until the Fringe starts. Want your show to appear on After the House Lights? Email

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