Walterdale Playhouse (10322 83 avenue) August 15, 16, 17, 20, 23, 24
An interview with Joe Perry.
Describe your show in five words.
Desperate, odd, love, coping, air-conditioned.
Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?
Beware Beware is the story of Sam and Lauren, two friends in their young twenties who are trying to deal very separate problems. Lauren is dealing with isolation and loneliness in her relationships, and Sam is desperately trying to find ways to deal with the guilt he feels about being a bit of a lost young partier. The play explores the question of how much you can ask of the people you love without exhausting them, and it asks where the young people of this generation turn to for solace.
Beware Beware tackles some big themes. What approach did you take to absorbing the themes the script tackles?
As an ensemble we found that we had to be sensitive and aware of the material that we are working with, not only in the context of the play but also in the greater context of when and where we are putting it up. The play involves recreational and excessive use of drugs and alcohol, ideas of depression and suicide, and the isolation, guilt and loneliness that I feel a lot of people deal with. I don’t think that these subjects are very foreign to anyone. We are aware that people have their own personal baggage and triggers when it comes to this material, so we have done our best to treat these themes responsibly and sensitively, while still being honest to the material.
In the press release, Joe Perry says Beware Beware is “a gift for young artists who are currently based across the country to be able to work and create together.” Can you tell us a bit more about this? Was some of the collaboration between yourself and the artists done long-distance? What techniques did you use to overcome the distance?
When we started pre-production meetings for this project, half of the team was in Montreal and the other half in Edmonton. David and I would Skype a lot, and there were a lot of late night texts and phone calls to one another. Whenever David would workshop the script or do readings in Montreal, they would be audio recorded and sent to me in Edmonton. During this rehearsal period our composer/ sound designer has been in Calgary composing tracks and sending them back and forth to perfect them. With all of these options available to us, we came to the very freeing realization that distance is no longer an excuse not to collaborate with artists that excite you.
Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?
The play is set in the Edmonton river valley. It’s a show by, about, and for local young people.
Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?
Big thanks to the Belgravia Community Association for the use of their rehearsal hall, and to the Belgravia community in general for the overwhelming turnout to our preview in the Belgravia community hall.
The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.