We Glow at Edmonton Fringe Festival

We Glow
Roots on Whyte Community Building (8135 – 102 street) August 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
More information: theatre4pt669.com

An interview with Emily Pearlman.

We Glow at Edmonton Fringe. Photo credit: Andrew Alexander.

We Glow at Edmonton Fringe. Photo credit: Andrew Alexander.

Describe your show in five words.

Ugh. Hooray! Oh NO! Help!

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

So, when two corporate A-types get married as a business deal everything seems to be looking up. They now join their colleagues on “the life script”-a format that means you get married, you buy a big house and you have children. Except there’s a snag (which I can’t tell you about) and after a disastrous Christmas party they are put on an “involuntary adjustment period”. The play picks up with them walking into a boardroom and asking for their jobs back and the audience (some of whom get to don business jackets!) plays the Board of Directors.

Young people in Canada today are faced with a huge range of choices in their lives, yet your show explores what happens when two people veer off the “life script”. Why do you think it’s important to explore this theme?

We thinks it’s important because, dramatically speaking, it’s fascinating to watch two characters struggle against a methodology for living that is super-imposed onto them by society. Everything in the world of the play is telling them to ignore their gut instinct and use their heads and the result is two deeply flawed characters who are in a state of constant panic because they have no power over their lives. The best is when people come up to us after the show and say “Wow, that’s exactly how I feel” or “I know people like that”. When they do that they are recognizing parts of themselves in these two vicious and conniving characters (just not the parts they often want to admit to) and that opens up the possibility for change, which is what satire is all about.

We Glow seems like a bit of an unexpected name for this story. How did you come up with the title and what does it symbolize to you?

When we first started writing the piece, there was a lot of text about bioluminescence, about sea creatures that glowed. Over time, the text mutated and now it has many other meanings…which we can’t talk about before you have seen it. Sometimes glowing means beautiful and sometimes glowing means radioactive.  Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

It is important for us to create theatrical experiences where we are actually talking to the audience, and we use the space around us. We are really excited to use this room at Roots on Whyte as our venue/boardroom, because it is actually a place that these characters might find themselves. Site specific and direct address means we have no chance to ignore the room or the people in it.

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

Our director Kevin Orr is a prof at Ottawa University who started this great creation program where we made the piece – it’s basically an arts incubator which supports new work in a low stakes context.

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

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