It’s Love and Other Reasons to Panic! by Delia Barnett and Elisa Benzer
C103 (8529 103 street) August 15 – 18, 20, 22
More information: Facebook
An interview with Elisa Benzer.
Describe your show in five words.
Romantic Comedy meets Wayne’s World
Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?
You’ve heard of a “Bro”mance, well we give you the “Wo”mance. Two very funny characters meeting in an awkward circumstance when the universe forces them to get to know each other. Victoria has recently left her fiancée and is looking to find herself again by striking out on her own. Rachel is single and perfectly happy without a man in her life, until she meets Michael and falls head over heals; but what happens when Rachel’s new love interest is Victoria’s ex-fiancée? This two hander comedy explores the ideas behind love, friendship, and figuring out how to get through life without making a total mess of things.
When you wrote to me you said of It’s Love and Other Reasons to Panic!, “We wanted to create a play where women aren’t always just thinking about men, but thinking about themselves and each other.” – can you talk a bit more about that? Why was that important to you and Delia Barnett?
When Delia and I first started talking about collaborating on a show together, we were discussing the roles of women in theatre. We noticed and acknowledge the fact that it is hard to find plays with women who aren’t just talking about men the whole time. We wanted to write something where the focus was on the journey of the female leads specifically. While Michael is a character in the play, he is never seen and is only used as a catalyst for the real issues that are happening between these woman. Rachel and Victoria are living through moments in their lives that come with great change and discovery and we wanted the audience to see those struggles, while still being able to laugh with them, because let’s face it, sometimes life is just hilarious. Everyone can relate to what these women are going through.
Tell us a bit about the two characters of the show – Victoria and Rachel. What did you want to explore with these characters?
One is trying to rediscover who she is and the other is having a hard time letting anyone get close. We wanted to let them help each other, and show how important it is to support each other through life and not just focus on the superficial. It is rare to see female characters not only be funny, but care about themselves more than their male counterparts. When we’re honest and open about our shortcomings, our dreams, and yes even sex, we can stand much taller with confidence in who we are not only as women, but as individuals who knows who they are. We wanted Victoria and Rachel to be examples of how to be confidant and strong in who you are and what you want even when you make mistakes.
What does the title of your show, It’s Love and Other Reasons to Panic!, signify?
It’s Love and Other Reasons to Panic! signifies the idea that there is in fact more to the Romantic Comedy Genre than just the “Romantic” part. Our lives are made up of multiple relationships, falling in love (or out of it) is usually chalked up as a pretty significant moment. There is also, however, the moment where you have to pull yourself together after a big devastating moment. There is figuring out how to be on your own and having to learn the difference between being alone and being lonely. The moments you are learning to love your body and forcing yourself to discover it and appreciate it for what it is and what it does for you; all this, equals life, and living it can be terrifying.
Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?
With all this talk about the significance of the show and the issues behind what these characters are going through, it really is dealt with in a way that makes you laugh. We can’t take life too seriously or it will drive us insane. We tried to find a way to tell these stories with a sense of humour while still maintaining our compassion for the ladies in this show.
Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?
We had a really great team working with us in this process. Morgan Norwich helped with the dramaturgy and Taylor Chadwick and Jamie Northan gave us some much appreciated feedback as guest directors towards the end of the rehearsal process. Andrew Oberhofer was the brilliant sound designer and Kevin Green was responsible for the great set and lighting design.
The 34th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 13 – 23. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.