Loris & Beaver Play Bingo at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

Loris & Beaver Play Bingo by Maria Colonescu

King Edward School (8530 101 street) August 13, 15, 16, 19, 21, 22

Loris & Beaver Play Bingo. Photo credit: Tristin Deveau

Loris & Beaver Play Bingo. Photo credit: Tristin Deveau

An interview with Maria Colonescu.

Describe your show in five words.

Bingo. Wine. Canadian content. Relatable.

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

The two main characters, Kit and Margaret, are trying to write an award-winning play in 8 weeks. Has to be deep. Has to have Canadian content. These are two women who are both in a bit of a rut in their personal lives, and they discover that by having a good, long look at themselves while creating the characters Loris and Beaver, they are able to get past the difficulties that have been holding them back. The process is made easier by copious amounts of wine, a puppy, and their neighbour, Avery (played by Justin Deveau).

Why did you want to give audiences inside the world of what it takes to write a play through Loris & Beaver Play Bingo?

We wanted to show audiences what goes on in a playwright’s world (and why people think we’re weirdos). A lot of people don’t realize how much research has to go into a play and the kind of ridiculous things writers have to look up. Nicole Grainger and I looked at our own writing history and realized how absurd it has been, at times. Our internet search history has included things like ‘1920 circus slang’, ‘bad religious jokes’ and ‘where is it legal to marry your cousin?’. We also wanted to show how a piece of fiction (whether it be a play, book, short story etc.) is inevitably imbued with the writer’s personality and personal experiences.

How did you come up with the title Loris & Beaver Play Bingo? Can you give audiences any insight into what it means in the context of the play?

We have a character called Loris, and a character called Beaver, and they regularly meet up at the bingo hall to…well…play bingo. So I suppose the title basically just describes the show.

Although, as you mention, playwriting is about hard work and honest self-reflection – which of the items listed in your press release (puppies, bingo Canadian content, and wine) was most helpful in writing Loris & Beaver Play Bingo?

Definitely wine. Nicole and I started having wine-infused writing sessions last year, while working on Grace In Exile (our 2014 Fringe show) because one of the scenes in the play was supposed to be between two drunk characters, so we decided to go with it. We discovered that it helped with the comedic aspect of the show. It was also really fun, so once in a while we revert to that strategy. It’s also been a blast doing character research at the bingo hall…well, doing character research is a good excuse. We really just like playing bingo. A lot. It’s becoming a problem.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

Just that it’s a really fun show, a good balance of comedy and deep stuff. We won the Outstanding New Work award at this year’s Stage Struck! festival and we have a cute puppy. I think that covers the bases. Our audiences will not be disappointed.

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

All the Canadian musicians whose songs can be heard in our show – I won’t name names, I’ll let people have fun guessing.

The 34th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 13 – 23. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.

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