Welcome to my Blog!
This is my first ever attempt at starting a blog, so please be gentle with me has I try to navigate my new surroundings and settle into this new adventure!
KWLT has been going through a LOT of changes lately: the lobby has a fabulous new look, a fresh new season is starting, and there are new Board Members, including me! Hi! My name is Elizabeth (also known as Mama to my 25 theatre children) and I am the new Social Media Officer on the Board of Directors. My goal this season is to hopefully connect you to the world of theatre a bit more, including what’s going on in our community.
Today I’ll be talking (or writing rather) about the exciting new season opener that’s about to hit our KWLT stage.
What’s Coming to KWLT?
Problem Child /Criminal Genius is our first production in our 2019-2020 season and it opens September 26th. These two One-Acts are a part of the Suburban Motel series written by Canadian playwright and screenwriter, George F. Walker.
George F. Walker has written over 30 stage scripts, and has also written for television, radio, and even movies. Walker’s style reflects that of Samuel Beckett and Anton Chekhov, both of which he greatly admires. He’s style is often characterized as having a sense of absurdity by combining humour and despair. Walker experiments with form and language, placing odd concepts and words into the mouths of characters that benefit from the abnormality. It’s definitely something to look for when you come see the show!
Walker was a taxi driver in Toronto before he became an author. He heard that Factory Theatre was looking for new authors, so he submitted his first play entitled The Prince of Naples, which premiered in 1972. Since then, the Factory has performed most of his plays, including remounts.
As mentioned, there are six shows in total that make up the series: Problem Child, Adult Entertainment, Criminal Genius, Featuring Loretta, The End of Civilization and Risk Everything. Suburban Motel is an ingenious series where all six shows take place at the same motel, “ A slightly run-down motel on the outskirts of a large city.” The plays can be played separately as their own full-length one-act work; however, they all touch on similar themes, have through-lines uniting them and, occasionally, characters will reappear from one play to another. Such themes include: innocence/naïveté/stupidity; questions of adult families in the underclass; substitutes rage for communication; etc.; just to name a few (I don’t want to give too much away ).
Four of the Suburban Motels (Problem Child, Adult Entertainment, Criminal Genius and The End of Civilization) were translated into French by Maryse Warda. They were a part of Théâtre de Quat’Sous’ 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 seasons
A little bit about Problem Child and Criminal Genius
Problem Child tells the story of an ex-prostitute and drug-addict and her significant other, a TV-addicted ex-con, trying to deal with a by-the-book social worker in order to get her child back from the system.
The show first premiered in 1997, allow with Criminal Genius and Risk Everything, at Theatre Off Park in New York by Rattlesnake Productions, directed by Daniel De Raey, and then premiered in Toronto at Factory Theatre, with the other remaining three, in 1998, directed by Walker.
Criminal Genius tells the story of a father with a 35-year criminal record and his son, both involved in a complex crime. Both are anti-violence but the masterminds of the impending criminal wars, both women (and one of whom was a "victim"), have no such fear of violence.
Are you intrigued? What to see what these two wonderful one-acts have to offer? Come out to KWLT and see for yourself! Problem Child/Criminal Genius opens September 26th 2019 at 8pm and runs for three weekends!
Director of Leonard Zgrablic talks about this history with Suburban Motel and the surprises he found sitting on the other end of the table.