Fringe New Play Contest win­ner: Peter Genoway

NOW Magazine - Fringe - - Fringe preview 25 things you can’t miss -

Peo­ple are drawn to sto­ries. At bot­tom, that’s what an au­di­ence craves in the the­atre.

Peter Genoway uses that idea in The Oak Room, which took first place in this year’s Fringe new play contest, spon­sored by Ex­cla­ma­tion Foun­da­tion and macIDeas.

“I think ev­ery­one’s fas­ci­nated by nar­ra­tive,” says Genoway, a film writer and di­rec­tor. Not only is The Oak Room his first play, but he’s also a first-time Fringer.

“We love to tell sto­ries, em­bel­lish them and be­lieve them, whether they’re true or not.”

In The Oak Room, he plays with the am­bi­gu­ity of what’s real and what’s not when a young man re­turns to a bar in his north­ern On­tario home­town on a snowy night and has an after-hours con­ver­sa­tion with the owner. In a se­ries of sto­ries-within-sto­ries, we learn what hap­pened (or has it?) in another bar.

The idea for the script came from Genoway’s work­ing as a tree planter in north­ern On­tario and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing small­town life, and also sit­ting through a win­ter snow­storm in an iso­lated English com­mu­nity.

“What was quaint by day be­came men­ac­ing by night,” he re­mem­bers. “We could only hang out at the lo­cal pub. You never knew who’d next en­ter the claus­tro­pho­bic, lonely room, and it made you un­easy.”

Genoway ap­pre­ci­ates the free­dom of writ­ing for the the­atre, some­thing that’s not al­ways pos­si­ble in the film world. In­stead of telling a story with images and sound, The Oak Room al­lows him to fo­cus on a nar­ra­tive that’s de­pen­dent on character and di­a­logue.

“It’s amaz­ing to col­lab­o­rate with the­atre artists, who are re­cep­tive to ma­te­rial that doesn’t sit com­fort­ably in any one genre. At times The Oak Room is a fam­ily drama, while at oth­ers it’s a tough-guy com­edy or a sus­pense­ful, scary tale.

“That’s the way I like to write, to en­ter­tain on dif­fer­ent lev­els and in dif­fer­ent ways, so the au­di­ence can’t pre­dict what’s com­ing next.” JON KA­PLAN From Wed­nes­day (July 3) at Passe Mu­raille Mainspace.

C’mon in, Fringers, The AV Side Show wants to en­ter­tain you.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.