Remember the thrill of falling in love? And in some cases the heartache that came afterwards?
That scenario inspires Swoon!, a collective piece featuring the writing of Jordan Tannahill, Jason Maghanoy, Haley McGee, Ryan Griffith and Alisa Palmer.
“A group of friends got together and wrote about their own experiences, all beginning with a joyous celebration of desire,” recalls Maghanoy, whose previous work includes Gas and The Corner, both produced at The Next Stage, the Toronto Fringe’s winter series.
“As director, my job is to dramaturge, help organize the material, focus the stage images and have it all make sense. It’s been complicated, but it’s also fun to have a big group of performers to play with.
“They become everything from a pumpkin patch to crowds at a club and a wedding and residents of an apartment building gathered outdoors during a fire alarm.”
The overlapping stories, with characters from one scene popping up in others, follow the arc of couples meeting, falling apart and then meeting again. The ending of some tales is more bittersweet than happily-ever-after.
“We’ve fed off each other’s ideas to create the world of the play,” says Maghanoy, who becomes playwright-in-residence this fall at Theatre Passe Muraille, where he’ll work on a hip-hop musical. “For instance, I wrote a scene in which a man throws rocks at a woman’s window to get her attention and declare his love, but then Haley wrote a later monologue for the woman.”
Though the script’s been changing, Maghanoy appreciates that the writing is “personal and truthful. That element of truth has always been there, despite the transformations in the narratives.”
From today (Thursday, July 7) at Factory Mainspace