Umbrella Talk with playwright Jon Lachlan Stewart

This week on Umbrella Talk, we are talking with Western Canadian playwright Jon Lachlan Stewart. In his conversation with us, Jon mentions some of the theatres in B.C. and Alberta that he'd like to see his work produced with; writing in abandoned parking lots at 2am and why he wants to write about Helen Kane someday.

A little bit about Jon Lachlan Stewart

Jon Lachlan Stewart has been writing plays since he was twelve.
credits included Little Room (two Edmonton Sterling
nominations), Grumplestock's (co-written, published with Nextfest
anthology), Twisted
Thing (honorable mention, Larry Corse
worldwide playwrights competition),
Dirty Mouth (Solo collective,
Vancouver), and currently, Big Shot, his
new touring solo show.
Jon is also an actor who has worked in many
pieces in
Vancouver and Edmonton,
and most recently, a sound designer.

Umbrella Talk with Jon Lachlan Stewart

What do you drink on opening night?

Before or after the play?


Then anything with alcohol.

Who would direct the coolest production of one of your plays?

Daniel Brooks.

What scares you? What can't you write about?

Facts. It scares me to write a period piece or a play about a current issue or real story that is completely true to facts and accurate to history.

What do you want to write about that you haven't yet?

Helen Kane, the 1930’s singer whose life was the inspiration for the famous Betty Boop cartoon. Her life was stolen and she deserves justice.

If someone was to write a play about your life, what genre would it be? (eg. comedy, tragedy, melodrama, horror)

Take the funnier moments of Waiting for Godot where the schtick is outweighing the melancholy, blow it up to an hour and a half, and that would be my life: an absurdist, existentialist lazzi.

How do you deal with praise? With criticism?

With joy, excitement, conversation and sometimes confusion.

With joy, excitement, conversation and sometimes confusion.

Where would you like your work to be produced?

The Citadel Theatre, Edmonton.

ATP Calgary

The Electric Company, Vancouver.


Touring, around the world.

Where do you write? Pen or keyboard?

In cafes on my computer.

In abandoned parking lots 2am freehand.

In my bed, oscillating between a dream and consciousness, in a notebook.

What would you like academics to write about your work in 50 years?

We’re still trying to figure out the things he was writing about.

What inspires you?


The anomaly.


Thanks again for reading this week's Umbrella Talk with Jon Lachlan Stewart. Next week, we move back to Toronto and talk to playwright David Copelin. If you are a playwright and want to talk to us, please send us an e-mail at