Umbrella Talk with Drew Carnwath

This is the second of two Umbrella Talks we're doing to support the Playwrights of Spring festival in Aurora which runs May 5-15. Playwrights of Spring’s goal is to support and encourage the development of new voices in theatre, particularly those of writers. Now in its fourth year, new scripts are solicited by playwrights in Ontario and are juried by three theatre professionals, one of whom is the Festival Dramaturge. From those scripts, the jurists (Readers) select the best two evenings of theatre that perform for one week each.

In this week's Umbrella Talk, Drew Carnwath talks about the music that inspires him, the director he wishes existed, and the stuff he doesn't dare write.

A Little More about Drew Carnwath

Drew is a Toronto-based playwright, screenwriter & performer. A former member of Tarragon Theatre Playwrights' Unit, his plays (Grace and After, Total Body Washout, Killer) have been produced across North America and published by Playwrights Canada Press. A graduate of The Canadian Film Centre, Drew is currently working on adapting 2 of his plays into feature films (Hide and Seek, Johnnyville). Most recently Drew just finshed producing and directing Vanishing World for the Discovery Channel. Upcoming: his play Virgin Tears won first prize at Playwrights of Spring and as a result will get a workshop production at Theatre Aurora.

What do you drink on opening night?
"Whatvever you're having."

Who would direct the coolest production of one of your plays?
If John Sayles and Kathryn Bigelow had a love child, THAT child.

What scares you?
Right now? Not being able to answer this questionnaire.
Tomorrow? Reading my answers.
Real answer: anything bad happening to anyone I love. Seriously, I get friends and family to call me after travelling to the corner store.

What can't you write about?
Umm... I can't write about being a writer, evidently. There are some stories from my own past - true stories - so horrific and embarrassing that, even if I changed the names, dates and places...Everyone would still figure it out.

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

If someone was to write a play about your life, what genre would it be? (eg. comedy, tragedy, melodrama, horror)
Biography... on ice! Drew's-Capades! "And here he comes with the much-vaunted triple SOW COW...'

How do you deal with praise?
Just fine, thank you SO much... now tell me about my eyes.

With criticism?
To heart, with a dash of salt

Where would you like your work to be produced?
Nature abhors a vacuum, so I'd be happy to be produced just about anywhere. Hey, we already know I can be bought... we just haven't negotiated the price yet...

Where do you write?
Anyplace there's a surface ...and sometimes, even, without that.

Pen or keyboard?
Pen for sure - first drafts are always on paper, 8.5 x 14 long legal paper. I don't fire up the keyboard til the very last...

What would you like academics to write about your work in 50 years?
"He had fine incisors, a natural grip, a sliding fastball, fallen arches, and a winning disposition."

What inspires you?
Music. Always. Both inspiration and influence. London Calling. Lifes Rich Pageant. Grace. Mass Romantic. Peer Gynt Suite. Shakespeare My Butt. Songs in the Key of Life. The Bends... Al Green... Elvis Costello...Early Who... Dusty Springfield... Neko Case...