Welcome back! After a short break, the dossier series is back up and running, starting with an exciting event indeed.
What Andrew and Shayne do with their Monday Night of New Works is an absolutely indispensable commodity. Usually falling on an “every-six-weeks” kind of schedule, Monday Night of New Works (which oddly finds itself on a Tuesday this month) does the impossible by creating an open, round-table-minus-the-table atmosphere more than welcoming to those stumbling in off the streets. It is a place to bring a script and know that everyone sitting in the circle is completely open for whatever is thrown at them; it is a place to go knowing that everyone present is an actor, a playwright, a producer, a general enthusiast of theatre ready to read, hear and talk about your piece, if you want them to. There is no screening process. An email, saying you’d like to have something read is enough to guarantee space (unless they have received too many – and even then they’ll tell you to bring something anyway, because, really, who knows what’ll happen?).
Andrew and Shayne do a lovely job of making the space comfortable. As soon as you walk in you’ll be introduced to everyone there and yet to come. They usually have coffee, water and some sort of candy. The city is all the more richer for having an event so open and warm as this one. I’ve been lucky to have one of my troublesome scripts read at the last instalment, and am grateful for what I received.
That said, let’s meet the boys.
Here’s dossier #9:
Who are we talking with?
Andrew Young [above], Co-founder of Monday Night of New Works, Actor, Puppeteer, Artistic Director of My Brother the Changeling.
Shayne Monaghan [below], Co-founder of Monday Night of New Works, Actor, Playwright, Educator, Artistic Director of ChickenWing Theatre.
What draws you to theatre?
Andrew: The direct connection with the audience, the instant reaction you are able to hear. The fact that anything can go wrong at any moment and you have to be able to adapt, rediscovering the character show after show. Everything is in flux, hopefully within the set blocking.
Shayne: A show? Well mostly I hear good reviews and do my past to see what I can. Theatre as a career? I love the adrenaline you feel when on stage. My high school made me fall in love with theatre. I was luckily enough to be part of a touring ensemble of His, Tom Slater’s, original production of “…A Permanent Solution.” and before every show he would say today you’re going to change some ones life. That gave me goosebumps.
What is the earliest memory you have of wanting, or needing to do this?
A: To perform? For me, I think I was 14 or 15, I think on a school trip to see a play. I grew up in a rural area so once a year my high school packed up a bus full of kids and made our way to the city for the day and see two shows. On the trip I saw a one-woman play called “the shape of a Girl” by Joan MacLeod. It a fairly dark story but the way it was simply one girl talking about these experiences I was enthralled by the storytelling of the show. Since then I said that’s what I want to do, tell stories.
S: It was December of 2010, and Andrew and I were sitting in our living room and, after reading our own shows for the Nth time we said to each other, “Lets invite people from school and class to come over and we can get them to do a play reading for us, and we can invite others to bring work too! We can make a night of it.”
Why Monday Night of New Works?
A: After being out of Humber for a few months, Shayne and I had gotten a few people together to read our scripts. We were sitting at the pub talking about said scripts that we were developing , or trying to write an ending to rather. Shayne and I had both read numerous drafts, new scenes over and over and found it really refreshing to hear new voices in our plays. In school we were lucky to have a playwriting class where we would bring in something and it would be read in front of the class. It was great hearing different voices week to week each with different interpretations of the characters. We said wouldn’t it be great if we could get a network of people to do the same thing on a regular basis and just keep developing these new works. Giving ourselves imposed deadlines in the process.
S: We wanted to hold it on a Monday because most theatres are dark on Mondays so we were trying to optimize our intake. Plus what else is there to do on a Monday?
What can we expect from Monday Night of New Works? (is there a mandate for what you host, what’s the layout of the event?)
A: It’s an open forum to talk about play- or screen-writing. A place to experiment with an idea and hear something off the page. A place so that you can stop forcing your roommates or friends to read your play over and over again.
S: What Andrew said, plus somewhere for fresh eyes, ears and opinions. Our slogan is: Nothing too Rough, Nothing too Short.
What is your favourite memory from a past Monday Night of New Works?
A: It’s anytime I hear a script that is brought back for a second or third time and I get to hear how it has changed and/or grown since. Or seeing something that I heard pieces of or maybe even first draft that has developed and since been mounted as a full production. Seeing it up on stage is such a great experience.
S: My favorite memory has to be our first time in the fringe creation lab when a gentleman came with a script he was developing for a community project, and we found out he came from Barrie. I was flabbergasted that we drew some one from there. Also, a friend of Andrew’s comes from Windsor. Just the dedication that people have and the repeat attendees astonishes me.
Describe Monday Night of New Works in three adjectives or a phrase.
1) Nothing too Rough, Nothing too Short
Do you have anything you want to share with us? A story? A photo? A song? A video?
A: Our Next Monday Night of New Works is held at the Fringe Creation Lab on March 26th (on the Tuesday[!!!]) at 7:00pm. Come Check it out if you would like to see what we are about.
During New Works we make a point of holding a brief talking point called “Shameless Self Promotion.” This is were anyone who is working on anything has the opportunity to plug anything they are working on, developing or have an idea they want to work on without trying to sound too pushy about it. In that vein we are going to continue with this Idea.
I am currently working on a show with Theatre Lab that is going up in a double bill in the Factory theatre studio space. The show is called, “To the Last Cry”. It opens March 20th and plays till the 24th with shows at 8:00pm with a 2:00pm show on the 24th as well. It’s a double bill show, so there’s Theatre Lab’s show and another put on by Pandemic theatre called “Tjorvi ” the same night. More details at http://theatrelab.ca/
S: What I would like to share is that we try to support all the shows that come through, and the more that come, and the more people support us, the more I feel we can do. Monday Night of New Works has helped in the Launch of several successful shows. Brandon Crone’s “Turtleneck,” (2013), Alex Daults “The Campbell House Story” (2012), Victoria Velenosi “Princess of Porn” (Fringe 2012), Micheal Atlin “Zugzwang” (SummerWorks 2011), as well is this upcoming Fringe’s “The 8th Day” by Shayne Monaghan, ChickenWing Theatre.
Also Check out New Works at http://mondaynightofnewworks.wordpress.com/
Or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MondayNightOfNewWorks
Or on twitter @MondayNewWorks