Ever wondered if you could write a play, what would it be about?
In Saskatoon, Sum Threatre is out to prove you don’t have to be a creative genius to ink your own play.
“One thing we like to do is demystify the artistic process; people think playwriting is some sort of top secret activity because playwrights often work in solidarity, but what we do is ask a simple question, what if?” said playwright Joel Bernbaum, standing in front of his laptop.
From now until Oct. 5, Bernbaum is peeking out of the front window of Foster’s Shoes on Broadway, feeding his creative juices to the public and coming up with a long list of original plays.
“We have people walking down the street just like the people you just heard, peaked into the window came in and the last thing they thought they were going to do was write a play and they’re leaving the store as a playwright,” Bernbaum said.
Sitting across from her husband Dan, Lila Kallstrom told a story she hopes one day comes true, a trip to Thailand with her four boys, entitled Lost on Chiang Mai.
“The story was we arrived after our 14-hour trip and we were jet-lagged, got a bit lost … and we got split up but we ended up getting back together and food is what brought us back,” said Kallstrom, as Bernbaum typed away on his laptop, writing the play in real time for pedestrians walking by to see.
She added she loved the idea and as Bernbaum predicted, Lila had no idea she would leave a shoe-shop with a play under her belt.
Berbaum said Playwright in the Shop is the first of its kind in Canada, and what he enjoys about it, is the project plucks playwrights away from their desks in a dark studio and into the public eye.
“We’re definitely pushing the envelope in terms of the usual and I believe innovation is extremely important, it shakes us up and it forces us to embark on territory we’re not comfortable with and with that comes excitement,” Bernbaum said.
The Playwright in a Shop was born out of the Nutana Talks research project. 100 people were interviewed about ideas they had for the arts in this neighbourhood and how can the arts make the neighbourhood more exciting.
The Nutana Community Association with the help of the Nutana Community Association and the Saskatchewan Arts Board teamed up for this unique project which will occupy a nook on Broadway Avenue until Oct. 10. After Bernbaum finished his time at Foster’s Shoes, he’ll be passing the torch to another playwright Yvonne Nolan who will be stationed at The Better Good from Oct. 6 to 10th.
A handful of plays will be picked for a performance in the Nutana community in the next two years.
“I’ve never done anything like this before and to my knowledge it’s never been done in Canada before,” Bernbaum said.