As of January 7, 2013, this website will serve as an archive site only. For news, reviews and a connection with audience and creators of theatre all over the country, please go to The Charlebois Post - Canada.

Search This Blog

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Upstage Interview: Charles Harries on The Hazards of Love


For a long time, it was a pipe-dream. But if you stick with your idea, you have a show.

Upstage  host Eric Sukhu spoke with Co-Playwright/Director Charles Harries about McGill Players Theatre’s presentation of The Hazards of Love: A Folk Opera. Based on the cult Decemberists’ album The Hazards of Love, Campbell and Harries reassess the romantic clich√© ‘happily ever after’. Below is an abridged version edited by Estelle Rosen, CharPo Editor-in-chief.
UPSTAGE
How was opening last night? 
HARRIES
Quite something.  Such an entirely different feeling from seeing it in rehearsals to waching it with an audience. 
UPSTAGE
Your Co-Direcor James Campbell wasn’t able to be here with you tonight; is he with the actors and the band tonight?
HARRIES
Yes,  he’s going over details with the band. We have a 6-piece jazz band, and everything has to be coordinated at Players.
It was a very interesting learning experience for us to see the characters we’ve written interpreted in different ways by other people.

UPSTAGE
Before going on air you told me a story about the origins.  Tell our audience about it. 
HARRIES
At a cast party of another show that James and me had done; about 4 am we said to each other what would be really cool to do would be The Hazards of Love. We started the next morning. For a long time, it was a pipe-dream. But if you stick with your idea, you have a show. This was early 2010.
UPSTAGE
When casting did you have specific needs?
HARRIES
Lot of amazing talent showed up. We needed actors who could sing. It was a very interesting learning experience for us to see the characters we’ve written interpreted in different ways by other people.
UPSTAGE
Did you find things changed once you had the cast?
HARRIES
Definitely. Lines we had written with a certain character in mind played entirely different when we saw it in front of us.
Writing alone you start to second guess yourself.

UPSTAGE
Is it difficult to write with someone else?
HARRIES
On the one hand it’s difficult because we both have different creative visions. On the other hand it’s beneficial.Writing alone you start to second guess yourself. With two people it was easy for one of us to write something maybe a bit edgy; bring it to the other one to get their opinion. It would have been a much more conservative and  much more laid back script if it was just one writer.
UPSTAGE
Did you share the writing?
HARRIES
We’d sit down, knowing we had 7 hours ahead of us.  We’d be at the beginning of a scene, then work them out together. Because it’s a love story and we’re working at the Arts building; professors were walking by and we’d be looking at each other passionately reciting these love lines. Interesting to see the looks on their faces!
...mostly it was a matter of recruiting people who were eager, talented and wanted to work with  us.

UPSTAGE
I understand music was the inspiration for the play;  how did you work it into the play?
HARRIES
The music was all there. The Decemberists’ entire album. My Co-Director and Music Director are part of their own folk band. So mostly it was a matter of recruiting people who were eager, talented and wanted to work with  us. Came together better and easier than I could have anticipated.
UPSTAGE
What are future plans for the play after this run?
HARRIES
We’re trying to enter the New Wave Festival in New York.  We’re  also thinking about  the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 
The Hazards of Love continues at Players' Theatre until February 18. Info: 514-398-6813

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please read our guidelines for posting comments.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.