Thursday, 21 February 2013

APN Member Profile: Michelle Kennedy

Michelle is director, writer, and producer from Edmonton. Recent writing credits include Apocalypse: A Period Piece (with Chris Craddock); The Tornado!: A Musical Prairie Tragicomedy (Edmonton International Fringe Festival, Mischief and Mayhem Theatre); The Flood: A Disaster Story (Edmonton International Fringe Festival, Mischief and Mayhem Theatre). Recent directing credits include: Apocalypse: A Period Piece (Edmonton Fringe); PornStar.USA (Sterling Award Nomination, Outstanding Fringe Production), The Tornado!: A Musical Prairie Tragicomedy, The Flood: A Disaster Story (Edmonton International Fringe Festival, Mischief and Mayhem Theatre); Shhhh! (Swallow-A-Bicycle) Coffee Dad, Chicken Mom and the Fabulous Buddha Boi (Guys Undisguised/Mischief and Mayhem Theatre, Sterling award for Best New Fringe Play) in both Edmonton and New York City; Willkommen in Spreepark (Mischief and Mayhem Theatre); and UBU ROI: A Grotesque Burlesque (Mischief and Mayhem Theatre). Michelle is in her fourth season at One Yellow Rabbit and had the pleasure to work with the OYR ensemble on: People You May Know, SMASH CUT FREEZE, Kawasaki Exit, Gilgamesh La-Z-Boy, Doing Leonard Cohen, and Sylvia Plath Must Not Die. Michelle holds a BA (Honours) Degree in Drama from the University of Alberta and a certificate in Arts and Cultural Management from MacEwan College. Most days she is the Programmer at Theatre Alberta. 

Who are you?
I'm Michelle Kennedy. Always have been, always will be. I think... 
(is this funny? should i say that?)  

What are you working on?
A lot. I write every day and am writing a ton of non-fiction and working on my "essayist" muscle. I am working occasionally on a one-woman show about John Cusack and I frequently go back to to an even older play called "The Golden Record". It feels really nice not to be stressing about starting a fringe show right now...  

What inspires you?
People I meet, books I read, coffee I drink, kissing, fighting, falling in and out of love, cooking, and working with collaborators who are GREAT writers. 

What is your favourite play?
I have a few: Val Paraiso by Don DeLillo, Drama by Karen Hines and Trout Stanley by Claudia Dey

Who is your favourite playwright?
Blake Brooker, MacIvor, Chris Craddock and Karen Hines. All equally and all for entirely different reasons. 

Mac or PC?
Mac. Only. Mac.  

Do you have any writing rituals?
I write by hand. When I am working on a play or a piece of fiction I find a pen and a notebook and I write. It keeps my thoughts flowing in a less stunted way, notebooks don't have the internet and when I do type it out I am writing a second draft. I write poorly on the computer. 

What made you want to become a playwright?
I sort of always did it. Even as a kid writing weird little stories I was moved to dialogue and all the things that were left unsaid. And I loved writing stage directions that were impossible and it made the whole process so much fun that I never really stopped. 

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever gotten?
The best piece of writing advice ever given to me was the best piece of advice about being an artist... "This life is a pursuit not an industry." I guess that isn't advice per say but the notion that we are working with passion and poetry rather than the goals and expectations of industry made me feel like anything is possible! 

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