30 May 2008

Lab Cab, Montreal launch for Dead Cars, plus other stuff in short

The Buffalo launch for Dead Cars was more like a reading than a launch. But it was great to read in Buffalo for my first time. And I got to see a lot more of Buffalo than I had in the past. Pretty interesting place. Some fantastic bookstores. Nice drive there with Jason Camlot (who was also reading) and Paul Vermeersch (who was along for the ride): we played lotsa tunes.

This weekend, I take part in the 3rd Annual Lab Cab Festival. I'll be way upstairs in the Green Room at 2:15 and 3:45 on Saturday, reading the entirety of the "Hospitality Suite" sequence from Dead Cars. That should be an emotional workout for me. Lab Cab happens at Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street. There will be events all weekend and you can see the schedule here.

Then, on Sunday, it's the Montreal launch for Dead Cars in Managua. I haven't been to Montreal in ages. I'm pretty excited, even though it's only gonna be a whirlwind visit this time around. I'm really looking forward to reading with David McFadden — I don't know if that's ever happened before. It'll also be great to read with Sarah Steinberg, who I met many years ago when I was volunteer-teaching at my old high school (she was the surly star student) and to meet Arjun Basu, the Punchy Fiction writer. The details:

Punchy Writers/DC Books, Matrix Magazine/Pilot Reading Series, Writers Read at Concordia, Insomniac Press/Serotonin Books present



Stuart Ross, DEAD CARS IN MANAGUA (DC Books/Punchy Writers)

Arjun Basu, SQUISHY (DC Books/Punchy Writers)

Sarah Steinberg, WE COULD BE LIKE THAT COUPLE (Insomniac Press/Serotonin Books)

PLUS!!! a special guest:

David McFadden
Griffin Prize nominee, reading from
WHY ARE YOU SO SAD? (Insomniac Press/4 A.M. Books)


Puggy Hammer, rocking like idiots

Sunday, June 1st, 2008
8pm until the music stops.
The Main Hall
5390, boul. St. Laurent, Montreal

I've seen a bunch of theatre lately, a bunch meaning two plays. And it's made me want to revisit my own attempts at playwriting. Somewhere I have a stage adaptation I wrote for my short story "The Cannibals" and I've also been wanting to expand The Ape Play, which is now a whopping two minutes after its original one-minute incarnation.

This week, I saw Alias Godot at Tarragon, courtesy of my new friend Verne. The play, a kind of post-9/11 sitcom-meets-Three Stooges homage to Samuel Beckett's play, is by a guy named Brendan Gall. It was uneven, but an awful lot of fun. I think if the dramatic underpinnings could've been played up a little more, it would have been a stronger play. But there were some brilliantly funny lines in it, great performances all around, and some good physical comedy. Alon Nashman, who played Godot, looked like a cross between a Magritte bowler-hatter and a hasidic Jew. I warmed up for it in the afternoon by watching the film version of Waiting for Godot from the Beckett on Film box set, which is fantastic.

Back in Edmonton, I saw Psychosis 4.48, by Sarah Kane, the British playwright who hanged herself at age 28, in 1999. This play was a sort of suicide note. This production, at the TransALTA Art Barns, was directed by Amy DeFelice, but I suspect the three actors, Lora Brovold, Melissa Thingelstad, and my friend Clarice Eckford, all of whom were really compelling, had a lot of input. The experience was like looking into Kane's brain as she contemplates and then rationalizes her suicide: the three actors all played her, or aspects of her, and also her psychiatrist. It was an incredibly strong piece of theatre, and sent me into a bit of a tailspin, especially after an evening of discussing Daniel Jones with Mark McCawley at the Strat. That was an awful lot of suicide for two days.

Over and out.


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