Occupational Hazards, a play by Nanaimo resident Roneen Marcoux, began as a monologue.
She took it to several reading series for feedback when working on the piece and the feedback she received motivated her to turn it into a full play.
“The characters are too interesting to be talked about. You should see them onstage,” said Marcoux about the feedback she received.
Marcoux said she worked on the monologue and turned it into a six-person play. She’s never produced the play, saying it was too big of a play to do on her own.
Last year she submitted her play to TheatreOne for its Emerging Voices Series and it was accepted.
Emerging Voices is a series of staged readings of work by Canadian playwrights. It features workshopping by professional artists and a reading before an audience that allows feedback by audience members at the end of the show.
“Feedback from the audience makes the play better. It’s part of the creative process,” said Marcoux.
Occupational Hazards focuses on three main characters: Maggie, Annie and Sally. The three cocktail waitresses have to deal with a demanding boss. Annie is a new server, while the other two have more experience on the job than their boss.
Maggie, a 20-year veteran, takes Annie under her wing after she begins worrying that her boss will fire her if she doesn’t sell more drinks.
“I used to work as a cocktail waitress when I was much younger,” said Marcoux. “Bar culture is quite interesting. It attracts a lot of different kinds of people.”
Marcoux previously wrote and performed her plays Que Sera and No Regrets at the Nanaimo and Vancouver Fringe Festivals.
She graduated from Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio and has recently been working on writing a personal account of her time volunteering in Southeast Asia in her piece Cambodia Notes.
Occupational Hazards shows Tuesday (Jan 10) at 7:30 p.m. at Harbour City Theatre, located at 25 Victoria Rd.
Admission is by donation with a suggested contribution of $10.
The next Emerging Voices reading is Feb. 7 and features Vancouver playwright Sherry MacDonald and her play The Seduction Theory.
For more information about Emerging Voices, please go to www.theatreone.org.