West Coast playwrights Linda A. Carson and Suzanne Ristic present a staged reading of their play Driving Me Crazy at the Harbour City Theatre on Jan. 15. (Photo courtesy Steele Matthews)

TheatreOne’s staged readings series begins with play about connecting with cars

B.C. playwrights Linda A. Carson and Suzanne Ristic present ‘Driving Me Crazy’

West Coast playwrights Suzanne Ristic and Linda A. Carson are at work on their first collaborative production – a play that explores the relationships people have with their cars.

Their play, Driving Me Crazy, follows a family – grandmother, parents and young adult children – and looks into the roles vehicles play in their lives. The story is told through scenes and monologues.

The longtime friends conceived of the play three years ago when, as part of an informal writing group, they realized they were interested in the same subject matter.

“I began writing three short scenes about driving in the car with my husband. I can’t ever get into the car with him without fighting about it,” said Ristic, who lives in New Westminster.

Concurrently, Carson, a Bowen Islander, was writing monologues about her 85-year-old mother’s effort to keep her driver’s licence and, by extension, her independence.

“About the same time that Suzanne was doing her writing my son took a ride with Suzanne and her husband in their car and my son came in the door and said that was the funniest drive of this entire life,” Carson said. “And that’s when Suzanne was writing these scenes and I said, ‘Suzanne, I think we might have a show about driving.”

The pair have so far taken their script to two readings as a way to observe the way actors approach the material and work out the kinks. On Jan. 15 TheatreOne is presenting a reading at Harbour City Theatre.

Carson said the script has been resonating strongly with audiences. She said their last reading in Gibsons was particularly successful.

“Afterward, they said they’d been having this reading series for two years and after the play it was the most the audience had ever talked after the play. They kept talking about the play and driving,” Carson said.

“I think the neat thing about readings is as a public you get to see the actors working on their craft,” Ristic added. “You get to see them at this really lovely, raw stage of making choices and making decisions and trying out stuff. I always enjoyed watching readings. It’s very raw and fresh.”

Ristic said the upcoming reading in Nanaimo will help them determine how the play is progressing. She said it won’t be long before the script is ready for the stage.

“This reading is going to really tell us and the actors will be able to tell us and [TheatreOne artistic associate] Nicolle Nattrass, who’s dramaturging, will be able to tell,” she said. “I think we’re ready to have a weeklong workshop with some actors and then into a rehearsal period and get it up on its feet. I think it’s close.”

WHAT’S ON … Linda A. Carson and Suzanne Ristic present Driving Me Crazy at the Harbour City Theatre on Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Admission by $10 donation by donation at the door.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Magic in the air at Nanaimo library on Harry Potter Day

VIRL’s Nanaimo North Library branch hosted activities Thursday

Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary presents NRGH with $550,000 donation

Second time auxiliary presents a cheque topping half a million dollars to hospital

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Easing overnight park camping bylaw is ‘bonkers’

Who is supposed to enforce the city’s list of restrictions, asks letter writer

Nanaimo’s 1 Port Drive could get a trial run as a temporary bus loop

Prideaux Street bus exchange expected to be relocated for six months this year

Downtown Nanaimo bridge to be closed to vehicle traffic this spring

Vehicles will be prohibited from driving on Bastion Street Bridge for six weeks

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Beefs & Bouquets, March 21

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

First Nations leader to try for NDP nomination in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Bob Chamberlin, vice-president of Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, announces intentions

Folk singer’s globe-trotting taking him to Nanaimo

Lorkin O’Reilly explores the immigrant experience on new album, plays the Vault on Friday, March 22

Scientists disembark in Nanaimo after international expedition probes Pacific salmon

Canadian, American, Russian, Korean and Japanese scientists survey salmon in Gulf of Alaska

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: On climate, think about the children

Our son doesn’t understand that he’s been given a legacy of environmental crises, says letter writer

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Most Read