Q & A

1) What inspired this piece for you? 

I first thought of this idea back in 2015 and over the years worked on it on and off. Putting it away; worked on it and then putting it away again.  I have been meaning to get back to this project and the festival came along and is meant to provide a deadline and an audience which is what I need to finish to get anything done.  But what re-inspired me to get back to writing it is actually what’s going on in Iran (even though the plot of Witch doesn’t have anything to do with that) but the anger and powerlessness I feel about the oppression of women and I wanted to try and find a constructive way to express that rage.  

2) What brought you to putting this piece in this festival? 

Every so often I apply to these things and this time my application was accepted.  The draw was a deadline and an audience.

3) What has your journey as a playwright, writer, artist been, up to this point? What has your journey with this particular piece been, as a part of your overall journey?

Journey as a playwright – went to university at Brock and studied Theatre.  Didn’t realize I was more of a writer than a performer until halfway through.  When I graduated I got the Playwright Award then went to Humber for TV Writing and Producing – thinking I would try and get into writing for television.  I was also really into imrpov and I mainly did that after school ended.  Didn’t write again until 2012 when I got into Fringe and decided to write a musical Nobody’s Idol.  Was disheartened when that ended because I thought it was my big break and that I blew it.  Then years and years of depression but I still wrote because I need to but tried very hard to give it up already but could not and still can not.  Then, like 2017 or 18 – I decided to make making stuff a habit and self-produced a workshop and a staged reading of some other stuff I had written.  Then 2019 got into Fringe again but my friend Ana had these amazing songs so we came up with a story to put them into a musical (with also some of songs I had written before too).  My journey as an artist is really a journey struggling with depression and anxiety and self doubt and all of that annoying stuff.  All I know is I need to make these things.  There’s this song from a musical and one of the lines is like ‘I’ll leave a few creations to show that I was dancing by’ so that’s kind of my motto.  

Journey with this particular piece.  The thing with me and these stories they live inside my head for a very long time before I put them down on paper.  So I just felt it was about damn time to share it. That’s another conundrum the impetus to share. I sincerely hope that is not all for external validation and that maybe there is some other value that I am not aware of in sharing and putting all this effort into this stuff. But if it is all just for external validation than that’s fine too – my love language is words of affirmation so that would make sense…but if anyone asks my love language is acts of giving me money, lol, just kidding, but also not.

4) What kind of story is this piece, for you? What do you want audiences walking away thinking, feeling, doing, after viewing your piece?

The goal is to write an entertaining story that is also thought provoking.  I guess the main take away could be ‘what is the patriarchy so afraid of?’  I see many genres for this horror, drama but then there is some comedy because of the 1999 characters.   On the other side of things, I do see this entire piece as an elaborate metaphor for depression – in that it can be like exorcising a very angry malevolent spirit who has solid reasons for feeling the way she feels.  But I am also try to make it about feminism stuff like overcoming internalize misogyny – 

The main reason I am doing this is for my sanity. I have really strong inner critic that critcizes me for not creating stuff and then when I do create stuff, it criticizes me for the attempt to put it out there.

The dream is that the audience would walk away being like that was so good and tell someone good so it can be made for realz.  (I plan on applying for grants and shit). 

But on the low expectations side of the equation the goal would be to simply do the creative thing cause it is a project I have been wanting to bring to life for awhile now.

5) Who are you writing this piece for?

I think people who like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Anne Rice novels will like this.  I also think women or people who identify as such or anyone not really liking the patriarchy.  The other unrealistic dream would be that toxic masculinity types (if they dared to come see a show like this) will changed there minds and somehow not be like that anymore cause magic.


About Alex Lean

I am just another dreamer trying to wake up
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