Monday, April 05, 2010
REFUGE OF LIES and C.C. Humphreys
One curious backstage note.
Chris Humphreys has come by rehearsals to take a look at some of the blocking in the play. Chris played Henry VIII and Cromwell in A Man For All Seasons a couple years back - suitably, as he's a noted historical novelist whose book include the story of "The French Executioner" who King Henry hired to kill Anne Boleyn.
Though we didn't know each other at the time, it turns out that Chris and I spent a night together almost 20 years ago, locked up in a room on Granville Island, slaving away over keyboards. Both of us took part in the first "24 Hour Playwriting Competition" hosted by the New Play Centre in spring 1992. Chris's play, A Cage Without Bars, won the competition and had a production the following year at the New Play Festival. Among the cast, Howard Siegel, who plays Simon Katzmann in Refuge Of Lies. A few years later the play went on in London at one of the best Fringe venues - the Finborough - after what Chris describes as "a hefty rewrite."
I got a runner-up prize for my play Flesh And Blood in that same event, and my prize was some dramaturgy by John Lazarus. That manuscript got sent off to Theatre & Company in Kitchener Ontario, and Artistic Director Stuart Scadron-Wattles commissioned me to develop the play for a 1994 premiere there, under the title Refuge Of Lies.
All of this brings to mind another possible Siegel synchronicity. Howard also directed the premiere of Jericho Pier, for which Evergreen Theatre got Jessie noms in 1996. And something tells me John Keith may have written the first draft of that play for the NPC's 24-Hour Competition. I wonder...