2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Canadian playwright adapts work for campus

By Rachel Woodward, November 17 2015 —

Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor is working with students at the University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) to present his play, Inside. The play will run at the Reeve Theatre from Nov. 24–Dec. 5.

The play revolves around the need to get “inside” social circles and focuses on the question of what it means to be on the outside.

Inside features an ensemble cast of SCPA students. // Louie Villanueva

Inside features an ensemble cast of SCPA students. // Louie Villanueva

MacIvor originally wrote Inside while working at the National Theatre School in Montreal. He’s since brought the piece to a number of schools, including the University of Victoria.

“The idea was I would make [Inside] specifically for theatre students at theatre schools, then I would go and adapt the play for each class,” MacIvor says. “I adapt based on who the people are in the class, how many there are and so on. I adjust the narrative and the structure.”

The play is an ensemble piece focusing on a group of individuals the audience meets throughout a day. Each character in the ensemble is affected by the actions of two activist students at the centre of the play. MacIvor says the play allows theatre students to gain real experience acting.

“I think in theatre schools, there’s not a lot of attention put on having students working on new plays and working with living writing,” he says. “There’s a lot of Shakespeare and that kind of thing, but you don’t get an opportunity as an acting student to really work on a new play.”

The U of C’s performance of Inside is directed by MacIvor, who describes himself as a minimalist director. He believes that simplicity allows the theatre experience to shine through.

MacIvor says that working with U of C students has shown him the willingness of actors in the drama program.

“The idea that you are trained as an actor and you can play anything — I don’t believe that’s true. I believe that there are certain things that are in your wheelhouse, there are certain things that you are going to be cast as and things that you are more comfortable playing,” MacIvor says. “I think there is a kind of character that a particular actor would be right to play. So I’m trying to give those actors those characters.”

Inside runs Nov. 24–28 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 29 at 2:00 p.m. and Dec. 2–5 at 7:30 p.m. Entry for students is free through the SCPA’s Claim Your Seat program.

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet