Below is an interview with writer and performer of Kama Sutra, Sarah Quick.
Trained at the University of Wales, Sarah obtained a BA (Hons) degree in Drama along with certificates in acting from the London College of Music and The Guildhall. In 1999 she formed Quick Change Theatre and toured throughout Canada, Ireland, England, the U.S. and Australia with her self-penned works, Thanks for the Mammaries, Sex and Sensibility, The Men Commandments, Do You Take This Man? and B4 & After. Within Canada she toured to Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria, Vancouver & Cowichan. Do You Take This Man? was CBC’s Pick of the Edmonton Fringe in 2002 and received an ‘Outstanding Drama’ award at the Melbourne International Fringe the same year.
Sarah has now written a total of ten plays for mainstream audiences including her "Canadian Trilogy" which is made up of Knickers!, Having Relations and Sunshine Express. Her newest play, Kama Sutra, will premiere in the summer of 2019 at Globus Theatre. Sarah also writes for young audiences and her pantomime scripts have entertained thousands of children as part of Globus Theatre's Christmas programming.
Sarah is currently the Artistic Director of Globus Theatre @ the LAB in Bobcaygeon, Ontario (www.globustheatre.com). She has performed and directed dozens of productions for the company over the last decade.
Kama Sutra Playwright Interview
How did the concept for this play come to fruition?
I wanted to write a play that could be done in any theatre, appeal to a mass audience, and is extremely fun! This concept came from a one-act play by Peter McGarry that I toured with Peter (as the technician) 22 years ago. It’s about middle aged sex and an accidental library book turning your whole life upside down. I asked Peter if I could adapt this play and he was very supportive of the idea. He has mentored me since I started creating my own work - he was actually the one who persuaded me to write. He showed me that you could take any topic and make it accessible to the audience and that there are no rules when writing for the theatre. This has become a very important part of how I write and make theatre.
The initial one-act play was very tongue and cheek. I wanted to go deeper than that since I was adapting it to a full-length play. These are two very real people living in suburban Canada.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen marriages and relationships develop. After being with someone for 25 years, it becomes very possible to grow in different ways - you may end up wanting different futures. I think, sometimes, this can lead to the end of marriages. This play is about individual hopes and dreams as well as differences in expectations and how to manage that as a couple. This is a couple who love each other very much but are just not communicating on the best level. This ancient Sanskrit text that was written thousands of years ago talks to them in different ways and sets them on a path of communication… and sex.
What kind of research did you have to do?
All of my Amazon searches are based on my history… so Amazon is suggesting that I buy any item regarding sex!
I went into Indigo and spent a good deal of time walking up and down the aisle of the various erogenous books and having to flick through them for inspiration. There are so many Kama Sutra based books! There are a lot of different positions… and reasons for doing them.
Anyways, my research was all done on my own in our Toronto condo so James was not involved in that aspect!
What is Lynda like and is she similar to you at all?
This is not autobiographical at all! I may be pre-empting the time in our life where this conversation would happen. Lynda is a little further along in her life and she has more of a routine life than I do! We are very different in that respect… but she does look like me and have a similar accent.
You are creating alongside your real-life partner for this play. What has that experience been like?
James is great to work alongside because he does trust me in my writing. He ends up, actually, having the larger part because the man becomes sort of like the narrator. Although the female voice is very strong and prevalent, the story comes somewhat from his perspective. This will appeal to a lot of the men in the audience who are comfortable with their present life. The women, often times, are the ones who say, “Hey! What are we doing for the next 25 years?”
How was it marketing this play?
I mean, the title made this very easy. It’s important to communicate to a potential audience what they are going to get. We have been trying to convey that this show is comedic rather than filthy and naughty rather than embarrassing. You could definitely bring your mother, friends, or partner and just come for a giggle. It’s poking a bit of fun at love and the exploration of later years.
In a marketing sense, this play is also appealing as a touring production. It is an easy play for James and I to bring to other theatres. We would like there to be a future for Kama Sutra - we want it to travel to new audiences and I think having a very marketable play like this one makes that doable.
What is it about this play that makes you so excited to share it with an audience?
I remember seeing the audience’s reaction to this as a one-act play 22 years ago and I know now that as a fleshed out show, they are going to go crazy for it! We did a workshop of this for a select audience in Bancroft and their reaction was very favourable. I feel like expectations are going to be surpassed and I’m very excited about that.
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