In TJ Dawe and Rita Bozi’s 52 Pick-up, every performance is different. Fifty-two scene titles are written on a deck of cards and thrown in the air. The performers pick up the cards at random and perform scenes to reveal the story. With 52 Pick-up premiering in just two weeks, we talked to artistic producer of Twenty-Something Theatre and director of the show Brian Cochrane.
52 Pick-up will run November 13-29 at the Havana Theatre. It’s a part of the Theatre Wire subscription and tickets are available here.
What inspired you to do this play?
It’s a celebration of live performance! The scenes are guaranteed to unfold in a different order every time and that’s a lot of fun for the audience and the performers. It also presented me the opportunity to do something with Sara Brown and Dan Willow. I’ve been hoping to collaborate with both of them for awhile now.
What can audiences expect from a performance?
Spontaneity! Laughs! Tender moments!
What things do you want your performances to prompt people to think about?
52 Pick-up makes me think about the value of live performance. It wouldn’t work better as a film or TV show. It’s something you need to be in the room to experience and each time is truly different from the time before. So hopefully it will remind people how pleasurable a live performance can be.
What are you most looking forward to about the performances?
The spontaneity! Dan does a lot of improv and Sara just cracks me up generally, so to see them flying by the seat of their pants every night ought to be a really good time!
Why does Vancouver need this play now?
It’s always the right time to celebrate live performance and to feature a couple of performers who deserve to be seen. It’s also always the right time for a love story.
Who do you want to see this show the most?
Everyone! I think it’s a great date night and also a great show for people who think they don’t like going to the theatre.
Who is your favourite teacher and why?
My two biggest teachers were Jim Guedo and Stephen Heatley. I am still learning from them just by remembering things they’ve said over the years.
Why do you make theatre?
I love my fellow humans and this is how I show it.
Why do you live in Vancouver?
Moved for grad school (MFA in Directing at UBC). Fell in love with a lady. Fell in love with the city. Fell in love with the lack of cold winters.
Last play you saw in Vancouver? What did you like about it?
The Fighting Season at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Great script, powerhouse performances, and subtle direction.
What does Vancouver’s Theatre scene need?
More subsidies from all levels of government.
If you had an unlimited budget for this show, would you change anything? What?
Confetti cannons would likely be incorporated.
What is your next project and why are you excited about it?
I’ll be helping with the World Premiere of Julie McIsaac’s The Out Vigil (Twenty Something’s production being presented by the Firehall Arts Centre in March), then going to Whitehorse to direct Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s Hunter Gatherers at the Guild Hall. They’re both great scripts for different reasons.