Transcript: Martin Bragg | Sep 12, 1999

(Rhythmic string and wind music plays)

In animation, a word in pink slides by against a gray background as hands paint strokes using paintbrushes, play a piano, and touch as in a ballet performance.

The title of the show reads “Dialogue.”

The title of the episode pops up against an image of Richard Ouzounian and a guest sitting at a table in a restaurant, talking: “Martin Bragg. Producer.”

René and Richard sit in armchairs, on a Persian rug. The walls are vertically striped in burgundy and yellow, and there are several black and white paintings and black and white portraits of people hanging from the walls.

Then, Richard appears facing the screen. He's in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short side-parted blond hair. He's wearing rounded glasses, a black suit, blue shirt, and polka-dotted black tie.

He says WELCOME TO
DIALOGUE.
I'M RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
EVERY MAJOR CITY IN ONTARIO
HAS ITS OWN REGIONAL THEATRE:
OTTAWA, SUDBURY,
THUNDER BAY, HAMILTON.
AND SO DOES TORONTO, BUT
TORONTO REGIONAL THEATRE
IN TORONTO REQUIRES A VERY
SPECIFIC KIND OF THEATRE
AND A VERY SPECIFIC
KIND OF PERSON.
WE'RE ABOUT TO MEET
THAT PERSON NOW.
THIS
DIALOGUE
IS
WITH MARTIN BRAGG.

Martin is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with receding gray hair. He’s wearing a dark gray suit, white shirt, and checked brown tie.

Richard continues MARTIN, HERE YOU
ARE, SITTING, RUNNING
THE THEATRE THAT WOULD
NORMALLY BE THE ONLY THEATRE
IN A CITY, BUT
EXCEPT YOU'RE NOT
THE ONLY THEATRE
IN A CITY.
CANADIAN STAGE IS ONE
OF MAYBE TWO DOZEN
THEATRES IN TORONTO.
HOW DOES THAT MAKE
YOUR JOB DIFFERENT?

Martin says I THINK WE'RE KIND OF ALSO
REALLY UNIQUE, RICHARD.
AND I THINK I ACTUALLY
HAVE TO GO BACK
AND MAYBE CORRECT -
WELL, I DON'T KNOW WHETHER
TO CORRECT YOU NOW.
IT'S A BIT RUDE THIS
EARLY IN THE INTERVIEW
TO CORRECT ANYBODY.
BUT I THINK THAT ONE
OF THE PROBLEMS THAT
MY ORGANIZATION HAS HAD IS THAT
I THINK IT'S TRIED TO BE
A REGIONAL THEATRE IN A CITY
THAT IS REFERRED TO NOW
AS THE THIRD LARGEST THEATRE
CENTRE IN THE WORLD.
AND WHERE A
REGIONAL THEATRE,
WHEN THE STRING OF PEARLS
WAS SET UP ACROSS THE COUNTRY,
SO TO SPEAK, AND THE
REGIONAL THEATRE SYSTEM
WAS ESTABLISHED, I THINK A
LOT OF IT HAD TO DO WITH
THE FACT THAT YOU'VE GOT TO
BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE.
SO, YOU'VE GOT TO TRY AND
MAKE SURE YOU'VE GOT A SHAW,
YOU'VE GOT A SHAKESPEARE,
YOU'VE GOT KIND OF
A CONTEMPORARY PLAY.
AND OH, WOULDN'T IT BE
REALLY NICE BECAUSE
THE CANADA COUNCIL MIGHT
GIVE US SOME MORE MONEY
IF WE DO A
CANADIAN PLAY.
I DON'T THINK CANADIAN
STAGE IN 1999
HAS TO NECESSARILY
FULFILL THAT ROLE.
WE'RE IN A VERY COMPETITIVE
MARKET HERE - THE THIRD
LARGEST THEATRE
CENTRE IN THE WORLD,
AS I'VE SAID - BUT WE ALSO
HAVE OTHER COMPETITORS.
WE HAVE THE STRATFORD
FESTIVAL UP THE ROAD,
WHICH NO OTHER THEATRE HAS;
WE HAVE THE SHAW FESTIVAL
DOWN THE ROAD; AND NOW WE
HAVE A SMALLER COMPANY,
BUT A VERY GOOD
COMPANY, IN SOULPEPPER.
ALL THREE OF THOSE COMPANIES
ARE DEDICATED TO THE CLASSICS.
SO, I THINK WHERE MY
ORGANIZATION IS
AT THE MOMENT IS IT'S
MOVING INTO A DIFFERENT -
WELL, A DIFFERENT VISION AND
A DIFFERENT STRATEGY BECAUSE
WE'RE UNLIKE ANYBODY
ELSE IN THE COUNTRY.

Richard says SO, YOU REALLY DON'T HAVE
TO DO THE ONE FROM COLUMN A,
ONE FROM COLUMN B, AND TOSS
IN AN ORDER OF FRIED RICE
KIND OF THEATRE.

Martin says NO, I DON'T THINK SO, AND
I THINK IF I LOOK BACK
THROUGH ALL OF THE HISTORY
OF MY ORGANIZATION,
I WOULD SAY THAT EVERY
SUCCESSFUL SHOW -
BOTH ARTISTICALLY
AND COMMERCIALLY,
I.E. MAKING MONEY -
HAVE ALL BEEN
WITH CONTEMPORARY
PRODUCTIONS.
SO, WHEN I KIND
OF LOOK AT THAT,
THERE'S THE SUCCESS RATE
OF THE ORGANIZATION;
I DON'T NEED TO DO A
SHAKESPEARE BECAUSE
STRATFORD HAS THAT
IN ITS MANDATE.
I DON'T NEED TO BE DOING THE
WORKS OF GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
OR HIS CONTEMPORARIES
BECAUSE THAT'S SHAW'S MANDATE.
AND NOW, WE'VE GOT
SOULPEPPER IN TOWN
COMPLETELY DEDICATED
TO THE CLASSICS.
THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO
BE ANY REASON FOR ME,
FROM AN AUDIENCE'S
PERSPECTIVE OR REALLY
AN ARTISTIC PERSPECTIVE,
TO REALLY WANT TO BE
TRYING TO COMPETE WITH
THOSE ORGANIZATIONS.
I THINK THAT WHAT MY
ORGANIZATION DOES BEST AND
WILL DO BETTER IS TO PRODUCE
THE BEST OF CONTEMPORARY
WORK FROM AROUND THE WORLD
AND REALLY UP THE ANTE IN
TERMS OF THE WORK THAT WE
COMMISSION AND PRODUCE
OURSELVES, FROM OUR
OWN CANADIAN WRITERS.

Richard says AN INTERESTING POINT
YOU RAISED: YOU SAID,
YOU DON'T WANT TO
BE IN COMPETITION
WITH SHAW OR STRATFORD,
AND I GRANT YOU THAT.
BUT, FOR EXAMPLE, IN
THIS COMING SEASON,
THERE'S TWO PLAYS...
ONE I KNOW
YOU WANTED TO GET AND
LOST TO THE MIRVISHES
AND ONE THAT YOU GOT AWAY
FROM THE MIRVISHES.
SO, YOU'RE NOW COMPETING WITH
THE COMMERCIAL MANAGEMENTS.
IS THAT THE JOB OF A
NOT-FOR-PROFIT THEATRE?

Martin says NO, I DON'T THINK IT'S
THE JOB OF COMPETING
WITH THE MIRVISHES.
I THINK THAT IN
THE CASE IN POINT,
WITH
THE BEAUTY
QUEEN OF LEENANE,
THAT WAS KIND OF AN
INTERESTING STORY.
BECAUSE THAT PLAY, WRITTEN
BY A YOUNG ENGLISHMAN OF
IRISH DESCENT, NAMED MARTIN
MCDONAGH, BECAME A HUGE HIT,
THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF
LEENANE, IN NEW YORK.
GARRY HYNES, WHO'S A WOMAN,
IS THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF
THE DRUID THEATRE IN IRELAND...
FIRST WOMAN TO WIN A TONY
AWARD FOR DIRECTING
A STRAIGHT PLAY.
AND I APPROACHED GARRY, IN
TERMS OF BEING ABLE TO DO IT,
AND SHE WAS MUCH MORE
ATTRACTED BECAUSE WE WERE
A NOT-FOR-PROFIT THEATRE
AS OPPOSED TO -
EVEN THOUGH SHE'D HAD
ENORMOUS SUCCESS IN
A COMMERCIAL THEATRE, IN THE
WALTER KERR IN NEW YORK,
AND OBVIOUSLY A LOT
OF PEOPLE HAD MADE
A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF
MONEY FROM THAT SHOW.
BUT SHE FELT THAT BECAUSE
THE SHOW HAD STARTED ITS
ROOTS IN THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT
SECTOR IN IRELAND,
AND THEN IN ENGLAND
WITH THE ROYAL COURT,
THAT SHE REALLY WANTED
TO TRY AND CONTINUE
THAT TRANSITION.
AM I IN COMPETITION?
I DON'T THINK SO BECAUSE...
AND THIS IS NOT TO TAKE
ANYTHING AWAY FROM DAVID
MIRVISH - WHAT THEY WILL
TEND TO DO ON
THE BEAUTY
QUEEN OF LEENANE,
FOR EXAMPLE, IS THEY WOULD
PROBABLY TEND TO TAKE A U.S.
PRODUCTION, WHICH IS ON
A BUS-AND-TRUCK SHOW,
WITH U.S. ACTORS AND BRING
THAT INTO THE ALEX.
THEN ALL I END UP GETTING
FROM BOTH CRITICS AND
ARTISTS IN THIS COMMUNITY IS,
WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?
WHY CAN'T YOU GET-?
HERE'S FOUR
WONDERFUL PARTS;
WE'RE DYING TO
PLAY THOSE.
WHY CAN'T YOU GET THE
RIGHTS TO THAT PLAY
SO THAT WE CAN HAVE A
CRACK AT THOSE ROLES?

Richard says AND WHEN YOU
DO IT, IN FACT,
IT WILL BE AN
ALL-CANADIAN CAST.

A caption appears on screen. It reads “Martin Bragg. Producer.”

Martin says YEAH, SO, IN
TERMS OF
CABARET,
IS THE FLIPSIDE
OF THE WHOLE THING.
I WOULD'VE REALLY WANTED
TO TRY AND GET
CABARET,
BUT THERE'S A SHOW
THAT WILL COME IN.
WE HAVE A PHENOMENALLY
TALENTED MUSICAL COMMUNITY
IN THIS CITY; I THINK IT'S
A PHENOMENAL PRODUCTION.
SAM MENDES MAY OR MAY NOT
HAVE DECIDED THAT HE WANTED
TO DO IT AGAIN AT
CANADIAN STAGE,
BUT WE WILL LOSE THAT
OPPORTUNITY BECAUSE THERE'S
A BUS-AND-TRUCK COMING
IN AGAIN FROM THE U.S.

Richard says THE OTHER INTERESTING THING
THAT YOU'VE BEEN DOING
WITH CANADIAN STAGE IS REALLY
HITTING THE FIRST WORD
OF YOUR
ORGANIZATION'S TITLE.
THERE'S BEEN AN INCREASED
COMMITMENT TO CANADIAN PLAYS,
NOT JUST NEW PLAYS BUT
LOOKING BACK AT OLD PLAYS.
LAST SEASON YOU DID
THE
STONE ANGEL
AND YOU DID
LES BELLES-SOEURS.
NOW, THIS YEAR YOU'RE
REEXAMINING MICHEL TREMBLAY
AGAIN, ALTHOUGH ONE
OF HIS NEWER WORKS.
HOW COME THERE'S SUCH A
STRONG CANADIAN FOCUS AGAIN?

Martin says I THINK FROM MY
PERSPECTIVE, AGAIN,
IF WE'RE GOING BACK TO
WHERE ALL THESE OTHER
ORGANIZATIONS ARE WITH
ALL THEIR MANDATES
TO DO CLASSICAL PLAYS,
IF I'M GOING TO GO BACK,
I'M GOING TO GO BACK
MAYBE 20 OR 30 YEARS.
I COULD VERY WELL HAVE
GONE BACK AND GONE,
WE HAD A FAIR DEGREE OF
SUCCESS WITH EDWARD ALBEE
A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO;
MAYBE IT'S TIME TO DO
WHO'S AFRAID OF
VIRGINIA WOOLF?
BUT IN EVERY SINGLE CASE,
WITH
BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR
AND WITH
STONE ANGEL
AND WITH
LES BELLES-SOEURS,
THERE WAS A BURNING
ARTISTIC REASON
TO WANT TO DO
THOSE PLAYS.
ERIC AND JOHN REALLY
WANTED TO DO
BISHOP
AGAIN,
JANET WRIGHT HAD PLAYED THE
ORIGINAL HAGAR IN THE CBC
PRODUCTION AND HAD, I THINK,
A REALLY SOLID VISION
FOR DOING IT.
AND DENISE FILIATRAULT,
ONE OF QUEBEC'S FOREMOST
ACTORS AND NOW A DIRECTOR,
HAD A VERY UNIQUE,
VERY EUROPEAN FLAIR
TO THAT PRODUCTION.
AND SHE WAS ABLE TO
ATTRACT A PHENOMENAL CAST.
SO, IN EACH OF THOSE
CASES, THERE WAS A LOT
OF PASSION WE HAD.
WHAT I'M TRYING TO AVOID
IS I'M TRYING TO AVOID
GOING BACK TOO FAR
AND JUST SAYING,
I'LL SCRATCH MY HEAD; GEE,
WE HAD GOOD SUCCESS WITH
THE ALBEE, SO WHICH
OTHER ALBEE CAN WE DO?
AND YOU PICK THAT ALBEE
AND THEN YOU KIND OF GO,
GEE, WHO SHOULD
DIRECT THAT PLAY?
OH, I DUNNO.
TO ME, IT'S LIKE YOU'RE
PIECING A PRODUCTION
TOGETHER AS OPPOSED TO
HAVING SOMETHING
COME OUT OF IT AGAIN.
THE DECISION TO THIS SEASON
TO CLOSE OUR SEASON
WITH
FOR THE PLEASURE
OF SEEING HER AGAIN,
WHICH IS TREMBLAY'S NEW
PIECE, WAS,
FOR ME, A REAL MIRROR.
IT WAS CLOSING LAST
SEASON WITH TREMBLAY'S
ARGUABLY BEST PLAY,
LES BELLES-SOEURS,
WHICH IS 30 YEARS OLD, AND
THEN MIRRORING THAT WITH
THE PLEASURE OF SEEING HER
AGAIN,
WHICH IS HIS HEARTFELT,
A LOVE LETTER REALLY, I
THINK, TO HIS MOTHER.
THERE'S A RESONANCE THERE
FOR ME THAT I THINK
IS REALLY NICE.

Richard says ANOTHER THING THAT'S COMING
UP THIS SEASON - AND I KNOW
YOU MAY NOT WANT TO ADMIT
THIS - BUT YOU DID IT
PRACTICALLY SINGLE-HANDED.
YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH MORRIS
PANYCH'S PRODUCTION OF
THE OVERCOAT
AND DECIDED IT
WOULD HAVE TO TOUR CANADA.
IT BEGAN IN VANCOUVER AND
YOU WENT AROUND - AND I KNOW
YOU SPENT MONTHS TRYING
TO PUSH ALL THE PIECES
TOGETHER, MAKING SURE THIS
SHOW GOT ACROSS CANADA
AND GOT TO TORONTO.
WHY DID THAT PARTICULAR PLAY
GET YOUR VISION SO MUCH?

Martin says I THINK IT'S PROFOUND.
AND I THINK THAT ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT WORKS REALLY,
REALLY WELL WITH OUR
AUDIENCE AND WITH THIS CITY,
BECAUSE NOT ONLY ARE WE
SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT BECAUSE
WE'RE IN TORONTO,
AS OPPOSED TO -
AND THERE'S A HUGE AMOUNT
OF ACTIVITY IN THE CITY
THEATRICALLY, AS YOU'VE
ALREADY POINTED OUT.
SO, I THINK IT'S REALLY,
REALLY IMPORTANT FOR THAT
AUDIENCE TO SEE SOMETHING
THEY COULDN'T SEE ANYWHERE ELSE.
MORRIS PANYCH BROUGHT A
VISION TO
THE OVERCOAT
WHERE THERE ISN'T A WORD
OF DIALOGUE SPOKEN IN
THE ENTIRE PLAY, BUT IT'S
JUST VISUALLY STUNNING.
AND YOU SIT THERE AND
YOU WATCH THAT AUDIENCE,
AS I DID IN VANCOUVER, WITH
THEIR JAWS ON THE FLOOR.
THEY CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT
THEY'RE SEEING ON THAT STAGE
BECAUSE IT'S UNLIKE ANYTHING
THEY'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE.
AND I THINK WITH THIS KIND
OF DISCERNING AUDIENCE
THAT WE HAVE IN TORONTO,
THAT THEY WANT - WELL,
I'M HOPING THEY'RE REALLY
GOING TO WANT TO COME AND
SEE
THE OVERCOAT
BECAUSE
IT'S SO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
SORRY, RICHARD, THEATRE
DE COMPLICITE'S PRODUCTION
WAS ALSO A REALLY
INTEREST-
NOT THE SAME AS
THE OVERCOAT,
BUT STILL VISUALLY STUNNING,
WITH PEOPLE KIND OF LIKE
WALKING DOWN, AND AGAIN,
I SAT IN THAT THEATRE AND
WATCHED THAT PRODUCTION
OF
STREET OF CROCODILES
AND WATCHED THAT AUDIENCE.
THE SAME THING HAPPENED:
THAT WAS OUR AUDIENCE
SITTING IN THAT THEATRE
BEING COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY
BY WHAT THEY WERE SEEING.

Richard says YOU'VE TALKED
ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE.
I'M CURIOUS, BECAUSE YOU
OBVIOUSLY KNOW THE FIGURES
AND THE FACTS, BUT WHAT
KIND OF PEOPLE MAKE UP
THE AUDIENCE AT
CANADIAN STAGE?

Martin says WE HAVE AN ADVANTAGE,
AGAIN, IN THIS CITY,
WHEREBY WE HAVE THE LARGEST
SUBSCRIPTION AUDIENCE OF
A NOT-FOR-PROFIT
IN CANADA.
AND I THINK THAT WE'RE
NIBBLING A LITTLE BIT
AT THE HEELS OF
THE MIRVISHES.
BUT WE HAVE A
20,000-SUBSCRIPTION BASE,
WHICH GIVES US A DEGREE OF
FLEXIBILITY IN TERMS
OF OUR PROGRAMMING
CHOICES.
BUT ALSO, IT'S REALLY
IMPORTANT THAT WE CONTINUE
TO PROGRAM THE KINDS OF
SHOWS THAT THOSE AUDIENCES
ARE REALLY GOING TO
WANT TO COME AND SEE.
AND THEY DON'T WANT TO COME
AND SEE BORING THEATRE.
I WOULD SAY, FROM A
MARKETING PERSPECTIVE,
I THINK THAT ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT HAS ENABLED US
TO BE REALLY SUCCESSFUL IS
WE STOPPED KIND OF LIKE
SPLATTERING ALL OF OUR
MARKETING ALL OVER THE PLACE
AND TRYING TO REACH AN
AUDIENCE FROM A 19-YEAR-OLD
TO A 70-YEAR-OLD, AND REALLY
TRIED TO CONCENTRATE
THE CORE BUSINESS OF
THE ORGANIZATION
IN THOSE SUBSCRIBERS.
WE'VE BROUGHT THE AGE
OF THE AUDIENCE DOWN.
I WOULD SAY THAT WHEN I
ARRIVED ABOUT SEVEN YEARS AGO,
THAT AUDIENCE AGE-WISE
WOULD HAVE BEEN
BETWEEN 45 AND 70.
AND I THINK THAT WE'VE
DROPPED THAT
BY ABOUT 10 YEARS, SO
NOW WE'RE 35 TO 65,
WITH MORE EMPHASIS
PUT ON THE LOWER END.
WE ALSO REALIZED THAT
THE CORE BUSINESS,
IT'S CHEAPER FOR US TO
CONTINUE - AND YOU KNOW THIS;
WE BOTH RUN THEATRES...
YOUR RETENTION RATING,
IF YOU KEEP THOSE
SUBSCRIBERS COMING,
THAN YOU'RE NOT SPENDING
AS MUCH MONEY TO GET THEM.
AND DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY
TRYING TO GET PEOPLE
TO BECOME SUBSCRIBERS BEFORE
THEY'RE 35 BECAUSE THEY'RE
WAY TOO BUSY ORGANIZING
THEIR LIVES AND GETTING
AHEAD IN THEIR JOBS
AND GETTING HOUSES
AND GETTING CHILDREN.
YOU JUST END UP
WASTING YOUR MONEY.

Richard says THE OTHER THING
THAT'S INTERESTING,
IN THIS COMING SEASON,
THERE'S VIRTUALLY NONE
OF THE - WHAT WOULD
YOU CALL IT - BONES
THAT ARE NORMALLY
TRADITIONALLY FLUNG TO PEOPLE.
LIKE, HERE'S SOMETHING
CHEAP AND COMMERCIAL
AND AMUSING TO
OCCUPY YOU.
THERE IS A PLAY BY ALAN
AYCKBOURN BUT IT'S NOT
A CHEAP, SHALLOW ALAN
AYCKBOURN PLAY;
IT'S QUITE A COMPLEX
ONE, IN
COMMUNICATING DOORS.
WHAT MADE YOU HAVE THE
COURAGE TO GO AHEAD NOW
FOR TWO SEASONS IN A ROW AND NOT
PUT A BONBON IN THE PACKAGE?

Martin says I DON'T THINK
THE BONBONS SELL.
I'LL GO FROM THE SELL AND
THEN I'LL DO THE ART.
I DON'T THINK THEY SELL.
WE DID A SHOW WHICH I THINK
PROBABLY SHOULD REMAIN
NAMELESS A COUPLE OF YEARS
AGO, BECAUSE WE FELT,
WE'LL PUT THE
SHOW INTO JANUARY,
IT'LL BE A GREAT SHOW,
IT'LL BE REALLY EASYGOING,
WE'LL PUT A COUPLE
OF ACTORS IN,
THEY'LL PLAY A NUMBER
OF DIFFERENT PARTS.
IT'LL BE
HYSTERICALLY FUNNY.
AND THE AUDIENCE'S
REACTION TO THAT BONBON,
AS YOU CALL IT - AND
IT WAS A BONBON -
WAS, DON'T INSULT US.
WE WANT TO COME TO
CANADIAN STAGE AND BE -
SURE, WE WANT TO COME AND
LAUGH OR CRY OR WHATEVER,
BUT WE WANT TO COME
AND BE ENTERTAINED.
BUT DON'T GIVE US SOMETHING
THAT WE CAN KIND OF SEE ON TV.
DON'T GIVE US AN
EPISODE OF
SEINFELD,
BECAUSE WE CAN
DO THAT AT HOME.
WE WANT TO COME
TO THE THEATRE,
WE WANT TO ENJOY OURSELVES, BUT
DON'T INSULT OUR INTELLIGENCE.
AND I THINK THAT I'VE
DONE THE AGE THING,
AND I THINK ANOTHER
ADVANTAGE THAT WE HAVE
IS THAT WE HAVE A REMARKABLY
WELL-READ, WELL-EDUCATED,
AND MONEYED AUDIENCE THAT IS
COMING TO US BECAUSE, AGAIN,
BECAUSE OF THE COMPETITION
AROUND US IF THEY WANT
A BONBON, THERE ARE OTHER
THEATRES THEY CAN
GO AND GET THAT FROM.
AND I DON'T THINK
ULTIMATELY FOR US IT WORKS.

Richard says NOW, WE'LL COME BACK
TO YOUR CURRENT JOB,
BUT I WANT TO FILL
PEOPLE IN ON HOW
YOU GOT WHERE
YOU GOT TODAY.
WHEN DID THE YOUNG MARTIN
BRAGG EVER GET INTERESTED
IN THE THEATRE AND ATTRACTED
TO IT AND JUMP INTO IT
IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Martin says I THINK I SAW A
PRODUCTION OF -
I GUESS THE FIRST
PRODUCTION WAS A PRODUCTION
AT THE ALEX, OF
CYRANO DE BERGERAC.
AND I THINK THAT'S
BACK IN THE '60s,
AND I THINK THAT'S
REALLY WHEN THE THEATRE BUG
HAPPENED FOR ME.
WHILE I WAS STILL
IN HIGH SCHOOL,
I STARTED TO ORGANIZE
GROUP SALES WITHIN
THE HIGH SCHOOLS - I
GREW UP IN BURLINGTON,
A SUBURB OF TORONTO -
AND ORGANIZE BUS TOURS
TO THE ALEX TO SEE
HAIR
AND
GODSPELL,
MUCH TO THE CHAGRIN
OF MY TEACHERS.
AND THEN WHILE I WAS
STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL
DURING THE OLD OPPORTUNITIES
FOR YOUTH PROGRAM,
I ORGANIZED A TOURING
CHILDREN'S THEATRE COMPANY
IN THE SUMMER AND DID THE
WHOLE BUDGETING AND
THE PRODUCING ASPECT OF GETTING
THE CHILDREN'S THEATRE
COMPANY UP WHEN I
WAS 16 YEARS OLD.
I THINK IT'S ALWAYS
BEEN IN MY BLOOD,
AND EXCEPT FOR A REALLY
BRIEF PERIOD OF TIME
WHEN I DECIDED I'D
HAD IT WITH THEATRES,
I'D HAD IT WITH
BOARDS OF DIRECTORS,
I'D HAD IT WITH ACTORS,
I'D HAD IT WITH EVERYBODY.
AND GOT OUT AND MOVED
MY FAMILY TO SPAIN
FOR THREE YEARS TO WORK
ON A WORLD EXPOSITION,
THAT'S THE ONLY TIME
I HAVEN'T BEEN
INVOLVED IN THEATRE.
THE ADVANTAGE I HAVE, IF I
HAVE AN ADVANTAGE AT ALL,
IS THAT I HAVE HAD AN
OPPORTUNITY TO DO EVERYTHING.
SO, I'VE BEEN AN
ACTOR, I'VE BUILT SETS,
I'VE HUNG LIGHTS,
I'VE DESIGNED SHOWS,
I'VE DIRECTED SHOWS, I'VE
PRODUCTION MANAGED SHOWS,
I'VE ORGANIZED TOURS.
SO, FOR ME, IT'S A HUGE
ADVANTAGE THAT I'VE HAD;
I'VE TOUCHED EVERY
ASPECT OF THE BUSINESS,
SOME BETTER THAN OTHERS.

Richard says WHEN YOU WERE IN THE EARLY
YEARS IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL
CAREER, I'M THINKING OF ONE
PARTICULAR AREA WHEN YOU DID
SOME WORK IN, I BELIEVE, IT
WAS CHILDREN'S TOURING WITH
PEOPLE WHO YOU STILL COME
BACK AND WORK WITH TODAY,
LIKE FIONA REID
AND OTHER PEOPLE.
WHAT WAS ABOUT THAT
PARTICULAR SPACE AND TIME
THAT KIND OF ACTS AS
A TOUCHSTONE FOR YOU?
BECAUSE I KNOW YOU
ALWAYS GO BACK TO A LOT
OF THE PEOPLE YOU
WORKED WITH THEN.

Martin says I'M A VERY LOYAL
PERSON, AND FIONA REID
IS A GOOD EXAMPLE.
FIONA IS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE
FEW PEOPLE THAT EVER GOT
A CHANCE TO ACT WITH
MARTIN BRAGG ON STAGE.
ROBIN PHILLIPS
IS ANOTHER ONE,
BUT THAT'S A
WHOLE OTHER STORY.
SO, I THINK FOR ME, IT WAS
JUST A LOYALTY FACTOR,
THAT I THINK THAT WE TOO
OFTEN CAST PEOPLE ASIDE.
I LOOK BACK AT PEOPLE WHO
WERE RUNNING THEATRES -
YOU'RE A GOOD EXAMPLE -
WHERE I THINK THERE'S
A PHENOMENAL LEVEL OF
TALENT OUT THERE THAT,
FOR WHATEVER REASON, WE'VE
JUST KIND OF BACKED AWAY FROM.
AND I THINK THAT, AS A
CANADIAN - MAYBE IT'S
BECAUSE I'M BECOMING MORE
NATIONALISTIC - I WILL BE
THE FIRST PERSON TO ADVOCATE
ANYTHING I CAN POSSIBLY DO
TO TRY AND CREATE A STAR
SYSTEM IN THIS COUNTRY,
BECAUSE I THINK IT'S
REALLY IMPORTANT.
WE DON'T, AS CANADIANS, HAVE
A TENDENCY TO CELEBRATE OUR OWN.
YOU HAVE TO GO AWAY...
THE OLD ADAGE,
YOU'LL BE REALLY GOOD WHEN
YOU'VE GONE TO NEW YORK,
RICHARD, AND YOU'VE
HAD A SUCCESS THERE,
AND THEN YOU CAN
COME BACK.
AND I THINK
IT'S CRAZY.

Richard says YOUR PENULTIMATE EXPERIENCE
BEFORE HEADING OFF
TO SPAIN - AND WE'LL GET TO
SPAIN - YOU'VE FLUNG A BIT
OF BAIT OUT HERE I
HAVE TO PICK UP ON.
YOU WERE WORKING AT THE
VANCOUVER PLAYHOUSE
AND YOU SAID THAT YOU ACTED
WITH ROBIN PHILLIPS.
CAN YOU GO AND
EXPLAIN THAT PLEASE?

Martin says ACTUALLY, IT'S
A TWO-PART STORY,
THAT I WAS A STAGE MANAGER
AT STRATFORD IN THE 1970s,
AND WE WERE DOING A
AND I HAD DONE, AS
A STAGE MANAGER,
YOU HAVE THE PROMPT BOOK,
AND IT WAS MY JOB
ON THAT SHOW TO WRITE DOWN ALL
OF THE DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY
FOR THE SHOW.
AND I'M SOMEWHAT LIGHT ON MY
FEET SO IT WAS NATURAL FOR ME.
AND THEN WE ENDED UP HAVING
ONE OF THOSE KIND OF DISASTROUS
SITUATIONS WHERE, ALTHOUGH
THERE WERE UNDERSTUDIES
AT STRATFORD, A WHOLE
BUNCH OF PEOPLE GOT SICK.
AND THE DOMINO EFFECT
KIND OF HAPPENED,
AND EVERYBODY KIND
OF LIKE MOVED UP.
BUT IT AFFECTED THE
DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY
IN THE BEGINNING OF
WINTER'S TALE.
SO, I VOLUNTEERED BECAUSE
I'D DONE THE CHOREOGRAPHY
TO FILL IN FOR ONE
OF THE ACTORS.
SO, I WAS COSTUMED AND
BEARDED AND WIGGED
AND EVERYTHING ELSE.
AND I WENT ON AND
DID THE CHOREOGRAPHY.
AND I KIND OF CAME
OFF AND FINISHED THAT,
AND I FELT A TAP
ON MY SHOULDER.
AND IT WAS ROBIN PHILLIPS,
AND ROBIN SAID TO ME,
LET'S GO AND HAVE SOME
FUN IN THE SECOND ACT.
SO, WE WENT OFF
INTO WARDROBE;
WE GOT INTO
BOHEMIAN COSTUMES.
AND AT THAT TIME, ROBIN
WAS ONLY DIRECTING - WELL,
STILL IS ONLY DIRECTING, BUT
AT STRATFORD HE DIDN'T ACT.
AND HE TAPPED ME AND
HE SAYS, COME ON,
WE'RE GOING TO GO ON.
SO, WE JUST DECIDED, RIGHT
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SHOW,
TO GO ON STAGE.
AND I REMEMBER HE SAYS,
WE'LL BOTH TAKE AN APPLE ON.
SO, WE BOTH ATE THIS APPLE,
SO WE'RE SITTING THERE
KIND OF LIKE STAGE RIGHT
ON THE FESTIVAL STAGE,
AND AT ONE POINT
ROBIN NUDGED ME.
WE'RE ON STAGE WITH
A SOLD-OUT AUDIENCE,
AND I'VE EATEN MY APPLE, AND
ROBIN PASSES ME HIS APPLE CORE.
SO, I LOOK AT HIS
APPLE CORE AND I GO,
WHAT IN THE HECK DOES HE
WANT ME TO DO WITH THAT?
SO, I DECIDED, IF ROBIN
PHILLIPS IS PASSING ME
HIS APPLE CORE, TO
HELL WITH HIM.
SO, I ATE HIS
APPLE CORE.
BUT AT THE VANCOUVER
PLAYHOUSE,
WE DID A PRODUCTION OF
THE
DRESSER,
WITH BILL HUTT,
AND ROBIN APPROACHED...

Richard says HE ACTED IN THIS.

Martin says AND ROBIN ACTED IN IT,
AND HE WAS PHENOMENAL.
HE WAS AN ACTOR BEFORE
HE BECAME A DIRECTOR
AND THEN AN
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR.

Richard says HE DID SOME GREAT
BRITISH FILMS;
WAS IT
GREAT
EXPECTATIONS,
HE WAS IN,
AND
DECLINE AND FALL
OF A BIRD WATCHER.

Martin says THAT'S RIGHT, AND HE
WAS A STUNNING ACTOR.
AND IT WAS FUNNY BECAUSE WE
HAD A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT
OF INTEREST IN THAT SHOW;
WE WERE IN VANCOUVER
AND ED MIRVISH CALLED
ME ONE DAY AND SAID,
I UNDERSTAND YOU'VE GOT THIS
SHOW WITH ROBIN PHILLIPS
AND BILL HUTT IN IT,
AND WE'D REALLY LIKE
TO HAVE THAT SHOW
AT THE ALEX.
SO, OF COURSE, THIS
WAS GREAT FOR ME;
I WAS 21 YEARS OLD, I
THINK, AT THE TIME -
OR 27 YEARS OLD
AT THE TIME.
SO, THIS WAS HITTING
THE BIG TIME FOR ME.
AND I WENT TO ROBIN -
WHO I HAD A REALLY
GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH -
AND BILL, AND EVERYBODY
WAS KIND OF INTERESTED
IN GOING TO THE ALEX.
AND THEN GRADUALLY, KIND
OF WITHIN THE COMPANY
IT UNRAVELLED.
AND ROBIN SAT ME DOWN
ONE DAY AND HE SAID,
IT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT
FOR ME TO DO IT HERE
AND DO IT FOR YOU AND
DO IT AT THE PLAYHOUSE,
BECAUSE I WAS OUT
OF THE CRITICAL EYE.
I HAD A GREAT TIME, I WANTED
TO DO IT TO SUPPORT BILL,
BUT I HAVE NO INTEREST
IN GOING INTO THE EYE
OF THE HURRICANE AND DOING
THIS SHOW IN TORONTO.
SO, I'M NOT
GOING TO DO IT.

Richard says AND YOU DIDN'T
PLAY THE PART THEN.

Martin says I DIDN'T PLAY THE PART.

Richard says AFTER YOUR YEARS AT THE
VANCOUVER PLAYHOUSE
AS GENERAL MANGER, I ALWAYS
THINK OF THE STEPHEN
SONDHEIM SONG IN
COMPANY,
WHERE HE WAKES UP NEXT
TO AN AIRLINE STEWARDESS AND
says, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
AND SHE SAYS, BARCELONA.
BECAUSE YOU TOOK OFF AND
HEADED OFF TO SPAIN.
WHAT MADE YOU
LEAVE THE THEATRE?
YOU ALLUDED TO THAT,
AND WHAT DROVE YOU
TO SPAIN FOR A WHILE?

Martin says I THINK I'D BEEN IN THE
THEATRE ALL MY LIFE.
I'D GONE THROUGH A
SUCCESSION OF FOUR
OR FIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTORS
AT THE PLAYHOUSE.
I WAS PRETTY BURNED OUT.
AND THERE WERE A WHOLE GROUP
OF FRIENDS OF MINE
FROM VANCOUVER WHO HAD BEEN
HEAVILY INVOLVED IN EXPO '86,
WHICH WAS IN VANCOUVER.
AND THEY HAD A GREAT TIME;
THEY ALL PACKED UP
AFTER VANCOUVER AND WENT
TO BRISBANE AND DID
THE '88 WORLD'S
FAIR THERE.
AND THEN THE '92 WORLD'S
FAIR IN SEVILLE WAS THE LAST
BIG CAPITAL “A” EXPOSITION
OF THE CENTURY.
AND THERE WAS A TREMENDOUS
AMOUNT OF PRESSURE TO BRING
AS MANY GOOD PEOPLE AS THEY
COULD FIND OVER TO SEVILLE.
AND SO, ANYWAY, THEY JUST
KEPT AT ME AND KEPT AT ME
AND KEPT AT ME AND DANGLED
A GOOD AMOUNT OF MONEY
IN FRONT OF ME, AND IT
WAS AN ADVENTURE.
AND MY YOUNGEST SON AT THAT
TIME WAS NOT QUITE TWO,
MY WIFE WAS SEVEN MONTHS
PREGNANT WITH MY DAUGHTER.
AMELIA'S A GREAT ADVENTURER,
AND SO WE SOLD EVERYTHING
WE OWNED EXCEPT OUR HOUSE,
WHICH WAS SMART AT THE TIME,
MOVED TO SPAIN,
GOT A HOUSE.
WE HAD OUR DAUGHTER SEVEN
WEEKS AFTER WE GOT THERE
IN THE SPANISH
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
BUT A GREAT STORY
THAT WE WERE IN,
AND I HAD PUT MYSELF
INTO SPANISH IMMERSION
BEFORE I WENT WITH A
TEACHER FROM PANAMA.
I GOT OFF THE PLANE
IN SEVILLE, SPAIN,
STARTED SPEAKING SPANISH,
AND NO ONE COULD UNDERSTAND
A THING THAT I SAID.
BECAUSE MY ACCENT
WAS TOO PRONOUNCED,
THEY COULDN'T UNDERSTAND
A WORD THAT I SAID.
SO, ANYWAY, WE'RE AT THE
HOSPITAL AND WE'RE HAVING
OUR BABY, AND MY WIFE'S
HAVING THE BABY,
AND I'M ALL PREPARED TO
DO WHAT WE DO IN CANADA.
OKAY, I'LL SCRUB UP,
I'M GOING TO GO IN,
I'M GOING TO BE THERE
IN THE DELIVERY ROOM.
AND THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY
HORRIFIED: ABSOLUTELY NOT,
YOU MAY NOT GO IN
THERE WHATSOEVER.
YOUR JOB'S TO GO OUT IN
THE WAITING ROOM AND SMOKE
CIGARETTES OR CIGARS
AND JUST WAIT
FOR THE BLESSED
EVENT TO TAKE PLACE.
ANYWAY, THEY
WOULDN'T LET ME IN,
SO I WAS OUT THERE WITH MY
FRIEND FROM THE OFFICE,
WHO WAS SPANISH AND
SPOKE ENGLISH -
KIND OF HELPING
ME OUT IN THIS.
AND AT ONE POINT, THE SUITE
TO THE SURGERY SWINGS OPEN,
AND OUT RUNS THIS NURSE.
AND THEY START TALKING; SHE
STARTS TALKING TO ME ABOUT:
WHERE ARE THE CLOTHES?
DONDE ESTAN LAS ROPAS,
WHERE ARE THE CLOTHES,
WHERE ARE THE CLOTHES?
I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHAT
THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT.
WELL, THE BABY'S CLOTHES,
THEY'RE BACK AT THE HOUSE.
AND PATRICIA, MY FRIEND,
says TO ME, NO, NO, NO,
YOU'RE SUCH AN IDIOT.
THEY'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT
WHERE THE BABY'S CLOTHES ARE;
WE WANT THE BABY'S CLOTHES.
ANYWAY, SO THEY JUST
TUNED ME RIGHT OUT,
STARTED TALKING
AMONGST THEMSELVES.
PATRICIA RUSHED OUT
OF THE HOSPITAL,
WENT BACK TO HER HOUSE, FOUND
THIS BOX OF BABY CLOTHES
FROM HER CHILD, RUSHED
BACK TO THE HOSPITAL,
GAVE THEM TO THE NURSE.
THE NURSE RUSHES BACK
INTO THE DELIVERY SUITE,
AND THEN ABOUT
10 MINUTES LATER,
OUT COMES MY DAUGHTER,
DRESSED FROM HEAD TO FOOT
IN SATIN AND EVERYTHING KIND OF
FRILLY, SOCKS, LITTLE SHOES.
BECAUSE THE TRADITION IN
THAT COUNTRY IS THAT AS LONG
AS THE BABY IS
HEALTHY, THAT THE BABY,
THE CHILD IS PRESENTED TO
YOU AS KIND OF FAIT ACCOMPLI.
AND OF COURSE, THE BABY
HAS TO BE COMPLETELY -
IT WAS JUST
ABSOLUTELY BIZARRE.

Richard says SO, IT'S A FULL
DRESS REHEARSAL -

Martin says A FULL DRESS REHEARSAL,
THAT'S RIGHT, WITH THE BABY.

Richard says WHEN YOU'RE SITTING
THERE IN SPAIN,
DID YOU MISS THEATRE?
DID YOU MISS CANADA?
DID YOU MISS
BOTH OF THEM?

Martin says I DIDN'T MISS THEATRE
FOR THE FIRST TWO YEARS.
BY THE TIME I GOT
TO THE THIRD YEAR,
I REALLY MISSED THE
THEATRE AND REALIZED
THAT I THINK I'D
MADE A MISTAKE.
AND THERE WERE ASPECTS
OF CANADA THAT I MISSED,
RICHARD, BUT I WOULD
SAY THAT BY AND LARGE,
I LOVED THAT
SPANISH EXPERIENCE.
AND I HAD A WONDERFUL
CONVERSATION ONE NIGHT,
TALKING ABOUT CULTURE,
TALKING ABOUT THE DIFFERENCES
BETWEEN CANADIAN CULTURE
AND SPANISH CULTURE.
AND THEY TALKED ABOUT THEIR
HISTORY AND EVERYTHING
FROM THE BULL FIGHTS TO
THE FIESTA IN SEVILLE.
AND SEVILLE IS WHERE
WE, AS CANADIANS,
THINK OF AS THE
QUINTESSENTIAL SPANIARDS -
BEAUTIFUL WOMEN,
BEAUTIFUL MEN,
MAGNIFICENT
HORSES, DARK.
IT WAS THE BEST
PLACE TO BE.
BUT THEY WENT ON FOR HOURS
ABOUT THEIR CULTURE,
WHICH, OF COURSE, WAS
CENTURIES OLD, AND MOORISH
AND ROMANS AND
EVERYTHING ELSE.
AND THEY SAID, NOW TELL ME
ABOUT CANADIAN CULTURE.
AND IT'S AMAZING WHEN YOU'RE
AWAY AND LOOKING BACK
IN A SOMEWHAT REFLECTIVE MOOD,
TRYING TO TALK ABOUT
WHAT YOU DEFINE AS
CANADIAN CULTURE.
AND IT WAS REALLY HARD,
AND AT THE END OF IT,
MY SPANISH FRIEND
SAID TO ME,
WHEN WE PRESS YOU ON THIS,
YOU KNOW WHAT YOU TALK ABOUT?
YOU TALK ABOUT
TREES, MOUNTAINS,
SOME OTHER COUNTRIES'
THEATRE - OBVIOUSLY,
I WAS TALKING ABOUT THEATRE...
AND FIRST NATION PEOPLES.
I TALKED A LOT ABOUT
THE HAIDA BECAUSE
I LIVED IN VANCOUVER
FOR NINE YEARS.
BUT IT WAS A
FASCINATING EXPERIENCE,
JUST TO BE ABLE AND TRY AND
SIT THERE AND TRYING
TO DESCRIBE WHAT IS
CANADIAN CULTURE.

Richard says NOW THAT YOU'RE BACK AND
YOU ARE AT THIS THEATRE,
AND AFTER A FEW YEARS,
YOU WOUND UP FROM BEING
GENERAL MANAGER OF
CANADIAN STAGE TO RUNNING
THE WHOLE ORGANIZATION.
YOU DO HAVE, IT SEEMS,
AN INCREASED REVITALIZED
COMMITMENT TO FOSTERING
CANADIAN TALENT:
THE DIRECTORS, THE
ACTORS, GIVING ACTORS
A BREAK TO DIRECT,
DOING ALL THOSE THINGS.
AND WORKING WITH A
LOT OF NEW WRITERS
AND GETTING NEW
PLAYS OUT THERE.
ARE YOU SUBCONSCIOUSLY
REACTING AGAINST THAT
EXPERIENCE IN SPAIN,
WHEN YOU FOUND
YOU COULDN'T DEFINE
CANADIAN CULTURE?

Martin says POSSIBLY.
I THINK INVARIABLY WHERE I'M
AT RIGHT NOW IS THAT I THINK
I'M FINDING WITHIN MYSELF
AN INCREASED NATIONALISM,
THAT I THINK THAT
FOR TOO LONG,
WE'VE KIND OF BEEN THE
SLAVES OF THE CANADA COUNCIL,
AS OPPOSED TO BEING
NECESSARILY PARTNERS WITH THEM.
THAT WE ALL SAT THERE FOR
ALL THOSE MANY YEARS,
SAYING, LET'S PUT
A SEASON TOGETHER.
OKAY, WE'RE GOING TO
DO FIVE OR SIX PLAYS.
SO, WE'LL DO A SHAW,
WE'LL DO A SHAKESPEARE,
WE'LL DO A COWARD,
WE'LL DO AN IBSEN,
WE'LL DO WHAT'S KIND
OF HOT SOMEWHERE.
AND, OH, YES, I GUESS WE'D
BETTER DO A CANADIAN PLAY.
AND I THINK IT'S WRONG, AND
I THINK THAT I'VE HAD A HUGE
ADVANTAGE OVER THE
LAST YEAR-AND-A-HALF;
MY TRAVELS KIND
OF BALLOONED.
SO, I'M GETTING TO SEE A TON
OF THEATRE AROUND THE WORLD.
BUT I KEEP GETTING DRAWN
BACK TO WRITERS LIKE GEORGE
WALKER AND MORRIS PANYCH
AND JASON SHERMAN
AND JUDITH THOMPSON.
I THINK THAT WE HAVE A HUGE
LEVEL OF TALENT - OF WRITING
TALENT - IN THIS COUNTRY THAT
WE'RE SIMPLY NOT EXPLOITING.
SO, ONE OF THE THINGS I
REALLY WANT TO TRY AND DO
IS TO BE ABLE TO SAY, WE
HAVE THE WRITING TALENT,
THE DIRECTING TALENT,
THE ACTING TALENT,
THE DESIGNING TALENT
TO STAND TOE-TO-TOE
WITH ANYBODY IN
THE WORLD.
AND THE ONLY REASON THAT
WE'RE NOT DOING IT IS
BECAUSE WE'RE CANADIANS.
SO, WE WAIT FOR SOMETHING
TO HAPPEN TO US,
AND I WANT MY ORGANIZATION
NOW TO BE ONE OF THOSE
COMPANIES THAT MAKES
SOMETHING HAPPEN.

Richard says DO YOU HAVE A
SPECIFIC DREAM?
IF GOD OR THE PERSON WITH
THE MAGIC LAMP OR WHOEVER
CAME ALONG AND SAID, MARTY,
I WILL LET ONE THING HAPPEN
AT CANADIAN STAGE...
ONE THING.
WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Martin says I THINK IT WOULD BE HAVING
A SEASON OF NINE PLAYS
IN OUR FOUR PRODUCTION VENUES,
ALL OF WHICH ARE DYNAMICALLY
SUCCESSFUL ARTISTICALLY
AND DYNAMICALLY SUCCESSFUL
FINANCIALLY, ALL OF WHICH
HAVE BEEN COMMISSIONED AND
PREMIERED BY CANADIAN STAGE.

Richard says AND DO YOU HAVE A DESIRE
THEN TO TAKE THOSE PLAYS
AROUND CANADA, OR TO
NEW YORK OR LONDON?

Martin says I'M NO LONGER A HUGE FAN
OF THE CO-PRODUCTIONS,
AND THIS IS ODD BECAUSE I
WAS KIND OF IN A POSITION TO
START THEM BACK IN
1981 AT THE PLAYHOUSE.
BUT I THINK THAT ALL THE
CO-PRODUCTIONS HAVE DONE
IS ELIMINATED ANYBODY TO
MAKE A CAREER AS A FREELANCE
DIRECTOR IN THIS COUNTRY.

Richard says IT'S KIND OF WORSE THAN
AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE;
IT'S KIND OF LIKE AN
ARRANGED POLYGAMY.

Martin says YEAH, NO, ABSOLUTELY.
AND I WOULD MUCH RATHER SEE
US GET INTO A SYSTEM WHEREBY...
LIKE WHAT I'VE DONE WITH
THE OVERCOAT
IS TRY
AND SAY, HERE'S AN
EXTRAORDINARY PIECE OF ART;
HERE'S AN EXTRAORDINARY
PRODUCTION.
LET'S WORK TOGETHER TO TAKE
THAT ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
WE'RE DOING IT THIS NEXT
COMING SEASON WITH
THE CENTAUR WITH
FOR THE
PLEASURE OF SEEING HER AGAIN.
NOW, I WILL GET CRITICIZED
FOR THAT BY SAYING,
FOR THE PLEASURE
IS A GREAT
PLAY AND WE SHOULD
ALL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY
TO BE ABLE TO DO IT.
ON THE OTHER HAND, I THINK
THAT I'D RATHER BE DOING THAT,
TAKING SHOWS OUT
AND BRINGING SHOWS IN,
AS OPPOSED TO GOING
THROUGH THE MADNESS
OF THESE CO-PRODUCTIONS.
AND WITH THE WORK THAT
WE'RE DOING WITH COMPANIES
IN NEW YORK, BOTH IN
THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT AND
FOR-PROFIT SECTORS, AS WELL
AS IN ENGLAND - FOR-PROFIT
AND NOT-FOR-PROFIT -
I WANT CANADIAN STAGE
TO GET OUT THERE.
I WANT OUR PRODUCTIONS
TO BE RUNNING,
EITHER AT NOT-FOR-PROFIT
THEATRES AROUND THE WORLD
OR COMMERCIAL PRODUCTIONS.
SO, I WANT US TO BECOME AS
MUCH AN EXPORTER OF CANADIAN
WORK AND CANADIAN TALENT
AS WE ARE CURRENTLY
AN IMPORTER OF
FOREIGN WORK.

Richard says IT SOUNDS LIKE THE KID WHO
WAS 16 AND TRYING TO GET
PEOPLE TO COME TO THE THEATRE
IS DOING THE SAME THING.

Martin says YEAH, I DON'T THINK IT EVER CHANGES.

Richard says I WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK.

Martin says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, RICHARD.

Richard says THANKS, MARTY.

He faces the screen and concludes
FOR
DIALOGUE, I'M
RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
GOODBYE FOR NOW.

Music plays as the end slate reads “Special thanks to Senator Restaurant. Dialogue.”

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1999, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Martin Bragg