10 questions: Daniel MacIvor

1) What the fuck is going on?
I’m floating in that odd place in finishing a draft of a new play where one is at once giddily joyous and bone-crunchingly despondent. In other words, same old same old.

2) How has your creative process changed since you graduated from theatre school in 1986?
It’s easier and harder. That is to say, there are fewer questions but more answers. That is to say, as one ages one’s concerns narrow but the possibilities become endless. That is to say, I know what I want but I’m not sure what everybody else wants.

3) How does Halifax compare to Toronto, from a theatrical standpoint?
Halifax is more like Victoria. There are not a lot of independent theatre companies, and certainly none with a home. And there are maybe one or two experimental companies. The good thing is that both theatre artists and audiences are hungry for interesting work so there is much room for development.

4) Do you see any contradiction between your “nothing is enough” minimalist aesthetic and the richness of the characters you create to inhabit that “blank” space?
It’s like life. We’re all just humans: skin, organs, eyeballs, bones and so on but within each human is an unfathomably rich universe of unknowable mystery.

5) Do you have any unifying theories about theatre and its relationship to community?
We need it to see ourselves. There should be a theatre in every neighbourhood. Like 7-Elevens.

6) What do you see as Daniel Brooks’ greatest strengths as a theatre director?
Brilliance. And apart from that a very healthy combination of self-doubt and ego.

7) How do you feel about your recent trip to Tokyo?
I love that city. I feel I could live there. Chaos and Order living together functionally. I also liked the fact that, as a non-Christian, I wasn’t constantly having to deal with Christian iconography. All these towering steeples and American news networks can get to one.

All photos by Guntar Kravis

8) Have you ever crossed a line during a performance that you’d like never to cross again?
Being in a one man show and getting angry at the audience is never a good idea. And I’m always wrong. I think they’re bored but they’re listening. And once when doing Here Lies Henry in Vancouver at the Cultch, I came off the stage to get in the face of an older gent who had fallen asleep. When he woke up and saw me nose-to-nose he nearly had a heart attack. That would have probably stopped the show.

9) Are there any new stories being told?
I guess I’d have to say no, but the soul each teller brings to each story is unique.

10) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger?
It is impossible to please people who don’t know what they want. And on a superficial note, I wish I knew how good I looked at 25 when I was 25.

2 thoughts on “10 questions: Daniel MacIvor

  1. “We need it to see ourselves. There should be a theatre in every neighbourhood. Like 7-Elevens.”

    What a wonderfully succinct way of framing the central-versus-local theatre discussion. There’s a 7/11 at the corner of my street. Let’s turn it into a theatre.

  2. Maybe there can be such a thing as a 7-11 and a theatre. Everyone can drink slurpees.

    When that end of the slurpee slurping sound is made, that’sthe end of the show.


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