Nasty Shadows Theatre Company share news on new work.
Fredericton’s Nasty Shadows Theatre Company has announced a new work in development. As stated in a release distributed earlier this month, A Story Jones is a new play inspired by the late Andrew Jones, a local theatre artist and former Nasty Shadows member.
The work is funded in part through a kind donation from Jones’ former colleges at Service New Brunswick.
“It was with extreme (albeit sorrowful) gratitude that we announced the following gift of funding for our current season, in memory of our friend and unseen Shadow, Andrew Jones, from his friends at work … this past winter and into the spring found us moving forward with the (continued) development of a new play both in the rehearsal room (with the actors) and alone at a desk (for the writer). We aim to share this WORK-IN-PROGRESS later this spring …” – Nasty Shadows Theatre Company
We caught up with Nasty Shadows’ artistic director and A Story Jones’ playwright Scott Shannon to learn a bit more about the project.
What can you tell us about this new play?
Scott Shannon: This new play began as a slightly different idea back in May 2013 when Andrew was sick in the hospital but the idea never went anywhere but my notebook. Fast-forward to December 2014 when, due to some actor unavailability, plans fell through for the Shadows to stage another new play I’d been working on so I grabbed Liz (Goodyear), Julie (MacDonald) and Michael (Holmes-Lauder) to work out this new idea of a play inspired by the note I’d made about Andrew back in 2013.
I began expanding upon my initial idea and worked from Christmas to March on the writing, and then we jumped into the rehearsal room a few weeks ago. This part of the process has pushed me forward with more writing. For instance, this current week I’ve canceled my rehearsals with the actors because I need to catch up on the writing as it evolves. I had a certain shift occurring in the text that I felt both good and not good about. In rehearsal, Michael made a suggestion of how to tie two particular moments together inside this shift, which resulted in a rather short scene expanding and becoming a larger portion of the play. This is what is wonderful about having these gracious actors devote their time to playing with these ideas. We’re really making something together.
What does this play mean to you as a playwright and a friend to Andrew?
It’s conflicting, I guess. It feels weird to share some of this with others, more so than just the general unease of sharing my writing because this particular project stems from something very personal. The play itself is fairly detached from Andrew in some ways because it’s not a play about him, but inspired by him. Andrew was a very dear friend and we all miss him, so this is something we can do to share in his energy and the spirit he brought to the rehearsal room, which was always my favourite place for our times together.
Do you have dates and a location yet?
There are no performance dates at this time, but we’d like to share the work this spring. I’m thinking we’ll post an open invitation for 20 – 30 folks to come and view the work-in-progress as it stands at that time. Then we’ll break for the summer and regroup in the fall to do some further work leading towards a more full performance.
I’d also just like to draw special attention to the generous gift Andrew’s friends and colleagues at Service New Brunswick donated. His peers got together last summer, after Andrew passed, got in touch with me after reading a post I put on our site about Andrew. We owe a huge thanks to those folks for their generosity.