My Nightmares Wear White at UNO Fest 2018. Interview with Grace Thompson.

My Nightmares Wear White at UNO Fest 2018. Interview with Grace Thompson.

Intrepid Theatre’s UNO Fest, now in its twenty-first year, runs May 9-19, 2018 in Victoria BC.  It features eighteen shows, including two as part of the new Family Fest Series, and a spotlight on women’s indigenous voices with a guest indigenous curator, Yolanda Bonnell.

I’ll be featuring interviews, previews and reviews during the festival. Follow for all my coverage.

Grace Thompson answered questions about her piece My Nightmares Wear White.

What sparked the creation of this show (can you speak to the creation process)? Is this your first one person show?

Almost ten years ago exactly in my grade 12 year I was hit with a rare autoimmune disease that would drastically change my young adult life. The next couple years would lead to some of the most hellish times in my life. The pain I experienced manifested itself into every part of my life, and who I was becoming. I felt trapped inside a living nightmare; my world was absurd, disturbing, and at times unbearable.  Throughout this time I had an ongoing feeling, a visceral need to tell this story, to speak about what was happening through what I loved most, theatre, and out came this play.

When did you debut the show (or is this its debut), and how has it changed since the debut?

In 2015 I had my first workshop performance of the piece at an emerging arts festival in Toronto called The Muddy Mary Project. Following the workshop performance the play got into the SummerWorks Performance Festival. For SummerWorks we got the incredible Karin Randoja to come on board as the director/dramaturge. Karin challenged me more than anyone ever had in both my acting and writing to elevate this play into what it is today. Aside from theatre festivals we have performed this play at two national medical conferences in both Calgary and Halifax.

What do you hope to inspire in your audience?

I hope to inspire each audience member that even in the darkest and most unbearable times in our lives there is beauty, and laughter. I want to give audiences something to hold onto in those dark moments. I hope this story can ignite empathy and a deeper understanding into what it is like for young people who are disabled or struggling with an illness whatever it may be.

Who will be interested as a potential audience member?  What would you say to entice someone to come?

The world that we created is as strange and twisted as it is familiar and relatable. This story is for anyone who has ever gone through something that felt bigger than what they could comprehend. I have faith that each person will leave this show thinking about pain and their lives in a way they hadn’t before. And I promise you will laugh.

Is there anything I haven’t asked you that it would be important to know?

What makes this piece a unique experience is that it is a solo show with another person. Throughout the piece there is a silent character, Katelin Richards who performs alongside me throughout the piece, she embodies characters, plays music, and moves around the set. This silent character is a representation of many different things and it is up to the audience to make that call.

This is a play about waiting rooms, needles, and walking in slanted lines. This is a play about waking up and never sleeping. This is a play about breathing slowly to stay alive. This is not a play about the beginning or the end. This is a play about the middle. A medical diary brought to life. Based on the writer’s real-life experiences with an illness that consumed her youth. This play will take the audience down the rabbit hole and into the world of dreams, memories, suffering, and absurdity.

“…a deeply personal and emotional show… a memorable performance from Grace Thompson really elevate this production to being something special. …My Nightmares Wear White will stick with me for a while.” – Mooney on Theatre

My Nightmares Wear White created and performed by Grace Thompson (Toronto)
UNO Fest 2018
Intrepid Theatre Club, #2-1609 Blanshard Street (at Fisgard)
May 13 at 7:30pm and May 14 at 6pm. May 13th is Pay What You Can
Tickets $18 through Ticket Rocket

Duration: 55 minutes
Rating: 14+, Coarse language, Adult themes
Genre: Dark Comedy

Director/Dramaturge: Karin Randoja
Co-Performer: Katelin Richards
Set Design: Lisa Van Oorschot
Costume Design: Rebecca McDermid

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