Thunderstick: PTE play stars Lorne Cardinal and Craig Lauzon
Posted by Kenneth T. Williams, Thunderstick Playwright | Wednesday March 30, 2011
Craig Lauzon & Lorne Cardinal (Liam Richards)
Thunderstick isn't the first play I ever wrote. It was like the sixth or seventh. I graduated from the University of Alberta with a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting. I wrote a lot of plays before, during and after that degree. None of which got produced.
I was at crisis point where law school was looking better and better. Most of my previous plays were dark and experimental, stuff that worked like crazy in university but were getting no interest in the real world that is Canadian theatre. Dark and experimental were not paying the bills. I needed something funny that could be performed by just two actors.
I've been asked over and over, what the heck is a thunderstick? Think back to those Hollywood cowboy and Indian movies. A brave would find a rifle, hold it up to the rest of the awestruck tribe, and grunt "mmm, thunderstick!" The tribe would hoot and holler, happy they have the dreaded weapon of the white man. We're getting even now! No more using sticks with pointy bits to defend ourselves.
What's that got to do with my play, Thunderstick? I dunno. Academics may claim that I'm making some point or other about stereotypes and expectations. Well, I am. I like to think so, anyway. But no, that's not why I chose Thunderstick as a title. And, honestly, the title just flew into my head when the characters of Isaac and Jacob Thunderchild made themselves known to me. Really? Yeah, really.
It was early 2000 when I finally finished the first draft and submitted it to Native Earth Performing Arts Weesageechak Festival - holleee, that's a mouthful - a festival that develops new plays. They teamed me up with an up and coming director: Lorne Cardinal.
Ken Williams Thunderstick Playwright
Ken Williams returns next week to tell you what happened next. And don't forget to look for Joff Schmidt's review on Friday!
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