“I enjoy writing humour and I like the challenge. At the same time, if the story doesn’t have heart, if nothing serious is going on underneath the humour….what’s the point really? I want my plays to address some aspect of the human struggle that hopefully people can relate to. That’s what I want to see when I go to a play so naturally I aspire to that in my writing.”
Meredith Taylor-Parry is a Calgary based actor and playwright whose fun and insightful comedy Book Club was a runaway hit for Lunchbox Theatre back in 2016. At that time I did a two part interview with Meredith. In Part One we talked about Meredith’s play Survival Skills which won the New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest in 2013 and was produced Off Off Broadway by the 13 Street Repertory Company. In Part Two we talked about Meredith’s play Book Club which was a funny and insightful look at motherhood and the joys and disappointments of life. Now in this third interview, Meredith and I talk about her very funny and moving sequel to Book Club – Book Club II: The Next Chapter, which premieres at Lunchbox Theatre and runs from September 18th to October 7th.
The first Book Club was a big hit for Lunchbox Theatre and ended up having an extended and sold out run. Audiences loved it! Why do you think the play resonated so well with audiences? And did you notice any difference in how men and women reacted to the play?
I knew I had a dream team as far as our director, actors, production and design team, but I never once imagined it would do so well! I can’t even tell you how much fun it was sitting in the audience listening to the laughs and waiting for the responses to my favourite moments. That was so exciting for me and unexpected.
I really think the reason the play resonated so well with people was because of the chemistry we had together as a group of artists. Everyone contributed so much to that script in the Stage One workshop process. There wasn’t one person in that room who didn’t add value to the script because everyone was brave enough to share themselves with me. I think that process and the generosity of the artists I was working with allowed me to find authenticity in the script along with the humour.
And, I think, the audiences liked it because they could relate to human beings, regardless of gender. One of the best comments I got was from a man who said, “good comedy is good comedy.”