“Frankly as human beings we all have a tendency to be more wary and distrustful of anyone who is not like ourselves. Also there has recently been a lot of discussion about who has the right to tell other cultures’ stories and my play touches on that topic. As our society becomes more diverse it is important to talk about this and to understand how to respectfully approach the telling of stories about other cultures. I don’t think it is wrong to write stories or make movies about others but one should always think about how to do so in a respectful and mindful manner.”
Maria Crooks is an emerging Calgary playwright who began writing plays after retiring from a corporate job in the oil industry in 2011. She describes her most recent play, The Mary Mink Story, as a play about untrammeled ambition, ruthlessness and deceit and one man’s relentless efforts for the truth to be told.
Maria, what attracted you to playwriting as opposed to novels, short stories, poems or other forms of writing?
I’ve always had a passion for writing and in the past I’ve taken a number of writing courses including poetry and short story writing. I decided to try playwriting because it was a new kind of writing for me and because I don’t like doing research and I mistakenly thought that writing plays wouldn’t require doing much research. Despite discovering that I was wrong about the amount of work it takes to write a play, I was hooked when at the end of the first course, the instructor brought in two professional actors to read scenes from the plays we had written in class. It was so thrilling to have the characters I had created, in my head, come to life before me that I’ve been writing plays ever since. [Read more…]