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The Chair Series comes to Squamish

Writer and director John McGie, describes the Between Shifts Theatre show as 'funky' and 'unique.'
Brandon Barrett 008
Brandon Barrett (who also works for The Squamish Chief's sister paper, Pique Newsmagazine) takes part in a previous performance of the series.

Between Shifts Theatre Society will soon be hosting a performance titled The Chair Series on Sept. 23 and 24.

The show is a series of monologues from eight different actors and actresses, who have passed on one or two words to the writer and director, John McGie. The performers have no idea what will come of the word or words they pass on to McGie.

“They can't tell me what they want their monologue to be about,” said McGie. “And, in many instances, the other performers have not heard the other actors' monologue. So they're hearing them for the first time themselves even though they're on stage together.”

“So it's kind of funky that way.”

McGie said the upcoming performance would have eight monologues, an intermission, and then the final eight monologues. Overall, he said the performance should last about 90 minutes.

He’s done this series many times, and about 50 actors and actresses have been involved over its lifespan. For this performance, the actors and actresses are from Squamish, Pemberton, Whistler and Vancouver.

“It usually takes me two to three hours to do a monologue,” he said. “Because of that ability, I’m able to crank out a lot of shows. I’ve written over 350 monologues.”

McGie shared some of the odd words he’s been given over his time writing and directing this show: dead spatula, aerobics, diva, exit, fireproof, hmmm (with all three ms), incredulous, frog and camcorder, among many others.

He said the monologues suit him well because of his short attention span.

“I’m looking at shiny objects as we speak,” he deadpanned.

The performance is titled The Chair Series because the performers can’t use any props except for a single chair on stage. McGie said without props, the performance is solely based on the writing and performance of the actors, which creates an intimate relationship with the audience.

“It is sitting around the campfire and doing your thing, you know? And that is theatre at its best,” he said.

The series will take place at the Eagle Eye Theatre on Sept. 23 and 24. The doors for the show will open at 7 p.m., and it will start at 7:30 p.m.

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