Thursday, February 28, 2013

Us & Everything We Own: From the Playwright

Writing Us & Everything We Own has been a pretty challenging process. I knew the issues I wanted to address and also that I wanted to explore them through a young couple whose relationship was on the rocks... but I had no clue how to do that. I was inspired by some emotionally raw points in my life that, oddly enough, had a lot in common with each other: a failed relationship and my recent move from Vancouver to Toronto. Both involved insurmountable frustration with the world as I wanted it to be, and the way the world really is. 

Charlie, the main character, embodies this kind of righteous anger in his quest to start a business and build something on his own terms. However, like many young men today, he's got more ambition than talent so his chances for success are limited. Rachel, his girlfriend, experiences a similar challenge in her hunger for home ownership. Like Charlie, she's determined to be independent, but she's confronted with a housing market – not unlike Vancouver's – that prohibits young people from asserting that independence. The result, for both characters, is a kind of developmental limbo in life and neither one can stand it anymore. 

Even though I've crossed over the dreaded “30-year-old” mark, I still can't accept the limits imposed on young people by an older generation that cynically protects the status quo. I'm attracted to imperfect characters who run up against such cold doses of reality, and I'm inspired by those young people who don't blink when confronted with all-consuming failure. 

But heavy issues aside, I'm definitely pleased with how Us & Everything We Own hits the same balance between comedy and drama that we achieved with Prodigals. We're working hard to ensure this play is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. I'm looking forward to the premiere in April! 

- Sean Minogue, playwright 

Sean Minogue is a book geek who trained as a screenwriter for a career in theatre. A former bill collector, copywriter, treeplanter, and journalist, he wrote for YTV/Disney's "Kid vs Kat" animated series and was a finalist for The Malahat Review's Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize as well as the Austin Film Festival's screenplay competition. Us & Everything We Own is his second play.

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