What do you alarm those years afterwards you graduate, but afore you absolutely acquisition your way in life?
For one accumulation of arising Calgary theatre artists, they’re the Above Matt Mason years.
That’s the name of the adolescent theatre aggregate whose latest production, Control, opens Thursday at Motel in Epcor Centre.
Written by Calgary author Geoffrey Simon Brown, Control was aggressive by Brown’s own existential crisis afterward his graduation from Mount Royal University, in a aeon above-mentioned to his actuality accustomed into the National Theatre School in Montreal.
“I capital to alpha bearing my own work,” says Brown, “but I was array of abashed of accomplishing that and I was alive allotment time at this key shop.”
Turns out that gig at the key boutique lit up Browns’ acuteness in accession to advantageous a few bills.
Control tells the adventure of Rocky and Raine, a brace of adolescent women who assignment at a key shop, who cut keys to breach into people’s homes and drink.
“That’s article that afraid me back I aboriginal started alive in a key shop,” says Brown. “How little assurance measures there were in abode to stop that from happening.
“That’s array of area it started,” he says. “I thought, what’s the assurance analysis in abode to stop that array of a affair from happening? Once I got alive there, and accomplished there wasn’t one, I thought, able-bodied — this is a acceptable abstraction for a play.”
The comedy appearance a accumulating of adolescent actors, including Charlie Gould, Zoe Glassman and Lindsay Mullan, all adolescent arising actors alive through their Above Matt Mason years appropriate now (although Mullan has already attempt a Disney Channel TV pilot, so chastening are activity appealing well).
“One of the above capacity of the play,” says Brown, “is aloof this abhorrence of both advancing your dreams and additionally the abhorrence of not advancing their dreams.
“Some of the characters,” he says, “seem in a little bit of a limbo amid accomplishing what they appetite and not accomplishing what they want. They’re aloof confusing themselves in the meantime, which is about what I was accomplishing (when I wrote it).”
Where Control departs from the company’s accepted arrangement is the fourth character: Stephen Hair, whose Above Matt Mason years took abode in the 1970s.
Hair plays the role of a appearance who acclimated to common the key boutique of Brown’s day job, an earlier admirer who regaled him with circumlocutory yarns.
“I had originally anticipation of this allotment as younger,” he says, “but he (Hair) came up and asked if I had any genitalia that I had accounting for an earlier man.
“I thought, that would absolutely accomplish this appearance abundant better,” he says. “Once I started to anticipate about it with him (Hair) in mind, the comedy aloof array of took shape.”
Hair — the aboriginal able amateur to assignment with the aggregate — played an alive role appropriate from the get-go in allowance Brown and the aggregation appearance the script.
“He additionally helped me branch the play,” Brown says, “in my basement three years ago for chargeless — aloof to advice out a adolescent aggregation and he’s been annihilation but admiring to me and the absolute company.
“A lot of the artists (in the company) accept formed with him before,” he adds, “and he’s aloof been a amazing — well, abecedary — as able-bodied as friend.”
So what’s a Above Matt Mason, anyways?
Turns out it’s a toy that was referenced in the company’s aboriginal show, a binding assembly of Kenneth Lonergan’s This is Our Youth, says Brown — (who, at 24, accelerating this year from the National Theatre School and has already accounting 10 plays).
“We had started calling aggregate Above Matt Mason in that one period,” he says, “because we had been alive on that comedy for eight or nine months, and back it became time to aces an ad hoc name, for our Binding company, we aloof put Above Matt Mason.
“So back we’ve appear to anticipate of our company,” he says, “and anticipate of the productions (we’ve done), we started to absolutely attending at what that means.
“I assumption the affair that ashore out for us,” he says, “was that this toy was for kids but it’s from a altered era, so it’s from a bearing of bodies who are now adults — and the affectionate of theatre we’re absorbed in accomplishing is for bodies who are in this average abode amid boyhood and their backward teen, aboriginal ’20s, aboriginal ’30s.
“The name stuck,” he says, “and we’ve connected on with it.”
Major Matt Mason Theatre Aggregate presents Control
at Motel through June 21
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