'The Infinity Plays' - the stuff dreams are made of

Heidi Wicks
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Theatre

Filmmaker Justin Simms ("Down to the Dirt," "Heartless Disappearance into Labrador Seas)" has always wanted to try his hand at playwriting. In 2009 he won an Arts and Letters Award on his very first try for a piece called "The Infinity Plays," which follows a couple who are communicating through their dreams.

"It follows a young relationship, and one night while they're asleep they enter each other's dreams. So a lot of the insecurities that exist in their actual relationship also come out in their dreams. I was really interested in trying to express how we communicate to ourselves when we're dreaming. There's always a kernel of truth in our dreams, and it's kind of an expression of our subconscious, he says.

The cast of "The Infinity Plays" act out a scene from the play. From left are: Darryl Hopkins, Willow Kean and Sean Panting. Submitted photo

Filmmaker Justin Simms ("Down to the Dirt," "Heartless Disappearance into Labrador Seas)" has always wanted to try his hand at playwriting. In 2009 he won an Arts and Letters Award on his very first try for a piece called "The Infinity Plays," which follows a couple who are communicating through their dreams.

"It follows a young relationship, and one night while they're asleep they enter each other's dreams. So a lot of the insecurities that exist in their actual relationship also come out in their dreams. I was really interested in trying to express how we communicate to ourselves when we're dreaming. There's always a kernel of truth in our dreams, and it's kind of an expression of our subconscious, he says.

Wanted to write something funny

"At the same time I wanted to write something funny, so two people having a shared dream is the kind of scenario where you can tell the truth about certain things, but also be funny and real. Because it's a dream you can tell yourselves things you couldn't in your waking state. It's pretty fried, man," he laughs.

Simms says there are differences and similarities between writing for the stage and writing for film.

"It's hard to put your finger on it, because I think they have more in common than not," he says. "But in a stage play, I think you have the freedom to think outside the box more. There's not the innate responsibility to follow the three-act structure that exists in the film world. Also, it was a really interesting experience to write something that I wouldn't be directing. I thought it would be a really interesting thing to watch someone else do it."

That someone else is veteran thespian Charlie Tomlinson, who encouraged Simms to turn his early writings into a play.

"I think Charlie is a genius and I've got a lot of respect for him. I showed him the first draft about six or seven months ago, and I wasn't even sure at that point if it was a play. His enthusiasm fed mine, so under his dramaturgy I worked really hard on it from that point on. There are some projects you have a complete vision for, but others that evolve over time and find themselves. This project was one of those," he says.

He emphasizes there's a lot in this production he's not responsible for.

"In terms of the work Charlie and the actors have done, I saw the run-through for the first time a few weeks ago - and this isn't to blow my own horn at all - I was just struck by how funny it is. So whenever anyone asks me what it's about, what's the point of it, it's just really funny.

"The cast is great."

Not planning film

If it's to become a film some day, that's not in Simms' plans so far.

"In film, there's a natural expectation that there's a clear protagonist, a clear act structure. I've worked in that kind of form all my career and will continue to do so. This is the kind of thing that's different than that. To turn it into a film you'd have to change it a bit, and that might be fine, but to tell you the truth I'm just thrilled that it's a play."

"The Infinity Plays" is part of the "Significant Other Series" - a central component of RCA Theatre, as it cultivates new productions in development. It runs from April 29-May 2 at the newly renovated LSPU Hall's Second Space, 8 p.m.with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday. Featuring Willow Kean, Sean Panting and Darryl Hopkins. Directed by Charlie Tomlinson. Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door prior to showtime.

Organizations: The Infinity, RCA Theatre

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments