Imagine a modern television studio with our host Johnny MacDonald and his guest comfortably seated across from each other with a medium size coffee-table between them (if the spelling of Johnny MacDonald reminds you of a certain John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister, it is intentional).
The public affairs program hosted by Johnny MacDonald is called One-On-One With Johnny MacDonald. Our host begins every interview with a quote or by reading a viewer’s e-mail. The significance of his opening remarks will be revealed during the course of the interviews.
Canada - The Fractured Nation Interviews is written in the form of a play (each interview could be considered an act in a play, a very long play).
While a stage production of The Interviews could easily and inexpensively be mounted, because of the nature of the material – especially the highly charged discussion about the role of politics and religion in bringing about The Fracture and in post-Canadian history – a public production is not recommended.
Also, if the interviews were conducted in “real time” they would last between five and six hours therefore a full theatrical production would, by necessity, require scheduling over two or more days. A television production would be more appropriate.
In choosing to write the interviews in a “play” format, like the popular play Copenhagen by Michael Frayn, I have chosen to break with Dramatic Play Services and Playwrights Canada and the so-called Standard American conventions and have not capitalized the NAMES of characters so that the reader is not distracted by excessive capitalization. I have capitalized only the first letter of the character’s Name. The names of the characters still appear in bold.
In presenting The Interviews in a play like format, you might expect some stage direction (those instructions to the actors contained within brackets that tell them where to sit, stand, how to react …).
You won’t find much stage direction here, not only because all the action takes place in a television studio and is more cerebral than physical but also because it would interfere with the flow of the dialogue. The inter-action between the characters, the emotions felt at the time can easily be inferred or imagined from their conversation.