University of Calgary

Renowned playwright to dissect Canadian theatre

By Janice Lee

One of Canada’s best known and controversial playwrights will speak at the University of Calgary as part of the Paget/Hoy speaker series.

Brad Fraser will examine the state of Canadian theatre today in what promises to be a witty, merciless commentary on Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Boris Roubikane Recital Hall in Craigie Hall.

The lecture, sponsored by the Faculty of Humanities and the Department of English, is free and open to the public.

“Brad Fraser’s plays participate in the tradition of gay theatrical activism in the age of AIDS,” explains Kirsten Pullen, associate professor in the Department of English. “His plays are insistently physical, using violence and nudity to underscore the violence that AIDS has wreaked on the gay community.”

Fraser, who was born in Edmonton, works in a variety of media, including film, television, talk show hosting and graphic art, as well as theatre. His plays are particularly relevant and accessible because he understands theatre as existing within a mass-media saturated landscape, says Pullen.

“Though his subject matter is often controversial, and his plays are often sexually explicit, his use of pop culture images makes his radical ideas more palatable.”
Fraser’s plays include Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love—which was made into a feature film directed by Denys Arcand—Poor Super Man and Martin Yesterday. The Toronto production of his play Wolfboy gave Keanu Reeves his first acting role.

Fraser is a five-time winner of the Alberta Culture playwriting competition and a two-time winner of the prestigious Chalmers Award. He has won the London Evening Standard award for most promising playwright, the L.A. critics’ award, the Dora Mavor Moore award, and London’s Time Out award for best new play.

His film and television work include Love and Human Remains, Leaving Metropolis (based on his play Poor Super Man), and three seasons as writer/producer for the Showtime series Queer as Folk. He is currently developing a number of television projects.

Since its inception in 1992, the Paget/Hoy speaker series has brought some impressive speakers to Calgary, including Rosemary Sullivan, Carol Shields, Jane Urquhart and J. Hillis Miller.
For more information, contact Janice Lee at 220-8177 or leej@ucalgary.ca.