Lighthouse has supported storytellers from across the country as part of the Playwright Development Program, each writer creating compelling, funny and heart warming plots and characters that our audiences fall in love with. Each writer welcomed to the program is an exciting new beginning. That excitement gets turned up a notch when the writers are also locals!
In the summer of 2019 Artistic Director Derek Ritschel was approached by Mark Williams, Jeannine Bouw and Chris Rait, three local friends who decided to put their ideas down on paper and create something new. Mark, originating from Newfoundland, is a published author and renowned limerickist, Jeannine is a dynamic educator and honey-voiced singer, and Chris is a singer songwriter and recording artist. With their combined love for storytelling and musical talents Derek was eager to read the script and asked Mark, Jeannine and Chris to come into the theatre to discuss next steps.
Their story, Tip Of The Iceberg takes place in a remote Newfoundland village, where two old salts head out to sea early one morning. These lifelong friends find themselves in a situation that turns their lives upside down. This magical setting with two old seafarers who share their story with humour and honesty is accompanied by original live music throughout.
From that initial meeting the pieces started to fall into place, a second draft was completed and a workshop was organized at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto with actors Sam Rosenthal, David Rosser, and Ralph Small. “The reading of the script with professional actors was both amazing and informative” shared Chris, “it was very surreal to hear the words on the pages come to life in a meaningful way”. The feedback from the workshop led to another draft. Further feedback and questions from Derek were shared over the last year for Mark, Jeannine and Chris to consider as the script was fine-tuned. “To have his expertise and optimism was a great motivator to make this creation all that it could be.” said Chris, “those edits were hard work and much different from the laugh-ins we had writing the play, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless”.
Now a full musical script is complete, waiting to make the seasoned wood stage at Lighthouse its home. Mark, Jeannine and Chris appreciate the guidance and support they received from Derek and Lighthouse on this new journey and assure us this is just the tip of the iceberg.