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MEET THE PLAYWRIGHTS | Michele Riml & Michael St. John Smith

During this pause in programming due to COVID-19, we're taking this opportunity to introduce you to the fabulous writers currently developing works for young audiences with us.

Today's artists: Michele Riml & Michael St. John Smith!

This year, Michele and Michael are working with us on a project unlike anything we've ever undertaken at Green Thumb!

Green Thumb Theatre is partnering with BC Library Association and BC Summer Reading Club to create a NEW play for young audiences that incorporates this year's BCSRC theme: MYSTERY.

Young people throughout BC will have the opportunity to read this new play and decide how they would finish the story to crack the case! They will also have the opportunity to submit their play endings, and a few entries will be selected and performed by professional actors in a digital live-reading event this August!

Keep an eye on our website and bcsrc.ca for more details this June!

Michael St. John Smith took the time to answer a few questions as part of our Meet the Playwrights series:

What are you currently curious about and/or interested in exploring in your work?

Uncovering the humanity that binds us. Making a strong connection with a particular audience and telling the truth as I know it. In the hope that they can identify something about themselves that we share.

Has the pandemic changed your approach to writing/creativity? If so how?

I feel more relaxed. I feel the pandemic has exposed what’s most important to me. I feel I know myself better, and as a writer that gives me more confidence in expressing my ideas.

What's your favourite part of the writing process?

When unexpected ideas occur during the act of writing that deepen the story or its characters. When an expression or phrase occurs unbidden that feels absolutely natural and right.

Michele Riml

Michele Riml is a playwright from Vancouver, British Columbia. Michele began writing at 17, when her first play Souvenirs (short version) won The BC Young Playwrights Search.

Michele is an advocate of theatre for young people and has written five plays for Green Thumb Theatre including, The Skinny Lie, RAGE (winner 2005 Sydney Risk Award), The Invisible Girl, Souvenirs and Tree Boy, published in 2017 by National Geographic. Her plays for YPT have been widely produced and translated.

Some of her other plays include Under the Influence, Poster Boys, On the Edge, The Amaryllis, and Miss Teen. Sexy Laundry and Henry and Alice: Into the Wild have become international hits with ongoing productions in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Her newest play, also co-written with Michael St. John Smith, The Cull, will premiere at The Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver when Covid-19 ENDS! Since Covid-19 began Michele has not done a lot of writing, but she has learned to play chess; organized her laundry room and every drawer in the house; and mastered the NYT’s recipe for The BEST Macaroni and Cheese. She is thrilled to be working with Green Thumb and Michael on this new project/adventure MYSTERY PLAY.

Michael St. John Smith

Michael St. John Smith is a screenwriter, film actor and former advertising creative director. He’s written several plays; most recently, The Cull with Michele Riml. The play, originally scheduled to open on the Granville Stage in September 2020, was postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

The “Island Ghost”* is his second collaboration with Michele, a stellar partner in every way. He’s also delighted to be working with Patrick, Rachel and Green Thumb Theatre for the very first time, and in an entirely new Zoom format. Writing the play has proven to be a powerful antidote to the moody blues of Covid-19 as well as a refreshing distraction from these troubling times.

Michael is also an associate at Mcilroy & Associates where he facilitates The Ring Screenwriting Workshop. He graduated from Harvard University with honors in English Literature.

*(working title)

This concludes our series highlighting artists currently working on plays for new audiences with us (for now!). If you'd like to learn more about the artists currently developing projects with us click here.

Are you a writer interested in creating work for young audiences? We'd love to hear from you! We accept script submissions year-round and have just announced a playwright development program!

Posted on

April 7, 2021

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