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During this pause in our programming due to COVID-19, we'd like to introduce the fabulous writers who are currently developing new plays with us!

Today's featured writer: Scott Button!

Green Thumb audiences may know Scott from his performances in NIGHT LIGHT, TAGGED, and NEW CANADIAN KID. Scott is currently working on a new play for a secondary school aged audience.

Scott (he/his) is a creator working in theatre, film and television. His TV pilot script Night Passing was a semi-finalist in the Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship and the Diverse Voices Competition, it was also a "Second-Rounder" in the prestigious Austin Film Festival. Recently, his quarantine-themed film/theatre hybrid Desiree AMA was commissioned by Upintheair Theatre. Scott is the lead writer at the Research-Based Theatre Collaborative at the University of British Columbia. With the Collaborative, he is in post-production for Rock The Boat, a series of films that explore fraught student and faculty relationships. His plays Viva (Theatre BC Playwriting Award-Best One Act), The Hunger Room & Desire(e) have received local production, and Desire(e) has been published in an anthology of new work. He is an inaugural member of the Arts Club Theatre Company’s Emerging Playwrights Unit and a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award nominee. Scott is passionate about creating multi-faceted, queer lead characters. Upcoming: Night Passing Audio-Drama (Arts Club Theatre), streaming this Spring. These days, he is grateful to be spending the pandemic with his wonderful spouse, Chris. https://www.scottbutton.ca/

Besides writing equipment, what is your must-have item/snack/music during a writing session?

Scott: I need to be somewhere by an open window! I love writing somewhere with access to natural light and a breeze coming in – even if it’s rainy and cold. As far as music goes, there is usually an assortment of songs connected to any project I’m working on. With my play for Green Thumb, I am listening to a bunch of music that was popular when I was a teenager! It’s been funny and strange to re-connect to that time in my life.

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

Scott: I am interested in expanding the canon of queer leading characters in theatre and on screen. With the play I am working on for Green Thumb, specifically, I am eager to write LGBTQIA2S+ characters who are smart, funny and have narratives that aren’t centred in trauma.

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

Scott: Living in the context of a global pandemic has shifted my creativity in profound ways. I’m not sure how it couldn’t. The crisis has been a vital, and painful, reminder of what a privilege it is to create anything, ever. This became especially clear amid such loss last year – loss of life, of infrastructure, of sectoral health. To be a creative professional is to be vastly privileged, so we have an ethical responsibility to make work that is of service to the public.

This can take many forms – light entertainment serves an important purpose, too – though theatre work, in particular, has historically functioned to address immediate needs within individual communities. So as I approach new work, or reflect on past projects, I am striving to view it through a lens of service and need.

In addition to the Covid-19 health crisis, the cultural revolution of the summer of 2020 brought into startling focus the need for the arts to meaningfully respond to systemic racism. It is up to white artists, like myself, to keep honouring those calls to action, in 2021 and beyond.

What excites you about creating work for young audiences?

Scott: Going to the theatre can be very expensive, or have other restrictive barriers for all sorts of folks. I deeply value the work that Green Thumb Theatre does because they are increasing access for children and youth by doing outreach and programming plays that go directly to schools. Personally, I love creating work for young audiences because children and youth bring such a vibrant curiosity as audience members. Theatre-going adults (myself included) often don’t bring that level of engagement when we see plays. As I work on a show for youth, specifically, I am reminded by the level of cultural savvy that teenagers have. Contemporary teens are having such sophisticated conversations around complex issues, and because of that, the writing needs to be fresh and alive. This makes for a wonderful challenge as a playwright!

We will be highlighting each playwright we're currently working with throughout the month, but if you're eager to learn more now, click here.

Are you a playwright 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

March 17, 2021