When The Milton Players last spoke to Norm Foster in October 2013, the playwright was in the middle of prepping the world premiere of his then-newest project, A Snow White Christmas. The Players too, were equally busy at the time, gearing up for the production of Foster's show My Darling Judith. Quite happily, both parties found success that fall; "A Snow White Christmas was a hit," Foster reports, "We had a great cast who did a wonderful job." Meanwhile The Players landed the right mixture of comedy and drama in Judith, bringing in new audiences and kicking the season off on a strong note.
With Christmas completed, Foster's attention has turned to his newest shows in production, including The Gentleman Clothier at Lighthouse Festival Theatre in Port Dover and The Ladies Foursome at the Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg, which Foster bills as "a female version of The Foursome only with a completely different story." For The Milton Players, Foster's witty dialogue and clever story construction are once again at the forefront as the season closes with the popular Bedtime Stories, a narrative told over the course of six intertwining vignettes. In the following interview Foster discusses the development of Bedtime Stories, how his radio career helped him in the world of theatre, adapting his shows for television and growing new audiences.Milton Players: Bedtime Stories, from what I've seen on your website, gets performed an awful lot year-to-year.
The Milton Players are no strangers to the works of Norm Foster. With his relatable characters, dialogue, and stories that mix comedy and poignant drama, Foster's writing style has found success in Milton, across Canada, and around the world. It's this acclaim that has contributed to an average of one hundred and fifty productions of his shows a year, and earned him the title of "Canada's Most-Produced Playwright." A sampling of Norm Foster shows The Milton Players have performed over the years includes Sinners, Here on the Flight Path, Drinking Alone, and Self-Help. That's out of a body of work that includes over fifty plays, written across three decades of experience in Canadian theatre. It's also a body of work that continues to grow. Having moved back to Fredericton, New Brunswick in September of 2012 after living in Ontario for over a decade, Foster has been busy writing and also acting in several new productions. Recently, he's found himself back in Ontario over the past summer, touring his play On A First Name Basis as the character of David Kilbride. As Foster puts it, "Since I moved back last September, I've been on the road for about six months. So I've hardly had any time back [in Fredericton] at all."
Despite this busy schedule, Norm Foster was gracious enough to spare some time and chat with us regarding our upcoming productions of his shows, My Darling Judith and Bedtime Stories, as well as his career. What follows is part 1 of that conversation, covering My Darling Judith. Part 2, with Bedtime Stories, will be released alongside that show's opening in spring of 2014.Milton Players: You are a writer of comedies, but you do infuse them with drama. And it's not always the same degree of drama in every show. [For example] Self-Help is farcical, but then you take something like Melville Boys, and it's very dramatic. My Darling Judith falls in the middle. How much of that is pre-determined as you start the writing process?