What is it about a wedding that makes such great fodder for comedy? For Vancouver playwright Aaron Bushkowsky it stems from the strange affect they can have on the otherwise sane person. That, of course, and firsthand experience.
“Well, I’ve been married three times, so there’s that,” laughs Bushkowsky as to the inspiration for his new play Dressing for a Wedding. “Weddings are always these heightened and crazy times where someone feels that they are in charge, and things go haywire from there.”
In Dressing for a Wedding things go off the rails as the mother-of-the-bride desperately attempts to run her daughter’s wedding rehearsal, while struggling to keep dark family secrets from being exposed.
Describing to it as a black comedy, Dressing for a Wedding is the eighth or ninth play (he lost exact count) that Bushkowsky has written for Vancouver’s Solo Collective.
“I haven’t done a show with them for for three years now, and I thought this was such a really good idea because it is a bit of hybrid with its mix of black comedy and music,” he says. “Plus it was an opportunity to work with this small cast of four, and with Sarah [director Sarah Rogers], who I haven’t worked with before.”
No ordinary cast though, Bushkowsky wrote the play specifically for the quartet of actors that appear in the show: Josh Drebit, Gary Jones, Gili Roskies, and Deborah Williams. While he hasn’t worked with Jones before, both Drebit and Roskies are former students of his, and Williams appeared in After Jerusalem, a play he wrote for Solo Collective a few years back.
Dressing for a Wedding not only means a return to Solo Collective, it also brings him back to his first love, writing for the stage.
“My biggest satisfaction is in theatre,” he says. “It is the most fun because you get to play, and it has the highest risk. With film, other people are editing what you’ve written, and once it is cut it is a done deal. And novel and poetry writing are lonely and solitude activities.”
In addition to his role as the playwright, Bushkowsky also finds himself as one of the producers for his own play, which means spending time in rehearsals. A process most playwrights usually don’t participate in, Bushkowsky says it has nothing to do with a desire to stay in control of his words.
“I’m not a picky writer; I think of myself as more of a collaborative writer,” he says. “Besides, if someone comes up with a funnier way to say something I’m all for it because it’s still my name on the script.”
Dressing for a Wedding plays at Performance Works on Granville Island from November 13-29. Visit https://solocollective.ca for tickets and information.