During this time of social distancing and dark theatres, Vancouver Presents is checking in with members of our arts community to find out how they are staying creative and managing during the pandemic.
First up is award-winning Vancouver writer Dave Deveau who is isolating with his husband and their two-year-old.
1. How are you staying creative during the pandemic?
When you’re in lockdown with a two-year-old, you’re continuously creative, trying to come up with new activities when he’s sick of looking at all the same things all the time.
2. What’s the one thing getting you through?
Cases of wine from the Okanagan.
3. How are you staying in contact with family and friends who are not in your bubble?
A lot of FaceTime, a lot of Zoom. Way too much of both.
4. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far during the pandemic?
That almost everything I do is reliant on the gathering of people.
5. What do you feel the most grateful for right now?
Having a backyard!
6. What is something you are doing now that you don’t normally?
I listened to my first podcast.
7. What skill have you developed since the pandemic started?
I already cooked a lot, but repurposing and remixing leftovers into things of beauty is a newer skill.
8. What have you missed the most?
9. Your #1 pandemic survival tip.
Plan ahead and don’t have an energetic toddler next time 😉 I’m kidding. Mostly. He’s delightful and exhausting. Books over screens. It makes you sleep better.
10. Your biggest indulgence since the pandemic started.
Lots of homemade baking.
11. What have you stockpiled?
12. What have you been reading?
Lots of novels and plays.
13. What have you been watching?
The Great Canadian Baking Show. And very little else.
14. What have you been listening to?
The soundtrack for Michael R Jackson’s Pulitzer winning A Strange Loop. Over and over.
15. What are you doing for exercise?
When I can get out of the house, running while listening to Dolly Parton’s America. When I can’t, walking in circles in my house for an hour. No joke.
16. The one thing you haven’t been able to live without?
My husband, my son, and buckets of coffee.
17. Do-it-yourself haircut or the natural look?
My son is an amateur hairstylist. He and my husband have been experimenting with clippers. The results are not terrible!
18. Night owl or early riser?
Both. Toddler rules.
19. Will you be the first out as restrictions are gradually lifted or taking a wait-and-see attitude?
Wait and see for a long while. We don’t take chances.
20. What’s the first thing you will do when this is all over?
See what’s left of the theatre community and start rebuilding.
Meet Dave Deveau
As an award-winning writer, Dave Deveau investigates queer themes that speak to a broad audience. His work has been produced across North America and in Europe.
He is the Playwright in Residence for Vancouver’s Zee Zee Theatre who produced his plays Nelly Boy, Tiny Replicas, the critically-acclaimed My Funny Valentine (Sydney Risk Prize, Jessie Nomination, Oscar Wilde Nomination – Dublin), Lowest Common Denominator, Elbow Room Café: The Musical (with Anton Lipovetsky), Dead People’s Things and Holiday at the Elbow Room Café.
He is deeply devoted to developing intelligent, theatrical plays for young people that foster conversation. His plays for young audiences include Out in the Open, tagged (Dora nomination) and Celestial Being (Jessie Nomination) for Green Thumb Theatre, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls (Dora nomination) for Roseneath Theatre and the drag-theatre hybrid Parents Are A Drag (commissioned by Vancouver International Children’s Festival). His new musical This Is It (written with Anton Lipovetsky), will premiere with Nashville Children’s Theatre in January 2021.
He is currently working on commissions for Zee Zee Theatre, Arts Club, The Cultch, Carousel Theatre for Young People and Nashville Children’s Theatre.
In total, his plays have been nominated for 21 Jessie Awards, four Ovation Awards and four Dora Awards.
He is represented by Marquis Literary. He is published in Scirocco’s Fierce anthology, and his first book called CISSY: Three Gender Plays will be published in the spring through Talonbooks.
He lives on in Vancouver with his husband Cameron Mackenzie and their two-year-old.