Playwright, Actor: Michael Healey

After graduating from Ryerson’s Theatre School, Michael Healey acted in various productions before he wrote “Kicked.” He produced and performed the one-act monologue at the Toronto Fringe Festival and toured with it, subsequently exploring playwrighting further.

Healey’s impressive career trajectory includes writing “The Drawer Boy,” one of the most-produced Canadian plays in North America. He’s also adapted works for the Stratford Festival, North America’s largest classical repertory theatre company.

In our podcast, you’ll hear Healey explain how being a member of the acting company at the Blyth Festival led to the creation of a life-changing play. It was his time at the Blyth Festival, with Miles Potter and others collaborating on the collective creation “The Farm Show,” that inspired Healey to write “The Drawer Boy.” An international success, The Guardian called the play “a landmark in Canadian theatre.”

It’s hard to believe now, but Healey says he was on the brink of abandoning his career in theatre when he wrote that play.

Also in this podcast, you’ll learn how Healey works with actors during the rehearsal process, and why he leaves a box of Tic-Tacs on the table at rehearsals.

Healey also opens up about the depression he felt after graduating from Ryerson and how he managed to overcome it.

Healey explains why he sought legal counsel after the Tarragon Theatre cancelled his play about prime minister Stephen Harper, “Proud,” and how grateful he is to playwrights across the country who supported him as he drew from a personal line of credit to mount his own production.

And towards the end of the podcast you’ll hear one of the best-ever audition stories from the Shaw Festival.

SHOW NOTES

Michael Healey on Twitter
Miles Potter on Twitter
Paul Wells at Macleans
John Ibbitson on Twitter
The Stratford Festival
The Shaw Festival
The Blyth Festival
Jerry Seinfeld and David Letterman in conversation at the Paley Center – on YouTube.

LISTEN TO MORE EPISODES