Joanne’s written for the hit TV shows “This Hour has Twenty Two Minutes” and the “Baroness Von Sketch Show.”
Joanne has performed stand-up comedy across the country, she’s also done storytelling at the Stratford Festival’s “Late Night with Lucy Peacock cabarets,” and improvisation for four seasons of “Sin City,” Toronto’s popular live, improvised soap opera.
Plus she’s had a hit Fringe Festival show and is about to debut her new show “She Grew Funny” at the Toronto Fringe.
We talk about parenthood and the impact having a daughter had on her career. Prior to writing her latest show Joanne took a course to help with her writing, something she never imaged herself doing at this point in her career, but as you’ll hear it really helped kick start the process that led to her second Fringe Festival show.
Irene Sankoff and David Hein, the co-writers of the hit Broadway show “Come From Away,” are my guests on this podcast.
Irene and David’s path to success began with a playful musical at the Toronto Fringe Festival, “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding,” which attracted the attention of producer David Mirvish who brought the production to a larger theatre.
Mirvish also discovered “The Drowsy Chaperone” at the Toronto Fringe, so the pressure for “Wiccan Wedding” to succeed was high. Things went well and soon they were working on “Come From Away.”
“Come From Away” is set in the town of Gander, Newfoundland, in the week following the September 11 attacks, when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town.
The people of Gander opened their homes and their hearts to the thousands of travelers, from all over the world, who were stranded.
In the podcast Irene and David reveal how their creative process began with a trip to Gander, Newfoundland to interview the town’s people and collect true stories that became the foundation for the musical.
They explain the development process, that included meaningful workshops with theatre students at Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project and Goodspeed Musicals, a non-profit organization dedicated to musical theater based in Connecticut.
The students at both locations worked on the script and Irene & David discuss how significant this process was to shaping the show.
You’ll also hear how the show hits the sweet spot between David’s love of folk music and Irene’s love of Broadway musicals.
Click for the “Come From Away,” Original Broadway Cast Recording
On opening night Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau attended the show and met with Irene and David.
Click the arrow near the top of this page, or this iTunes link, to listen to this podcast about “Come From Away.”
Sandra’s career began in Toronto on the stages of The Second City and the legendary night club The Rivoli where she shared the highs and lows of a struggling young performer with fellow entertainers including The Kids in the Hall.
But it was at the Edmonton Fringe Festival where Sandra first broke out with her hit show “My Boyfriend’s Back and There’s Going to be Laundry.”
A few years later she started a new life, moving from the city to a farm where she took a break from performing to traverse her internal landscape, surveying her life, and how it intersected with those around her.
And soon the former urban dweller found herself falling into the rhythms of the surrounding nature.
She’s performed at top theatres in Canada and is recognized, for not only her writing and performing, but also her work as an impresario.
In the interview we talk about food, her creative process, social media and the influence of Tinder on relationships.
Plus Sandra reveals her favourite vegetable to grow on the farm. It might surprise you.