I: What is the genesis of this play?
R: I was in Italy last summer and riding in trains for long periods at a stretch and I had several Sam Beckett books with me and I had the opportunity to read 3 of his books during the trip.
I: You mean the playwright, Samuel Beckett?
R: Yeah. His friends called him Sam.
I: You feel close to Beckett?
R: Well, I do feel close to him. He goes deeper into my psyche than anybody I have ever read. Anyway, when I got back I just automatically sat down and wrote for a few weeks and Terminal was the end product. No pun here, okay?
I: If you say so. The play is about suicide.
I: Why suicide?
R: It’s a subject close to my heart.
I: You have thought about suicide?
R: Sure. Hasn’t everybody?
I: Probably not.
R: You might be surprised. There is a line that goes, “To be or not to be. That is the question.” Also Beckett’s line, “ I can’t go on. I will go on.” I love that line. We all struggle with that question. But people don’t like to talk about it. It’s the only taboo left in this world. People will reveal any of their orifices on the Internet without blinking but would not admit that they have ever had a suicidal thought. Well, Silvio, in this play, takes the opposite view. He believes it his right to kill himself. And he wants to make it interesting. So he invites a hooker over to help him out.
R: Or Laurie. Depending on her mood.
I: Laura. I like Laura better.
R: So does she as a matter of fact.
I: Who or what is Laura?
R: Laura is someone who is caught up in her conscious mind. She is a sound bite who knows nothing about what makes her tick. She is a student in psychology who is moonlighting as a prostitute because she likes sex and because she says she wants to help people. But underlying this she is a very different person.
I: Who are the actors?
R: Todd Harrop is an actor from Ontario, Waterloo, I believe. He is a pro and also a musician. Janice Wu is also from Ontario. She has tremendous presence. They are both skilled actors and I am learning lots from being with them.
I: This is your first time directing, isn’t it?
R: Yeah. First time. I have been wanting to do it for a long time, and so now thought it would be best to start with something I wrote. It is a very interesting experience. I have huge respect for actors. It takes lots of courage, in my view, to put yourself out there emotionally naked in front of a group of strangers. There is so much that can happen and you risk it all. To touch people that way is a beautiful thing.
I: Well, good luck staging it. By the way, is there anything after Terminal?
R: I’m glad you asked. I have another play that is a full farce. It’s about the singer, Bob Dylan and it’s called Botox Bob.
I: Will that go through Fringe as well?
R: Who knows? It will depend on what happens this June, I suppose.
I: Thank you, Ron.
Terminal – A one-act black comedy that explores the relationship between sex and death
Written and Directed by: Ron Kozloff
Starring: Todd Harrap & Janice Wu
Playing at Club Lambi, 4465 St-Laurent blvd, Montreal (Canada)
As part of the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival
June 12 to 21, 2009
Box Office: 514-849-3378 (tickets: 11$)