Friday, February 24, 2012

FRIGID Festival Interview - Tim C. Murphy of "Blind to Happiness"

By Byrne Harrison

Tim C. Murphy is an international teacher and performer who currently resides in Kuwait. Born and raised in Ottawa, he has lived, worked and traveled in more than 45 countries. He is an award nominated performer and poet. He also has nice blue eyes. In his 20s he was a content misguided professional student – earning a B. Commerce, M.A. Sport Psychology, B. Education and a Diploma in Theatre at Canadore College. Selected stage credits include: BLIND TO HAPPINESS (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal- nominee Best English Production 2010, Wakefield, Winnipeg, and Edmonton Fringe Festivals); LIBERTINE (Rep 21 – Theatre Passe Muraille), HENRY V (Gateway Theatre Guild), RED ROSES AND PETROL (Tara Players ), and THE BALD SOPRANO (Sock ‘n’ Buskin). Tim is currently working on his new one-person show, KUWAITI MOONSHINE, which will be performed at the 2012 Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Edmonton Fringe Festivals.

Show: "Blind to Happiness"

How did you first get involved in theatre?

Like most performers, when I was young I performed whenever I could - with my siblings, at school, in front of a mirror, especially at Christmas time or family gatherings... slightly inebriated parents and relatives are always easy to entertain.

Who are your biggest influences?

In terms of writing I would say Canadian playwrights Mighton, Mouawad and McIvor. I love Mighton and Mouawad's fusion of humanity and science and McIvor's honesty and rawness. I'm a big fan of screenwriters Charlie Kaufman. Once again, the humanity of his plays and his confidence to take zigzagging risks in his writing and follow his instincts. In terms of performers, Canadian theatre icon and my instructor in theatere school, David Fox.

Tell me a little bit about your show.

In short, "Blind to Happiness" is an exploration of the question - is happiness a choice? It's told through three very contrasting characters (a socially awkward dishwasher, PhD Pyschology student, and hapless lovelorn part-time cook and wannabe poet). Its a drama/comedy... moments of hilarity, moments of deep sadness and regret. Hopefully the play will be a mirror to the audience so they can reflect on their own derivations and perceptions of happiness and the choices they've made in life.

What inspired you to write it?

In theatre school, one course we took was to create our own one-person show. Daunting at first but then very, very liberating and exciting for me. A platform for me to perform but more importantly to present my values and thoughts on life and happiness. And of course the chance to entertain. Mike Kennard, Canadian Fringe legend from Mump & Smoot, came in to work with us and talk about Fringe tours and new work creation. It was inspiring to hear his stories, passion and success.

Who are your collaborators?

I had several classmates and instructors help me in the development of the show, including Rod Carley, Mike Kennard, Hume Baugh, Rodney Roy, Cecelia McHugh and Jen Carroll.

What's next for you after FRIGID?

Back to Kuwait to teach high school physical education! Then I'm working on my new show, "Kuwaiti Moonshine," that will be touring the Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Edmonton Fringe Festivals this summer.

And finally, if you could say anything to your potential audience, what would it be?

As mentioned above, the show explores happiness. I believe it is something that we all struggle with on some level, at some point in our lives. If you have ever questioned your own happiness, or others, I believe my show will resonate with you. Its entertaining and possibly moving, but most importantly thought-provoking. The play is a journey, be patient. And lastly, if you do come to the show - thank you! Thank you for supporting indie theatre. Thank you for giving over your ears, mind, and heart. Enjoy the show!

"Blind to Happiness"
Created and performed by Tim C. Murphy
Company: Better To Burn Out Productions

UNDER St. Marks
94 St. Marks Place

Feb 24, 9:00PM
Feb 25, 5:30PM
Feb 28, 6:00PM
Feb 29, 7:30PM
Mar 03, 10:00PM

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