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'Making It Up (One Playwright to Another) presented by One Playwright Productions

‘A literate and witty presentation that makes me pay close attention to the story. Norm Reynolds remains genuinely unselfish in wanting to make a difference artistically.”

Courtesy of Norm Reynolds

Joe Szekeres

I respectfully admire the tenacity of playwright/actor Norm Reynolds.

Here’s a guy who has taken a unique path, transitioning through several careers to finally pursue his true passion - to work in the theatre.

Reynolds was a teacher who then quit to go and work in the theatre. He quit the theatre and then went to work in finance (a family business). He then quit finance and returned to teaching and, ultimately, the theatre.

Recently, I saw his film, ‘Making It Up (One Playwright to Another) that was recorded at Toronto’s Red Sandcastle Theatre on Queen Street East, an intimate and charming black box theatre space home to up-and-coming productions deserving of being seen. The Sandcastle is also home to the uniquely distinct Eldritch Theatre, so here’s a plug to get to their shows this fall.

‘Making It Up’ is biographical and factual, but most of all, it is fascinating to watch.

Why?

Reynolds had the privilege of meeting the late playwright Edward Albee, a literary and theatrical icon and engaging in a profound discussion about the art of writing. It's obvious it took a lifetime to get his thoughts out about it.

That alone is fascinating and a bucket list item as far as I’m concerned.

What’s another reason to see ‘Making It Up’?

Reynolds plays both himself and Albee during the 32-minute run of the film. At one point, Norm also delivers quite an impressive monologue about the role of teaching in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. I’ll be honest and say that I smiled from ear to ear. Reynolds nails the current state of education and the lack of thinking since all of us are now accustomed to and expect instant gratification through our desktop or laptop computers or mobile devices.

Film and theatre are two separate media forms. That’s why it was an exciting challenge during the pandemic to watch theatre productions filmed/videotaped/recorded and then sent out to interested audience members. During the pandemic, the difference between theatre and film became abundantly clear. There is a sense of immediacy in live theatre as it’s sometimes mere inches and feet away from the audience. Film places an immediate distance between the audience and the artists involved—nothing wrong with that, dependent on the subject material.

Lesley Ballantyne directs ‘Making It Up’ with tremendous respect for Reynolds’ story. She captures that compassion quite well in her collaboration with John Bertram, whose work in filming remains sharply focused.

Norm Reynolds delivers a consistently believable performance. He’s literate and witty, and his melodious voice makes me pay close attention to his story. He exudes genuine, unselfish pride in attaining something he has always wanted: to make a difference artistically.

Reynolds is on his way.

I’d like to see more of his work in the future.

Running time: approximately 32 minutes on film.

‘MAKING IT UP (ONE PLAYWRIGHT AT A TIME)
Presented by One Playwright Productions
Written, Produced and Appearance by Norm Reynolds
Directed by Lesley Ballantyne
Filmmaker: John Bertram
Stream online whenever you’d like throughout the duration of Anywhere Festival!
Nominated for 4 2023 Broadway World Awards Philadelphia. Best Play; Best New Play; Best Performance; Best Direction of a play. Audience Choice Award- Digital Philadelphia Fringe ‘23
Best Director of the Year (Lesley Ballantyne)- Young-Howze Theatre Journal
WINNER! BEST in series (Bring Your Own Virtual Venue) Award*
*Hamilton Fringe Festival Digital Presentation 2022
A hit at The Greater Manchester, Vancouver, Watford, Wellington & Dunedin NZ Fringe Festivals

To access the film, visit https://anywhere.is/event/making-it-up/

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