Making It Up (One Playwright to Another)

Online, Global

16/02/2024 - 09/03/2024

Online, Global

14/03/2024 - 24/03/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Dunedin Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Writer/Performer- Norm Reynolds
Director- Lesley Ballantyne
Videographer, Editor- John Bertram

One Playwright Productions

Some scripts take a lifetime to write….

WINNER! Philadelphia “Fringie” Award Winner ‘23; Best in (Virtual) Venue, Hamilton Fringe ‘22
Nominated for 4 Broadway World Awards (Philadelphia). Best Play. Best New Play. Best Performance (Norm Reynolds). Best Direction of a Play (Lesley Ballantyne).

After presenting at Fringe Festivals in Hamilton, Manchester, Vancouver, Philadelphia and Watford, Norm Reynolds brings his crowd-pleasing narrative Making It Up (One Playwright to Another) to the digital platform at the:
NZ Wellington Fringe Festival February 16th-March 9th 2024.
The Dunedin Fringe March 14th-March 24th 2024.

“If anyone had told me what my future would hold, I would have thought they were making it up.” Accompany Norm as he navigates appointments with destiny in the realms of academia, finance, and the theatre – including inspirational encounters with iconic playwright Edward Albee.*

Directed by Dora Mavor Moore Award-winner Lesley Ballantyne, and recorded by Chicago International Film Festival Award-winning filmmaker John Bertram, Making It Up presents as a solo theatre “tour de force” (Gaydio UK) written and performed by Reynolds, filmed at the Red Sandcastle Theatre, Toronto.

Please take 60 seconds and enjoy our trailer:

Venue: Streaming online. On demand. (*Ages 15 +)
NZ Fringe (Wellington)
February 16th – March 9th 2024
Tickets: $10.00

The Dunedin Fringe March 14th – March 24th 2024

Website: IG: 1Playwright X: @normreyn
Facebook: Making It Up (One Playwright to Another)

Performer- Norm Reynolds
Director- Lesley Ballantyne
Videographer, Editor- John Bertram
Production Assistant & Stills Photographer: Cameron Ballantyne
Graphic Designer: Reilly Ballantyne

Theatre ,

33 minutes

Will resonate with anyone who has asked, Who am I? What am I? Is what I do worth anything?

Review by John Smythe 21st Feb 2024

When Edward Albee signed Norm Reynolds’ copy of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe, he added “One Playwright to Another”, hence the subtitle for Norm’s dramatised memoir Making it Up which includes the comment, “If anyone had told me what my future would hold, I would have thought they were making it up.” By telling his story, Norm may be making it up to himself for succumbing to impostor syndrome, or making up for lost time.

Having presented this solo show at various Fringe Festivals in North America and the UK, the Canadian teacher, playwright and actor – who has also worked as a financial services salesman and book reviewer – has recorded it at Toronto’s Red Sandcastle Theatre and made it available online to this year’s NZ Fringe in Wellington and the soon-to-open Dunedin Fringe Festival. As well as targeting playwrights, it may also appeal to anyone intrigued by how a famous playwright might relate to a beginner.

Actually Norm first encountered Albee in a lift at a PEN Conference and years later interviewed him for Gaiety Magazine. He plays both roles in the video. Going back in time (I confess the becoming a bit confused as to what happened in which order) he also roleplays those who contributed to the almost fatal self-doubt he suffered in the wake of the success of his first play, Put Up Your Hand, based on his teaching experiences.

He performs a well-crafted ‘teacher from Hell’ monologue from that play, which (spoiler alert) proves why his pupils petitioned against him. As the teacher he identifies their theme of the year as ‘What is normal?’ When he, as Norm, asks, “Is it normal for me to be standing here talking as if I have something to convey?”, I feel that’s the question I’m asking myself: is his narrative limited to his being just one of millions of semi-successful playwrights – and if so, so what? – or does it capture a particular essence of universal experience?

On the cusp, perhaps. The bit about the Humber School for Writers (with Edward Albee) workshop of his The Goodbye Play, in which Norm blends grief from the end of a friendship with the death of his father (whom he has judiciously personified earlier in the show) certainly exemplifies a valid craft tip. And this third encounter with Albee elicits a “Why?” that goes to the heart of who finally has to take responsibility for how a play script is wrought.

Taken as a whole, the lived experience Norm Reynolds evokes in Making it Up (One Playwright to Another) will resonate with anyone who has asked, Who am I? What am I? Is what I do worth anything? As for theatre teachers putting themselves on the line, if you saw Dr James Wenley’s Dr Drama Makes a Show in 2020, you may wish to compare and contrast.


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