Caroline Russell-King chats with Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre’s co-artistic director Mark Hopkins (with a nod to Bernard Pivot and James Lipton).
What is the next project for you?
Continued development on The Opposite, an immersive play about migration created and performed by Syrian refugees.
How do you contribute to this piece?
Mentor, producer dramaturg and outside eye.
What is your greatest creative challenge?
My focus is big issues: climate change or income inequality. It’s not easy to distil this into a 60- to 90-minute performance without losing the nuance and complexity.
What turns you on creatively?
I like “out of the box.” I like to see an artist doing something new, scrappy and weird – not fully executed mainstage productions. I like working in the margins.
What turns you off creatively?
Stagnation and the status quo, and the pressure to make work popular and palatable.
What’s one thing you’re really good at?
If you could resurrect and share a drink with a dead person who would it be?
The sad answer is my dad, choice B is H.G. Wells.
What is one thing you wish you’d known sooner?
Buying real estate in a flood zone is a bad idea.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Politician or map maker (not cartographer, one who maps human dynamics).
What would you do with extreme wealth?
Try to use the wealth to dismantle the systems that allow it to exist.
What is one piece of advice you would give to the person who wants to do what you do?
Recognize that you have limits and you probably don’t know what those are.
Caroline Russell-King is a playwright, dramaturg, and instructor. She is a member of The Playwrights Guild of Canada, the Dramatist Guild of America and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You can find her work here www.carolinerussellking.com.