Postcard Profile: Calgary theatre legend Louis B. Hobson

Caroline Russell-King offers her Postcard Profile of theatre critic, director and playwright Louis B Hobson (with a nod to Bernard Pivot and James Lipton).

What is the next project for you? 

I will be directing Witness for the Prosecution (Agatha Christie) for the 50th anniversary of Workshop Theatre.

How do you contribute to this? 

I’m directing the very first show Workshop Theatre ever did and 50 years later they asked me back.

What is your greatest creative challenge?

Juggling — far too many hats. I’m the only theatre critic at Postmedia. I see 80-plus shows a year. I’m working on a biography with Geoff Parry and developing original plays for Confederation Theatre.

What turns you on creatively?

There’s a new breed of community actors but …

What turns you off creatively? 

These actors try to do too many things when I’m trying to schedule rehearsals … (Laughs) You just want to shoot them.

What’s one thing you’re really good at? 

Visualizing — I read a script and I see it on the stage.

If you could resurrect and share a drink with a dead person who would it be?

James Dean.

What is one thing you wish you’d known sooner? 

That you can fail. That’s why I never finished novels, and plays I never finished, because I didn’t know you were allowed to fail. I have five plays that are unfinished. I need to go away for a week like Alan Ayckbourn does.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I regret not giving the priesthood a better try. Religion can be so important and completing for people.

What would you do with extreme wealth? 

When the $65 million lotto was up I thought I’d get all the professional theatres out of the hole.

What is one piece of advice you would give to the person who wants to do what you do? 

Have something to fall back on and find a way to keep your personal life as vibrant as your professional life.

Workshop Theatre’s Witness for the Prosecution runs Nov. 22-30 at The Pumphouse Theatres. For tickets and more information, go to

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 at