Interview with Patrick Gauthier about 8 Words That Ruined My Relationship

Where do you live?

Ottawa, Ontario.

Where are you from? Hometown?

I grew up in Guelph, Ontario; Kemptville, Ontario (in the Ottawa valley); and Guelph again, though I was born in Scarborough.

When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was a teenager.  I wrote my first play when I was in High School, which was co-written with a friend of mine.  It was my school’s Christmas play, which we called “A Family Christmas.”  I’m sure it played to rave reviews.

What inspires you?

Language.  When I write I’m most interested in how people talk, and how the how affects the meaning and interpretation of what they’ve said.  Also: bears.

What inspired this play?

When I was completing my MFA in Vancouver I took Playwriting as part of my course work, and we were assigned a 15-20 minute piece as our major assignment for the first semester.  I had no idea where I was going to start (at the time everything I was working on was to be too long), and one night when I was trolling craigslist looking for furniture for my apartment I came across a post titled “Eight Rubber Ducks That Ruined My Relationship.”

The idea of the end of a relationship having a trigger event really interested me, and I started writing, using the title of the post as the play’s title (and even using the ducks).  Eventually through the writing process the ducks went away and the play became more about the fallout from the end of the relationship than the event that triggered it.

Do you have a day-job? What do you do other than writing?

I’m an Artistic Associate at the Great Canadian Theatre Company and Producer of GCTC’s undercurrents: theatre below the mainstream festival.  I’m also a freelance writer and director, and Artistic Director of Ottawa creation-company Gruppo Rubato.

What time of day do you write best?

I write best either first thing in thing in the morning or late at night (afternoons and evenings are for eating and napping).

If I’m writing in the morning I have to get out of bed, grab a glass of water, sit down and start.  No eating , no email, nothing else.  On a good day I can write for three or four hours without interruption, and will only stop when I ‘m too hungry  to keep going. Night writing sessions are less frequent now, but usually involve me starting only after everyone else in the house has gone to bed, and working until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, if I can stay awake that long.

How long did it take you to write this play?

The writing happened very fast – the bulk of the text was written in less than a week – but the full development probably lasted about two months.

What kind of support do you have for your writing?

I’ve been involved in a couple of playwright’s units, and my writing group at UBC.  I like to bounce my work off others, have them read it aloud, ask for specific feedback, etc.  When I’m not involved in a group or unit I have a few close friends I’ll send drafts to for feedback.  It’s an important part of my process.  I don’t believe you can create a play in isolation.

Do you have a website/blog? Can I contact you?

I’m on Facebook and Twitter (@patgauthier).  My website – patgauthier.ca – is being built as we speak and should be up by the end of April.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Interview with Patrick Gauthier about 8 Words That Ruined My Relationship

  1. Pingback: An interview with… me « Pursued by a Bear (a web log)

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