Country Song: a queer ballad

Posted by Wayves volunteer 16/07/2013

Queer Playwright Poole Is a Little Bit Country!

Award winning playwright and arts producer, Lee-Anne Poole writes a love letter to country music and the good ol’ boys that come with it. From sharing some of her own stabs at the genre to stories of her father, in Country Song Lee-Anne conquers some fears and re- imagines who she could be. The authour of the hit play Short Skirt Butch is known for taking on difficult subjects, from polyamorous heartbreak to phone sex and paedophilia, and to placing her characters in tough emotional situations. Wayves wondered what brought her to something as apparently mainstream as country music, and we had a chance to touch base with the prolific playwright.

Wayves: Why Country Music? 
Country music - for my father. And because when you are sad there is nothing better.  In the show, I talk about how I used to hate it. You know, how in school when people ask what kind of music you like the standard answer is, 'anything but country.' I have a quote from the show: “It’s funny, when a child becomes far enough away, or got all the running out of them that suddenly everything you hated just cause it reminded you of your parents - of your home.  Well, there seems to come a time when you start to love things for no better reason than just cause they remind you of your parents - of your home. That’s country music for me."
Were there any country artists who influenced you while you were wirting? 
Everyone I talked to about the show would generally 'confess' to me that they've been known to like a good country tune and then make some recommendations of music I should look up. My two favourites so far are both Canadian country musicians. Daniel Romano and The Heavy Horses.  
What are you hoping audiences will take away with them from the performance?
I hope they laugh, and I hope they sing a little too. 

Directed by Dustin Harvey. Country Song: a queer ballad premieres at the 2013 Queer Acts Theatre Festival and plays July 18th to 21st, nightly at 9PM. Halifax Pride's QUEER ACTS Theatre Festival is a multi-day event dedicated to highlighting the talent of queer artists and presenting theatrical work of relevance to the LGBTQ community.

About Lee-Anne Poole: 

Lee-Anne is a writer & arts producer from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lee-Anne has written and produced And I Would Dance, Straight Until, Splinters, The Obedients: A Sexual Re-Imagining of Jean Genet's The Maids, and Kinky Kitten Club. Most recently she toured Short Skirt Butch to New Brunswick, Montreal, Toronto, and other stops in Ontario, and presented it at the 2012 Queer Acts Theatre Festival. Short Skirt Butch was named one of The Coast’s ‘Top 10 Plays of 2011.’ Lee-Anne’s work has been seen in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Fredericton, and Halifax.

Lee-Anne is currently developing Pony Play, a homoerotic western about the love between a man and his horse. Lee-Anne curates an online forum, filthyemails, they created for people to anonymously post erotic messages they have received online. Those can all be found on More on Poole here

About Dustin Harvey:

Dustin Harvey has led work based in Nova Scotia since 2003. The projects span site-responsive performances, theatre, installations, meeting events, and zines. He has created Farewell, Folkloremobile, The Common, (We) Are Here, Another City, Best Wishes, Cowboy Show, and Winding Up Godot for Secret Theatre, productions that have been seen in Denmark, Wales, Ireland, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, St. John’s, and Halifax. His writing about performance has been published in Canadian Theatre Review (Issues 126, 134). He has a BA in Theatre from Acadia University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (UK). Upcoming productions include The Ark with Jacinte Armstrong and Sarah Bonnemaison, City In Stereo with Nick Bottomely, and Landline with Adrienne Wong. You can find out more about Dustin's work by clicking here

Country Song was generously supported by Arts Nova Scotia, and developed through The Eastern Front Playwrights Unit and at The Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre’s 2013 Playwrights Colony, in Sackville, New Brunswick.

Editor's Note: Photo by Nick Rudnicki.

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