The Montreal-based musical, which has been a work-in-progress for six years, showcased before a sold out audience
The musical is made up of four main characters — all of whom are queer men. Two of the characters are writers collaborating on a musical. Throughout their entire process, they are focused on writing what they know. Their musical is based on their lived experiences.
“The way the two in the play were writing was basically my experience writing this show,” said writer and director Trevor Barrette. In the show, the two writers are scrambling to make a deadline to submit their musical, which Barrette says was precisely his experience when he was presenting the musical. But the musical has evolved into more than that.
“Over six years, we’ve turned it into the piece it is today, which I think is a really solid play,” Barrette said. “But it’s gone through a lot of change.”
Barrette started by writing the two characters of the musical within the musical, who were based off of characters he had written previously, and then he added the writers of the musical as characters later.
“I was finding the writing experience really fun,” he said. “It actually started with the characters and then going ‘No, I’m more interested in me writing for them than their own story.’”
The two writers within the musical often bring up the theme of ‘writing what you know,’ which was important for Barrette in the production process, but it was only a starting block.
“Sometimes you start off by trying to make some parallels with your own life,” he said. But a lot of the meaning in what he produced was only clear to him after the fact. “Sometimes you write something and people come up later and [say] ‘it’s so interesting you went that way or talked about this or made those connections’ and you [think] ‘oh I didn’t think I did, but I guess I did.’”
Barrette said that the feedback he has received since the showcase has been nothing but positive. “Everybody is finding different ways to relate, to connect to the story,” he said. “That’s been really, really exciting for me.”
He wanted to hold the showcase to get an idea of how his work is being perceived. “The audience is such an important part of theater, that’s why we do it,” he explained. “We’ve spent so much time making this piece what it is now, and we were so eager to share it with an audience. This is really the last big moment of development for us for the next little while.”
The musical contains many specific mentions of Montreal, which makes it more interesting if the musical were to showcase elsewhere. “I want to start it in Montreal but then I also think the play can be very easily translated to other places,” Barrette assured, joking that “there’s always a West Island.”