In 2008 two of my biggest sponsors went into receivership pulling me down within an inch of bankruptcy.
And now the bad news. A few months later Revenue Canada informed me that I had been selected to be audited for the years 2005 and 2006. It is still not resolved for they claim I owe them income tax on funds my biggest sponsor/partner lent us (long boring story). I did however learn that although the government tries to put on a happy “we are here to serve you” face, it is just a huge machine that tells its auditors not to come home empty handed. There is no room for compassion (although they pretend) or understanding.
I learnt a long time ago that in everything painful there is an element of humour. Isn’t that what the best humour is? Misunderstanding and fear? So I decided to take my fear, stress and sleepless nights and turn it all into a comedy…a dark comedy.
“The Audit” is about a dentist who suddenly gives up his practise to become a standup comic, his sarcastic dog and an auditor from Canada Revenue who has managed to bury her passion in order to do her job.
Don’t worry. Taxes and the audit process are only vehicles to tell the story.
It’s a play about surviving the challenges thrown at you during your journey…divorce, finance, kids and health. The fun stuff in life. It’s about the power of passion and conviction…and the lack of. The play also attempts to answer the age old questions “What is art?” and “What is funny?”.
I have been writing “social comedy” professionally since 1985 when I wrote and directed the year-long Toronto production of “Yuppies The Musical”. Since then I have go on to lampoon cottage life, aging, wealth, consequences of disease, marriage, divorce, golf, more divorce, exercise and the Catholic church…to mention only a few. I totally believe in writing what you know….(less time researching and more time having fun writing). “The Audit” is no exception.
This past winter I approached an old (mature) friend Sharon Sproule, an accomplished actress and for years the force behind one of the province’s best community theatres in Espanola. I asked her to find me three actors to workshop “The Audit” for a public reading. She found me a teacher, a therapist/life coach and a contract worker for Revenue Canada. (Nice). Michael Bolvin (oops! name misspelled on poster), Jason Morrow and Theresa Laurenti did such a great job that I asked them to be part of Destination Rosseau. The results of their bi weekly workshops under Sharon’s direction is so impressive that I had to bump up the production value to meet their acting skills with a full set. This truly is a production that has exceeded all expectations and I am very proud of it. It’s the perfect way to spend a summer’s night or afternoon on Wednesday while in Muskoka/Parry Sound.
“The Audit” opens July 8 and runs Tues thru Sat 8:00 PM with Wed Matinee at 2:00 PM in the Rosseau Playhouse at 7 Ash St until July 19. For tickets and info visit www.destinationrosseau.com