Queen's University

Drama prof's new play influenced by university life

[John Lazarus, a professor in the Department of Drama]John Lazarus, a faculty member in the Department of Drama, has written The Grandkid, which Theatre Kingston will stage beginning this week.

John Lazarus credits students in his Introductory Playwriting course for helping inform the debut production of his play The Grandkid.

“I have enjoyed balancing my roles of teaching students and working with the professional actors during rehearsals. An exciting exchange of ideas takes place both in the classroom and the rehearsal space,” says Mr. Lazarus, a faculty member in the Drama Department.

The Grandkid is a multi-generational comedy that captures the experiences of a granddaughter beginning university and moving in with her grandfather Julius, a university professor. The age gap between both the characters and the actors themselves makes for an exciting dynamic on stage.

“I want audiences to be amused, and perhaps touched, by the relationship between two smart characters who love each other but who encounter unexpected difficulties in getting along,” he says.

Mr. Lazarus’ position as a professor at Queen’s helped him develop Julius, but the character is not based on anyone in particular. He credits Drama Department colleague and former Theatre Kingston artistic director Kim Renders for encouraging him to pursue the project.

Since coming to Queen’s in 2000, Mr. Lazarus has taught courses on playwriting, criticism, theatre for young audiences, and solo show techniques. In addition, he co-chairs the Herman Voaden Playwriting Competition Committee. His plays have won various awards, and he has also written for film, television and radio.

Queen’s alumnus Brett Christopher (BA’97) directs The Grandkid. Visit the Theatre Kingston website for complete show details.

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Last updated at 4:16 pm EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
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