Breton is an actor, writer, and performance artist committed to enriching and diversifying queer and trans representation in storytelling. His poetry and prose have been published internationally, and he is a Merritt and Dora award nominee and a Broadway World Award and Tootsie Award recipient. He is a proud co-founder of THE SPINDLE FILMS FOUNDATION, an initiative to support transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming Canadian filmmakers, and is currently preparing for a reading of his play, QUID PRO QUO, at Tarragon’s Greenhouse Festival (Jan 13) as the finishing act of his Tarragon theatre residence. His play, THE LAST SHOW ON EARTH! TM, premiers at Neptune Theatre in February 2024.
We made some questions for our members to know Breton Lalama better.
What are some Canadian plays every aspiring playwright or theatre enthusiast should read?
“gas girls by dm st bernard, sheets by salvatore antonio, miss katelyn’s grade threes prepare for the inevitable by eli belya, shorelines by mishka lavigne, seven stories by morris panych… i could go on and on.”
Tell us about the plays and/or playwrights that have shaped your artistic journey. Feel free to recommend a few must-reads that have been touchstones for your creative exploration!
“seeing a workshop version of rhiannon collett’s wasp at buddies years ago was hugely impactful… it was the first time i’d seen so many trans bodies on stage, in a story that wasn’t solely about being trans. i think part of the gift of being an artist is that the journey does not stop until life does- it is continuously being shaped, and never a finished form. so there have been so many plays and playwrights whose work has excited some part of me, and there continue to be so many new words and writers and shows that teach me something or refuel some part of my practice- the perfect sparseness of mishka’s prose, the brutal beauty of kanika ambrose’s our place, celia green’s wildly electric marriage of movement and text, daniel macivor’s rhythm and range, nick green’s killer dialogue and queerness… so many things that are not plays, too: conversations with other artists, swimming in the atlantic ocean every day til it freezes, running in the morning in the dark chasing the sunrise, picking flowers, sleeping outside. everything shapes everything.”
Do you have any unique rituals or routines that fuel your creative process? Whether it’s a specific writing space, a favourite writing snack, or a particular time of day when inspiration strikes, we’d love to know the behind-the-scenes details of your creative journey. Share your tips for staying in the zone!
“i don’t know about unique, but the first thing i do every day when i wake up is get my body moving and write in my little notebook- stream of consciousness morning pages to sort of get anything unhelpful out of the way so that the rest of the day’s writing (and being) can move easily. my practical writing practice (like, sitting down in front of a computer and typing the words) usually happens over the first hours of the morning, and i’ll often jump on a call with another writer to write in accountable silence. the impractical parts of my practice happen constantly- someone once told me that 99 percent of writing happens when you’re doing everything but writing, and this is definitely true for me. im always carrying a little notebook and always making space to listen so i can catch pieces of scenes or lines or images when they make themselves known to me. when i forget the notebook, the iphone notes app is my unromantic go to. after i finish a draft and hear it out loud, i intentionally take space from it- i won’t look at it for a period of time so that it has time to settle and that we both see each other differently when we meet up again.”
Learn more about Breton Lalama:
THE LAST SHOW ON EARTH! TM
The world is ending. Are you watching the livestream?
With 201 days left till the end of the world, Eli works overtime at the fruit roll up factory, trying to save enough to secure a black market Fleedom Ticket to safety. But when a ghost from his past becomes the poster child of the apocalypse, things get a little bit sticky.
February 6 – 18, 2024
Neptune Theatre – Halifax – NS
For more information and to buy tickets, click HERE.