The government and bureaucrats are notorious for making decisions that defy logic. They can make you shake your head or seethe with anger, but it’s great sport for those who love to ridicule the absurdity of it all. In Department of Common Sense, a straight-talking, tequila-sipping minister and two whip-smart women on his staff take on a persnickety bureaucrat in a battle of wills – and wits.
The play was conceived in December 2012 and written in January 2013. Initially, it was 28 minutes long to conform to requirements of the Theatre Arts Guild’s Playwright’s Festival. In June 2013, it was revised and three new scenes were added for the 2013 Atlantic Fringe Festival where the running time was 38 minutes. In the fall of 2013, Ryan Van Horne worked with dramaturge Bev Brett as the play was revised again. Two new scenes were added and there was a new character added to replace a minor role. The play is now approximately 48 to 50 minutes long.
The play was one of four plays chosen from 15 submissions to the inaugural Theatre Arts Guild Playwrights’ Festival in Halifax. The festival played to sold-out houses on both nights and provided an enjoyable evening of entertainment for the audience and a profitable weekend for the playhouse. The play was also part of the 2013 Atlantic Fringe Festival where it won Fringe Hit and earned critical acclaim. The play has also been accepted for two festivals in Spring 2014: The Elizabeth Boardmore One-Act Play Festival at Cape Breton University in Sydney in March and the Liverpool International Theatre Festival in May.