WCT will Harvest laughs as season opens
There’s a line early in Harvest where the dad, telling the audience why he rents out the family farm, notes that “the boy” would never be interested in it.
Ken Cameron knows that line to be true.
Not only did he write it but he’s the boy in question — as well as the playwright of Harvest, based on a true story about the place where he grew up.
Because, truth be told, Cameron never was interested in being a farmer, he said from his Calgary office.
He would play board games as a child and then try to invent his own.
He would read comic books and try to write his own.
He would read novels as a student and then try to write stories.
Cameron blames Mordechai Richler for fuelling that early creative bent when the famed Canadian novelist spoke at Cameron’s high school.
The next thing he knew, the school had a drama teacher and Cameron was an eager student.
Seeing a university friend cast in the premier of the Brad Fraser play Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love made Cameron realize he could be a writer.
Harvest, which kicks of Western Canada Theatre’s 2012-2013 season, tells the story of mom and dad who rent out the farm but keep the farmhouse to live in.
The young man who buys the land looks acceptable but, in due course, the couple discover the land that once produced fruits and vegetables has been turned into a grow-op.
“Yes, that really happened,” Cameron said, noting that, for the most part, the play is “rooted in assorted truths.”
For example, there really was a mass murder of drug dealers just 20 minutes from his farm and there was a convicted biker-drug dealer living just five minutes north of the farm.
While the setting for the play is officially Ontario, where Cameron grew up in just between London and Sarnia, directions with the script allow theatre companies producing it to change the location.
His only proviso is the locations must be real and must conform to the same distances as the Ontario locations.
“This way, the audience feels like it’s their play,” Cameron said.
Harvest premieres today (Sept. 13) and continues to Sept. 29 at Pavilion Theatre, 1025 Lorne St.
Tickets are at the Kamloops Live box office at the theatre, 250-374-5483, kamloopslive.ca.