The David Haas Playwright Website - Pacific Time

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by David Haas

A Science Fiction Time-Travel Romance & Mystery
34th Annual Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, 2015
2nd Annual Graffiti Mix One-Act Festival, Edmonton, 2014

Bringing the long awaited sticky buns, server Jess (Kevin Brian Huang) learns from Grant (Joel Dinicola) that Polly (Leah Beaudry) has just received terrible news.

In late 2013 I began writing Pacific Time in response to a call for submissions from Graffiti Mix Arts Collective seeking plays for their second annual one-act festival in Edmonton. Their expressed preference was for tales in the science fiction and fantasy genre.

I had been a fan of old-time sci-fi when it was young, and particulary enjoyed time travel tales, which can present convolutions from the inherent logical contradictions involved. I began Pacific Time with the idea that a portal between two times could also function as a portal between two places. That became the core of the story, the portal being a funky cafe which attracted clientele by its sign outside "sticky buns to die for."

What developed was a love story: guy meets girl inside the cafe. Complications develop because at the outset one of the budding lovers is not aware of the cafes true nature. And in the end, their love encounters a heartrending obstacle a challenge met with courage and integrity.

Pacific Time was accepted. The Graffiti Mix organisers selected a director, handled auditions, and got the show onto the stage. The play ran three times over July 12-13, 2014 on the Robert Tegler Theatre stage at Edmonton's Concordia University College. I took in all three performances and was well satisfied. Now I set my sights on the next year's Edmonton Fringe.

I wanted to get the play onto one of the stages at Holy Trinity Anglican Church. I had been to a number of Fringe plays there, and liked the setup. So I was delighted when Pacific Time got the nod for 2015.

Director Rachel Whipple and the cast at Graffiti Mix the previous year had done such a good job that they were offered the same roles for the Fringe production. However, Leah Beaudry had a role in another Fringe play and would be unable to make all of our performances. We wanted very much to keep Leah, and the decision was to do that and bring in Heidi MacDonald to play Polly on days when Leah could not make it. This worked very well, and sitting in again on all performances I was impressed at how closely these skilled actresses merged their renditions of the role.

The Graffiti Mix production had been expanded by two characters from the original script. Although actresses Yilin Chen and Danica Manley gave excellent performances as the cafe owner and her waitress daughter, for the Fringe we cut back to the original three character format.

Pacific Time ran for 11 performances once at a preview showing at the Unitarian Church of Edmonton which had provided us with rehearsal space, then after four days off a 10 days straight run at the Fringe. Many favourable comments were received from patrons.

An especial pleasure was having original jazz stylings by my late friend Carl Deem for a musical prelude while the audience took their seats. My thanks to Margaret "Becky" Deem for making Carl's wonderful period music available. Thanks also to Mark McGarrigle of St. Albert Theatre Troupe for his voice over with the cell phones and other distractions announcement.

The play required on-stage sticky buns, and Assistant Stage Manager and Technician Steven Prout took on the task of running these up. We began handing out copies of Steven's "sticky buns to die for" recipe to audience members after the show!

Polly (Heidi MacDonald) arriving from Victoria with her travel case.

We also appreciated the sterling work of Jessica Summers as Stage Manager, and her help promoting the play on the Fringe grounds.

Thanks are also due to Roxie Michelle who was also an Assistant Stage Manager as well as handling make up, hair, and costume, and to Rachel's sister Emma Whipple who also handled make-up.

In 2014 the indefatigable Cherie Howard a skilled hair designer and costumer made up Leah with a beehive hairdo for a prop novel dust jacket photograph of Polly. For the Fringe Cherie repeated the operation with Heidi, also came up with that period dress you see Heidi wearing here, and advised on costumes and hair as well as taking a batch of photographs for publicity stills. Immense thanks!

For Pacific Time's producers the Fringe was an exhausting experience.

But a month later came a warm aftermath. An old army friend, Chris Atkin, contacted me. He and his wife Georgina had taken in the play. Now they presented me with a framed collage of mementoes from the performance.

How incredibly touching!

The playwright's mantra is "rewrite, rewrite, rewrite." After resting up following the exhausting Fringe experience I set about revising points I thought could stand tightening.

The resultant version is available to groups wishing to produce it.

Go to Contact for information on how to reach me.