David James Brock
David’s 2019/20 classes:
Downtown | Tuesdays: Writers’ Bloc (6PM-8PM)
David’s plays and operas have been performed in cities across Canada, the US and the UK. He is also the author of two poetry books, Everyone is CO2 & Ten-Headed Alien (published by Wolsak & Wynn). For Scottish Opera, Brock co-created Breath Cycle with Gareth Williams, a multimedia opera project developed for singers with cystic fibrosis. In November 2019, his new play A Million Billion Pieces will receive its world premiere at YPT. He lives in Toronto and has taught writing courses at the University of Guelph, University of Victoria, Humber College and YPT. www.davidjamesbrock.com.
Q&A with David
Name your favourite YPT production:
Jabber by Marcus Youseff (2013); Selfie by Christine Quintana (2018)
Describe your favourite Drama School memory:
The final week of Writer’s Bloc, when writers get the chance to rehearse and present their plays for an audience in collaboration with YPT’s Senior Ensemble and professional directors. It’s a real celebration of the creative work everyone has put in over the last few months, and rather than feeling like the end of the process, it always feels like the beginning of something—a chance to proudly roar to friends, family and the theatre community: I am writer!
What would the central theme of a play written about you be?
Connection to people and places. A lot of my writing expresses my personal worry about the damage we do to the environment and to one another. I think this comes from the fact that I’ve moved around a lot and, though it can often be stressful to be the new person or to learn a new place, that struggle ultimately helps me now to adapt, relate and appreciate new situations and places after an adjustment. Now I get restless when I am in one place too long and I am constantly wanting to go on little (or big) adventures, to learn new things and see connect with new places.
As the 2019/20 Season theme is the Seven Ancestral Teachings, what is something you appreciate about Toronto and why?
Toronto has a heart, but it also has a brain, a voice, a soul: so it can be incredibly wise. A place to not only to share wisdom, but to receive it. The people who live here (and who have settled here) have a wellspring of knowledge and experience beyond the individual, and it’s all available to us if we simply listen to each others’ stories, learn from one another, and carry that knowledge with us in our daily actions and how we treat one another. With the myriad of stories around us, Toronto can be a place to constantly enrich one another, no matter our age or our stage.