Below is an interview with writer and performer of Sunshine Express, Sarah Quick.
Trained at the University of Wales, Sarah obtained a BA (Hons) degree in Drama along with certificates in acting from the London College of Music and The Guildhall. In 1999 she formed Quick Change Theatre and toured throughout Canada, Ireland, England, the U.S. and Australia with her self-penned works, Thanks for the Mammaries, Sex and Sensibility, The Men Commandments, Do You Take This Man? and B4 & After. Within Canada she toured to Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria, Vancouver & Cowichan. Do You Take This Man? was CBC’s Pick of the Edmonton Fringe in 2002 and received an ‘Outstanding Drama’ award at the Melbourne International Fringe the same year.
Sarah has now written a total of ten plays for mainstream audiences including her "Canadian Trilogy" which is made up of Knickers!, Having Relations and Sunshine Express. Her newest play, Kama Sutra, will premiere in the summer of 2019 at Globus Theatre. Sarah also writes for young audiences and her pantomime scripts have entertained thousands of children as part of Globus Theatre's Christmas programming.
Sarah is currently the Artistic Director of Globus Theatre @ the LAB in Bobcaygeon, Ontario (www.globustheatre.com). She has performed and directed dozens of productions for the company over the last decade.
Sunshine Express Playwright Interview
What was your main inspiration for writing this show?
As a newcomer to Canada, I observe different things that become fascinating topics for me when writing. Locals may not always notice the quirks around them but as an outsider I could really pick up on characteristics that make our community one of a kind. The whole phenomenon around snowbirds is so unique to Canada. This is such a crazy thing that at a certain point of year, towns lose over half of their population to people who toodle off to the south and have a mini Canada somewhere in Florida or wherever.
Denure Tours was also a large part of why I wrote this show. They have always sponsored us and supported us. I pitched the idea to them - if I wrote a play about going on a bus tour, would they be our season sponsor? They said yes, which was a turning point for Globus Theatre! Having a season sponsor on board made our programming and operations attainable and we were able to focus on growing.
After we had made this agreement, James and I went on a Denure Coach Tour ourselves! Experiencing some of the heartwarming and comedic moments of being on a bus tour with many other travellers made it clear that this play was going to write itself!
How do the set, props, and costumes bring this story to life?
Props and costumes became logistics once we formed the many characters, which were played by only four actors. We had to figure out how to put a bus on stage… you can’t put a bus on stage! We decided to just have benches because they are easy to get in and out of and then everything after that became simplified! We didn’t have any costumes so accents or physicality or energy levels of characters became the challenge in the rehearsal process. It was really the character work by the actors that brought this play to life.
Did you have any favourite moments in the play?
The first act is the bus journey down and you have all of the stops you make along the way. We have some lemon smuggling, Cracker Barrel orders and no one can remember which meal they ordered, and the stop at the Big Mall… the beginning is about establishing the characters and their quirks. These moments were like sketches and we really enjoyed that aspect of it. At the end, the characters decide to sing The Charlie Cheedle Charter Sing-A-Long Song. We are singing as different characters and some of us are not great singers… so that was a definite high point.
What made this production a Globus hit?
The story line appeals to anyone who has taken a bus tour, which is a huge part of our audience demographic. It was very local and Canadian. The audience was coming and watching their own stories or their peers reflected on stage - and not just a nod towards it, an entire story from beginning to end with characters that they knew. The production was very well done and very funny!
If you would like to inquire about our touring shows, please contact us at: