Sebastien Archibald Second Place 2011


Sebastien is a Vancouver based actor and playwright. He is also Co-Artistic Director and Playwright in Residence of the award winning theatre company ITSAZOO Productions. ITSAZOO specializes in site specific work, original Canadian plays, and supporting emerging artists. He has received critical acclaim for his outdoor modern adaptations of classic works, performed promenade style: Grimm Tales, The Road To Canterbury, and Robin Hood. Other playwriting accolades include receiving the 2004 Belfry Theatre's Incubator Project for Casualties of Progress, 2007 Theatre BC National Playwriting Competition Finalist for Death of a Clown and 2008 Monday Magazine 'M' Award Winner for Best New Play for Grimm Tales. Sebastien graduated from the Phoenix Theatre at the University of Victoria in 2006 with a BFA in Acting and a minor in Playwriting.


Inspiration for 'Chairs: A Parable'

Chairs: A Parable was born out of a desire to challenge myself and write something minimalist. At the time, I had been writing large scale spectacles inspired by Brecht and Bread and Puppet Theatre. For Chairs: A Parable I looked towards other inspirations, notably Pinter and Beckett, and developed a simple story about simple men creating a complex world.

MAN-3

(To the Audience, in the style of a great political leader giving a call-to-arms speech) As am I. Sorry for the blood, sweat, and tears that it cost me. Sorry for the bull-headed stubbornness and fear of the unknown that prevents us from making a change. But change we must. Everyone has a right to have a Chair. But the powers-that-be want to decide who gets a Chair and who doesn't. I see many of you out there today are sitting in Chairs. And I applaud you. (He claps, genuinely) You had a vision for yourselves and you made it a reality. But for those of you who are standing. Or who have ever stood - And I'm sure for many of you that was the not-so-distant past - Or, worse yet, had to sit on the ground - I say to you today: if Chair's are not given to us, nay, if they are denied to us, then we shall build our own Chairs! A Chair for every man, woman, and child, in this land. It sounds impossible, I know, it sounds like a dream. But I believe we can achieve this dream here and now. And perhaps one day, if we keep fighting for what's right, we will have one giant Chair. That we can all sit on. Together. Thank you.

Judge's comments

Sebastien has written a wickedly funny play, a parable as he calls it, about mankind's unquenchable lust for power. Three men sitting on the ground in a relatively barren landscape; a couple of trees in the background. These men start out as equals. They are waiting for something to happen. They cut down a tree, and one of the men has this downed lumber made into a chair for him, a seat of power so to speak. This chair in a barren landscape is of course ridiculous. One of the other man wants a chair as well. He gets a lesser chair. One man is left to carry out the chores that keep these two in power. If only he would refuse to work for the others they would have no power. Very fine and entertaining insights into politics, power and capitalism