Introducing Tim Carlson!

Stray:  Tim Carlson

Introducing Tim Carlson:  co-creator and performer for Stray

Tim Carlson is a playwright, journalist and the artistic producer of Theatre Conspiracy. He led the creation of Foreign Radical, which won the 2015 Jessie Award Critics Choice Innovation prize in Vancouver and a 2017 Edinburgh Fringe First Award. The show toured the UK in 2018 and a French translation is in process for Ottawa and Montreal dates in 2020. The script was recently published in Canadian Theatre Review. He is currently creating a new show, Isolation Suite, and collaborating with David Mesiha on Same Difference.

Carlson’s new documentary play, Victim Impact, premiered at The Cultch in Vancouver in June 2018. He also co-created, wrote the music for, and performed in Tanya Marquardt’s Stray, seen at The Tank in New York and SummerWorks in Toronto in 2018, and upcoming in Vancouver as part of Pi Theatre’s Provocateurs series in 2019. He was researcher/ interviewer for Berlin-based Rimini Protokoll’s latest show, Top Secret International, seen at the 2017 Under the Radar Festival in New York as well as researcher/ dramaturge for Best Before (Rimini Protokoll, @ PuSh 2010) and 100% Vancouver (Rimini Protokoll / Theatre Replacement, @ PuSh 2011).

Extraction (2013) won the Rio Tinto Alcan Award, Canada’s largest prize for new play development. Carlson’s play Omniscience (Talonbooks, 2007) was produced in Vancouver, Berlin, Lisbon and Chicago. He founded Club PuSh with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver and served as co-curator from 2009 to 2016.

A quick Q/A with Tim:

Pi Theatre:  What is your favourite band or song?

Tim:  Parquet Courts’ Before the Water Gets Too High is the current earworm.

Pi:  What is your favourite lyric and why?

T:  It’s smart tune about global warming with an infectious bass line. The “until the rich are refugees” in the final verse kills it, connecting climate change and refugee crisis.

Before the water gets too high

Add up the bribes you take

And know time can’t be bought

By the profits that you make

Before the water gets too high

To float the powers that be

Or is it someone else’s job

Until the rich are refugees?

Before the water gets too high

Pi:  What is your favourite actor?

​T:  Tanya Marquardt

Pi:  What is your favourite quote?

​T:  Continuing the environmental theme, the bit about what to do with “the only tree that’s left” in Leonard Cohen’s The Future makes me laugh and wince simultaneously. Yeah, it’s a lyric as well but also a published poem.

Give me crack and anal sex

Take the only tree that's left

And stuff it up the hole

In your culture

Give me back the Berlin wall

Give me Stalin and St. Paul

I've seen the future, brother

It is murder

[When I sing it, I change it to: Hack down the only tree that’s left/ And ram it up the hole in your culture.]

Pi:  What is the worst job you ever had?

​T:  Shovelling shit on the ranch where I grew up when it was like 20 below. 30 with windchill.

Pi:  What is your favourite off-time activity?

​T:  Playing guitar. Tennis.

Pi:  What is your favourite book/play?

​T:  Bob Dylan Collected Songs

Pi:  What is your personal philosophy?

​T:  [with increasing volume and intensity] Just relax. Just relax! Just relax!! Just relax!!! Just relax!!!! JUST RELAX!!!!

Pi:  What is your greatest moment?

​T:  Recording the original version of Just Relax with Jon Wood was right up there. We adapted it for the final tune in Stray. Or winning that Fringe First Award in Edinburgh for Foreign Radical was … rad.

Pi:  What is something you would rather forget?

​T:  The first time I played live in the band Daddy back in Regina in the ‘80s – it’s rather triggering to even write that down.

Pi:  Do you have any other interesting or quirky skills/interests/hobbies?

​T:  I’m proud of my parallel parking skills. 

 Stray by Tanya Marquardt runs from 14-15 June!  Tickets available here.  

Find Tim online:

Theatre Conspiracy website


• Instagram: theatre.conspiracy

• Twitter: Conspiracy_Now


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