Favourite local writer

Frances Koncan

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The term “writer” hardly suffices to describe the many jobs and talents of Frances Koncan, not just because she does other things, but because of the many varieties of writing she does.

“My artistic practice is composed primarily of writing,” Koncan says. That includes “playwriting, television, columns, grant-writing, Twitter threads, erotic fan fiction and unnecessary blogs.”

Koncan also directs for the stage and screen, and does other production jobs like sound and lighting design, projection and costumes.

“I really want a part-time admin job but can’t get an interview anywhere,” she adds.

The route to Koncan’s current creative profession was a long and unusual one.

“I got involved in theatre after failing at pretty much everything else I tried to do,” she says. “I originally intended to study music and was pursuing a degree in piano and French horn performance. Music was the only thing I’d ever been good at, but I had a gut instinct I was on the wrong path.”

Koncan saw a play in New York that inspired her to begin taking theatre classes, which resulted in a career in the arts. While her writing can be found online and in print (including in The Uniter’s very pages!) she says she prefers to work in theatre.

“It’s hard to determine exactly how writing is perceived,” Koncan says. “Especially as a theatre director, I love the immediacy of live performance, which is something that writing lacks. It’s the No. 1 thing that sends me in downward spirals multiple times a week.”

While her plays like Riot Resist Revolt Repeat and zahgidiwin/love frequently touch on themes of social justice and decolonization, Koncan says she rarely thinks about such things while working.

“I’m the most themeless writer I’ve ever met,” she says. “My process typically starts from a place of chaos, and it takes a lot of work to discover what I’m trying to say.”

See more from Frances Koncan at franceskoncan.com.

Published in Volume 72, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 30, 2017)

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