Sunday, June 16, 2013

Who-Themed Fringe Show Tackles Love, Anxiety And A Female Doctor!

During the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, Blogtor will be starring a play all about Doctor Who and its fans. Check out the details below:

Binka Boo Productions presents... 
Who Are You Supposed To Be?
by Keith Gow.
Starring Jennifer Lusk and Cameron K. McEwan
You can support the show by donating HERE.


Actor Jennifer Lusk wants to know why she can’t play The Doctor in Doctor Who. “The Doctor is an alien with two hearts. Why can’t she be an alien with two hearts and two breasts, “ she said. Lusk will star in a rom com set at a science fiction convention called Who Are You Supposed To Be? at the Edinburgh Fringe in August.

Co-star Cameron K McEwan, better known in fan circles as the owner of Blogtor Who agrees. “Don’t we all want to be the Doctor? Maybe it’s time for a woman to take the mantle. That’s part of what the play addresses.”

Originally conceived as a tribute to fans in the 50th Anniversary year of Doctor Who, the play’s themes became more relevant on the announcement of Matt Smith’s departure earlier in the month “Once Matt Smith and the BBC had made their official announcement, the first thing declared by the tabloids is that he would be replaced by a woman,” said Who Are You Supposed To Be? writer, Keith Gow. “And the online discussions quickly mirrored the conflict in the play. Jen’s character likes to dress up as the Doctor. Cameron’s character doesn’t want a woman, because of tradition.”

The show isn’t just about a woman playing the Doctor, though. It is, at its core, a love story where the characters initially bond over pop culture references. As well as love, the show also tackles the issue of anxiety – and how we cope outside our comfort zones.

“It was important to us that the show wasn’t just about Doctor Who jokes or Batman references. We’ve all got different sides and I wanted to make sure the show captured that,” said Gow. “It would be easy to make a show that relies on in-jokes, but we definitely want to appeal to everyone. So it’s for people who fall in love, people who have awkward moments. All of us.”

Lusk and McEwan are about to begin rehearsals on the play, which they hope to tour after the thirteen-show run at Edinburgh Fringe. Two months out from the premiere, they are also trying to raise a little bit more money for costumes and publicity. Check out the IndieGoGo campaign HERE.

“My character, Ash, is dressed up as Peter Davison’s Doctor throughout the show. We need money to get that costume right. That’s her character – she likes to dress up! She spends hours making these costumes. The show needs to get that right,” Lusk explains. “I get to dress up late in the show as well,” said McEwan. “But I can’t tell you who I dress as. As River Song is so fond of saying, ‘Spoilers!’”

With a decision on who will replace Matt Smith still pending, are the creators of this World Premiere romantic comedy about fans and fandom worried that the BBC might be bold and actually cast a woman in the role? Would that change the show?

“Writing is re-writing,” joked Lusk. “If we have to make a change, we’ll be fine. But I think the argument might go on well after an announcement is made. Besides, if the BBC is so bold as to cast a woman as the Doctor, the most important thing is that little girls watching the show can look up and start to believe they could be the Doctor, too.”

Who Are You Supposed To Be? will be performed at: 
 C Venues – C Aquila, August 14 to 26, 15:40

You can support the show by donating HERE.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Besides, if the BBC is so bold as to cast a woman as the Doctor, the most important thing is that little girls watching the show can look up and start to believe they could be the Doctor, too.”

Well damn, makes you think really.

Anonymous said...

i at first thought your pandering for a female Doctor was endearing, and made sense.

now i think you're flogging the pony to get more publicity fame and money for yourself. Its one thing to campaign, its another to use the issue as a way to profit. It makes everything you say about a female Doctor completely invalid, and makes those who really do want a positive female role into fellow smarmy hipsters.

Cameron McEwan said...

I was merely asked to be in the play, as an actor. I have no input into the writing or content of the play (which was written some time, it should be said).

I, personally, will make no profit from this show.

Keith Gow said...

Anonymous (#2), I am the writer of "Who Are You Supposed to Be?"

This show has been in development since December 2012 - though it has predicted the controversy about a female Doctor pretty well, I must say.

The show isn't only about a woman playing the Doctor - it's the hook, it's the conflict when the two characters meet. Then it spins off to be about other things - identity, safety, anxiety and love. It's also a comedy. And a Fringe show. It has no bearing on who the BBC will cast.

Cameron was invited to be part of the show only very recently. It's not part of his agenda or his campaign. In fact, the character he plays doesn't want a woman to play the Doctor. Now that's acting :)

Anonymous said...

No, that's taking advantage of a controversial situation, and stunt casting so you can get more behinds in the theatre.

The character should be played by whichever actor is the best. Male, female, who cares...

to "campaign" for a doctor of ANY type- whte, black, male, female- is the same racism and sexism you both accuse others of. Because as others have pointed out here and elsewhere, you're picking a doctor ***based ontheir race or sex and not their abilities.***. Which would be the worst choice for eveyone. ...and Kieth here just kind of did that type of stunt casting! So what does that tell you? I would love a doctor who looks just like me... but not just to show how "progressive" every one is on the DW team.
if you can't see that, you're no better than those who complain about any non-white doctor. I'm a female of color BTW.

Cameron McEwan said...

"the same racism and sexism you both accuse others of."

I have not accused *anyone* of any such a thing.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Cameron. You haven't accused anyone of anything. That wasn't fair. And I am very, very sorry.

I will say this though, your recent appearance on Scottish radio, felt to me that you implied anyone who was opposed to race or sex changing the Doctor as backwards or was living in some 1880's past world. What if you are like me- someone who doesn't want it because of the trendiness and clear ratings pandering to the large female fan base of the show. My mom used to call it "switching glasses with the same dirty water"- same predjudice, just reversing which side is prejudiced against whom. Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow so to speak. ;)

I'm just opposed to it on the basis that you, and almost everyone else who suggests a minority or female Doctor, suggest with this type of discussion the actor be chosen based on their sex or race, rather than their skills. I'm only a fan for the last few years, but it seems this "female/POC Doctor" topic comes up every time the actors switch, since 1979 and T.Baker. It did in 2009,2010. I think the vast majority of minority fans just want good stories, good acting, and fun Saturdays, regardless of color or gender. See Martha Jones, a perfect example of how to do it without a lick of pandering to me. It's also not lost on me that the vast majority of fans requesting a female or POC doctor are white males. So yet again white men dictating to me who I should or shouldn't see? I hope both of you understand where I'm coming from on that, and I completely understand that you both are coming from a positive progressive place on this topic.

I just want what we got in Matt Smith in 2010- a good actor perfect for the part, regardless of race or gender. When gender is not even considered THAT is the true victory from my perspective, instead of just switching glasses with the same water.

Sorry I bothered you, and didn't mean to accuse you of things you didn't say, but it's a little frustrating to me that the loudest and most condescending voices about this are those with zero stakes in the switch. I'd rather not see people like me in the lead on the show if it's just because they look like me, which today with Who it 100% would be perceived that way no matter what. I'll not bother you all anymore about this ;)

Keith Gow said...

I'm continuing this discussion against my better judgement, because I think it's important to have.

I am not advocating that they cast a woman just because she's a woman. I want the best person for the job. I'd prefer they didn't go younger than Matt Smith, but then I would have preferred they didn't go younger than Tennant - and that ended up working out well!

What I'm advocating for is that the BBC and the producers of Doctor Who have an open mind. If they go into the room only thinking "white guy", then a white guy is all we're going to get.

According to reports at the time, when the Matt Smith decision was made - Patterson Joseph almost became the Doctor. So we've got some notion that the BBC at least considered a Person of Colour. That's not something we've really had a sense of before for this role.

It's all speculation, but from reading various sources, there was no suggestion that a woman was considered for the role last time. None made it onto the shortlist, as far as anyone outside the BBC is aware.

The play is about two particular character with their own flaws and prejudices. It has a point of view, of course. I don't think it's didactic, but it certainly asks the audience to have an open mind. (That's a trend of my work, though. Have an open mind. See where this story goes.)

I don't want a female actor just for the sake of having a female actor. We need to best person for the job. But unless we're happy with the status quo, all I want is for the BBC to consider casting a woman. Just as they considered casting a person of colour last time.

It's not racist or sexist of them not to cast a POC or a woman in the role, but it is close-minded not to even consider the possibility.

"Who Are You Supposed to Be?" tackles all this and more with a lot of humour. Come see it!

Anonymous said...

I think the problem David is that you're not really aware of what you're saying or doing with this play, and that's ok, I know your heart is in the right place and we do actually agree. But I think that you really NEED to have this discussion even if you don't want it. It's the type of discussion you say yourself you want the play to inspire!
I don't think you understand me. I'll put it here at the top so it's clear: it's offensive to me as a female that male fans of the show feel the need to campaign for a female Doctor; as a person of color, it's frustrating that the ethnicity of an actor is more important than their acting skills. It's offensive to me that it's white men campaigning the hardest for minorities and females, all the while blowing off what those POC and females say. Take a look at what we're saying on the internet guys, we don't care about color or sex and only care about good stories and fun times with our favorite character. If you truly wanted the best actor, then that is what you'd make the topic of the play, "the best actor" not "a female actor"- as it seems before Smith left, the play was about "Fake Nerd Girls"- another hot button topic. So from my perspective, it seems you wanted to do a controversial Doctor Who play regardless. Since you are not female or minority I don't expect you to understand this, but we don't want hand-me downs or favors from white men. We don't want to bend the world so everything looks like us. And that is what a female or POC Doctor would be in 2013, especially after all the public discussion of the topic the last few weeks. We want equal representation and consideration and respect, not pandering or forced integration. We want to be hired because of our skills, and not our genders or race. Hire some female writers, or make new minority or female heroes for BBC TV, don't swap dirty water into a clean glass, as I said before.
Both you and I Keith have no idea what has or hasn't gone on behind closed doors at BBC, so for us to speculate who was or wasn't considered is a little ridiculous. How do we *know* a woman hasn't ever been considered? Neither one of you *know* that for a fact, no one does, except those in the room on the day over the years. So you're asking for something through the play- for them to consider a woman in the role- that you can't possibly get confirmation of, so no matter what, you're in the right. If a woman is cast it's a "told you so" situation. If a man is cast "they didn't consider a woman again" and on it goes. This is why the topic is so offensive to me, it's not about the person, it's about their gender, swap the words "male" for "female" in any discussion about this topic and you'll see what I mean- it sounds sexist doesn't it?
I will leave it at this, guys. I feel like you guys are fighting in my gender's name but not listening to what anyone who is female saying. That right there is typical male thinking. I am the type of person you're claiming to fight on behalf of, a woman and of color, and it's the same story- men come along and save the world for us girls, thinking they are progressive because we can't do it ourselves, giving us handouts, and *not listening to what we have to say and deciding for us what we want*. It's 1970's thinking for a 2013 world. We're better than that. Things aren't equal, obviously, but casting Doctor Who as a female is not going to change anything for anyone. We can make our own TV shows, and like C. Skinner become producers and make big decisions without hand holding from men. We've been doing it for decades. We did it with Who in the 60's LOL. I have no agenda against either of you, but I won't be going to the play, or continuing this conversation.

Cameron McEwan said...

Just to be *totally* clear with you "Anonymous" - I, personally, am not campaigning for anyone to be the next Doctor. I know they'll make the right decision based, as you say, on the quality of their acting.

I find your last post incredibly offensive towards me. The language you use is becoming incredibly inflammatory and unnecessary. You're making points that just aren't true have absolutely no grounding, with regards to myself.

Please do not bunch me in with whatever other comments you have read, or opinions heard from other people - it's a reductive way to behave. I speak for myself, and no one speaks on my behalf. Do not assume what I feel or what my beliefs are, something you have done throughout these comments. You presume too many things that are incorrect.

You'll find I have not "campaigned" for any race or sex. I have merely entered into its discussion - that is all. I enter into it under my own name - Cameron K. McEwan.

Your initial, and rather personal, argument against me was also deeply offensive given what I have *actually* said. Something I suggest you do before you make such ridiculous and outlandish statements.

I fully understand your argument, you're just directing it at the wrong person.

Keith Gow said...

Anonymous, let me be clear - I have read many different points of view on the subject of a Female Doctor and "Fake Geek Girls". I am well aware of all sides of these discussions.

Please do not presume to speak for all women and all Persons of Colour.

I know I don't speak for all white men. I am the only person I speak for. That's why I sign my name to my comments.

Christine said...

I just thought it was a nice theme to discuss in a play, especially within the current context of a new Doctor soon (in a few months) to be announced, as well as a lot of the the other issues you are mentioning. And, indeed a nice hook within a play to get discussions started. I certainly hope you'll get the necessary funds, and that your play will be succesful at the festival, which I regrettably am not visiting. I presume there won't be a tour in the Netherlands afterwards, will there? Yoo few fans to get enough people in the theatres. Any chance that the performance (or one of them)will be recorded? I would love to be able watch in some kind of manner!