The impossible becomes possible when the wrong people have money

Reed McColm’s new play will have its world premiere at the Varscona Theater on October 19

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In Reed McColm’s latest play, The Wrong People Have Money, a group of investors try to figure out how to move the entire island of Greenland to southern waters.

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Crazy, right? Maybe, but McColm reminds us that a lot of crazy propositions in life eventually come true.

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« Hey, I’m talking to you on a cell phone right now, » he said playfully. “I’m part of a generation where I remember landlines, and my grandparents remembered when there were no phones at all. The idea of ​​a cell phone back then would have been crazy, but every great advancement in the world started out as a crazy idea.

Which doesn’t mean that McColm is proposing to drag Greenland into milder Atlantic waters. It’s actually the character of Professor Martin Delancey (Julien Arnold) who introduces the notion to his students at York University as a way to encourage thinking outside the box. When a consortium challenges them to find a realistic way to do it, the feasibility studies are canceled and the money on hold.

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« I’ve had this idea for a while, » says McColm, an accomplished playwright who’s also written for TV shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, Growing Pains and Wings. « I noticed years ago that when I met scientists at parties or saw them on TV, they would hedge their bets on impossibilities and laugh at certain things that should be impossible. Then they would explain how it could be done. So they kind of had it both ways, saying, « No, no, it can’t be done, » followed by, « You should do this, this, and that. » is how creative minds are ignited and inspired, because they have the idea that « Wow, this impossible thing can be overcome ».

The world premiere of The Wrong People Have Money was a long time coming. Originally slated for Shadow Theater’s 2020 season, the play has been postponed to this year, starring Conni Massing’s Fresh Hell and Darrin Hagen’s 10 Funerals, as well as Karen Hines’ All the Little Animals I Have Eaten. McColm acknowledges that it was difficult to see the play pushed back for a few years, but he also thinks she benefited from the delay, especially with director John Hudson applying a scalpel to the script.

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« It was really a surprise gift for the production, » he says. “I thought the first two drafts I did were pretty good and we’ve had 10 since. I mean, I spent the weekend making a production copy that reflected all the changes we made, and then this morning I was talking to John, who said, « Wait till you print this for right now because we have a few more things we need to do. I tend to be quite wordy, as you can see in this interview, and John is extremely efficient. He tries to get right to the heart of the matter in each line.

McColm enjoys the collaborative aspects of editing a production, though he admits to cringing when a favorite line is mercilessly cut. He’s also touched that the original cast of Elena Porter, Andrea House, Steven Greenfield, Linda Grass and Julien Arnold have all re-signed after the two-year gap. Much like Hudson, they also helped shape the final product.

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« When you put people in roles, they come up with amazing things. They ask questions like, ‘Does it matter, or how would I say that line?’ Maybe their character is offended by a particular line in a situation; these are the kinds of discussions that often take place during our rehearsals.

At this time, there are no plans to move Greenland from its location to the north, but McColm does not rule out a future effort. As he says, if this were done, it would take determination, international interest and, as the play’s main character notes, more money than there is on the face of the earth. But is it possible?

« One of the things I loved about Star Trek is that it was based on the assumption that things were possible, » McColm ends before heading to rehearsal for another round of script polish. “In fact, anything we imagined could be done. Now, we’ve never seen anything travel faster than the speed of light, but the Big Bang theory is based on the idea that everything in the universe was blown up at speeds hundreds of times faster than the speed of light. light. It’s not something we’ve seen since, but I look forward to when we can document something like this.


Shadow Theater presents The Wrong People Have Money

Playwright Reed McColm

Director John Hudson

Featuring Elena Porter, Andrea House, Steven Greenfield, Linda Grass, Julien Arnold

When Oct. 19 to Nov. 6

Where Varscona Theater

Tickets From $20 at

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