I am predominately known for my work in the theatre as a playwright and director. I have been writing plays for production since 1975, have won numerous awards and have a number of plays published. They are all listed here with a short synopsis and information about rights and scripts.
This book publishes the play, the screenplay and detailed introductions to both. David McMillan is a former actor, current waiter watching his twenties tick away. Together with his book reviewing roommate Candy and his best friend Bernie, David encounters a number of seductive strangers in their search for love and sex. However the games turn ugly when it appears one of their number might be a serial killer.
A sort of spiritual sequel to "Remains", David McMillan is now a successful painter living a nightmare as many of his friends succumb to AIDS. Feeling creatively drained, David takes a job at a run-down diner owned by an attractive young couple, to get in touch with the real world once more. David winds up sexually involved with the husband and the resulting affair has dire repercussions for the women in their lives. Adapted to film as "Leaving Metropolis".
In Wolfboy, two teenaged boys share an intimate adventure in a mental hospital. Bernie is a jock that's attempted suicide and David is a street hustler who may or may not have the powers of a wolf. A psycho/sexual thriller written for young people in their own language.
Prom Night of the Living Dead is a musical Darren Hagen and I wrote for the Citadel Teen Festival of the Arts in 1991. As the graduating class of a town small high school prepare for the future, one of their own is transformed into a werewolf- just as a sexy witch and three evil monsters invade the town. The witch is searching for the werewolf, and enslaving all of the town's young males in the process. Will the local girls defeat the witch and monsters in time to save the prom? Of course they will, but perhaps not in the expected manner. It's written for a cast of fifty-three teens and the songs are a sort free-flowing blank verse. There is no score available for this show at this time. Amazingly, it has had one other production. A high school in London, Ontario wrote their own music for their production.
The show is rather infamous for a production in Toronto in 1984 starring a then unknown Keanu Reeves. That's him and Carl Marotte as the introductory picture of this section.
After Wolfboy, Remains, and Poor Superman, True Love Lies continues the adventures of David McMillan later in life. He’s returned to his home town to open a restaurant. When a young woman applies for a job he learns she is the daughter of his ex-lover, who is now married with children. When the daughter and her disturbed discovers the truth of the relationship they manipulate a meeting between David and their father, Kane from Remains, now much older, and unknowingly awaken old resentments and wounds in the older generation. A stark, funny and honest examination of sexuality, marriage and family. Produced very successfully in Manchester, Toronto, Houston, Edmonton, Calgary, and Atlanta.
A reworking of the classic revenge tragedy "The Changeling" by Middleton and Rawley, this script explores the bloody, twisted themes of the genre in an updated and pop culture riddled vernacular. Beautiful and spoiled heiress Veronica languishes on a ranch run by her overbearing mother, Sabina. When a hideously scarred drifter arrives looking for work both mother and daughter attempt to use him to their own selfish ends, resulting in tragedy for everyone. I refer to his play as a Gothic Noir Domestic Melodrama.
This play has caused quite a stir wherever it's run, which was exactly my intent. Matt, a thirty-something comic book artist begins a relationship with a well-known gay politician, Martin Yesterday. Matt finds himself disillusioned with both Martin and the gay community in general when he discovers not everything is what it appears to be, and that self-hatred and disease are two obstacles even love can't overcome. The original production at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, North America's largest gay theatre, is one of my faves. Filled with video, graphic and convincing sex (Including a stunning money shot), it was a much different play than the second production at the Royal Exchange, which is printed here.
Commissioned by the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England, "Snake" is one of my personal favourites. Led by the steroid abusing, foul mouthed, unbelievably angry club kid, Corbett, seven people, all working in the sex industry, share a house in Toronto. When a supposedly dead snake revives and disappears into the house supernatural forces are unleashed in a play that combines modern club life with a classic haunted house mystery. This show contains the most smoking dialogue I've ever written and a couple of monologues that still make me laugh when I read them.
Produced in Manchester, Toronto and Lima, Peru; this play is about a group of university friends who arrive with their various others and family member in Manchester for the funeral of one of their own. While staying in an odd Bed and Breakfast owned by the dead friend, they are each forced to face the changes that have happened in their lives and the unspoken hurts and desires of the past. When they are joined by a mysterious woman who has arrived with a secret and shocking purpose everything they thought they believed about one another is shattered by their present reality. Not one of my easiest plays but it does have its rewards.
While auditioning for the mother’s part in True Love Lies I was struck by the number of excellent middle-aged actresses who were having trouble finding parts. I wrote this play for them. When Olivia loses control at her fiftieth birthday party, her three best friends decide to intervene once and for all, much to the irritation of Olivia and her long-term partner Nora. But is she the only one battle a demon or does each of these women face an addiction of one kind or another? 5 @ 50 Is a raw and darkly comedic portrayal of turning fifty in contemporary society, and of the friendships we can’t live without. Premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.
Currently in development. This is my heartbreaking comedy about euthanasia. Jake Sturdy is a well-meaning, responsible widower taking care of his severely disabled teen-aged son Joey with the help of his sister Twyla, Joey’s odd friend Rowdy who suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Jake’s special friend Robyn, a married woman he’s had a clandestine affair with for years. Joey’s going through puberty and his inability to masturbate himself is causing his father great consternation. However when Jake is struck with a sudden, disabling condition, everything he wants for his family is put in jeopardy. A funny, harrowing story of dealing with being different and caring for and saying good-bye to those we love.
Writing for radio has always been a strong interest of mine. I was one of those weird kids in the 70s who actually enjoyed listening to old time radio serials like The Shadow and Superman. Writing for radio allows the author to really go to town with their storytelling without worrying about budget or effects. Early in my career I wrote a half-hour children's adventure, I believe the show was called Storybook Theatre, for CKUA in Edmonton in the late seventies. During the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988 my former writing partner Jeffrey Hirschfield and I won a competition that had us writing sketch comedy for CBC radio based on the days leadlines. Martin Yesterday was originally commissioned by BBC Radio and was nominated for a Sony Award the year it was broadcast.
The BBC also commissioned an adaptation of Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside me, in the late 90s, that I loved. It was scary, violent and highly erotic. Naturally it scared the hell out of the beeb and the script was never produced, although I occassionally consider dusting it off and adapting it as a film.
My work in television was rare to nonexistent for years, there really wasn't much in the medium that interested me. I did a lame gig for the NFB on an ethics series that aired somewhere while I was part of the National Screen institute that really soured me on the medium. I avoided television until the cable universe exploded and shows like Oz, Six Feet Under and The Sopranos started to prove that television wasn't a completely moribund medium.
Two seasons after it started I was hired on Showtime's "Queer As Folk" as a writer, story-editor and ultimately supervising-producer of the show. It was easily one of the most interesting and creative jobs I've had and working with co-creators Ron Cowan and Dan Lipman, my fellow writers Michael McLennan, Del Shores and Shawn Postoff- also coordinating producer Adam Newman and former writer Ephrem Seeger- was one of the high points of my life as a writer. In my three seasons with the show I wrote eight scripts and all are available on DVD. Stay tuned for the final season. Its going to be a good one.
I'm currently developing a series called "Retail" for Frantic Films and Showcase. The series idea was generated by Winnipeg wunderkind Noam Gonnick and is about a conflicted young drag queen working in the world's worst shopping mall and changing the lives of all of the "less fortunate" normal people around him. It's been a riot to work on. We've just finished the bible and the first six episode outlines. Hopefully you'll be hearing something about it in the near future. Stay tuned.
Onscreen, besides appearing in the background of a few Second City sketches while they were being filmed in Edmonton in the late 70s, I've also been a frequent guest on many shows and hosted my own gay themed chat show "Jawbreaker" on PrideVision (Now Out TV). We did two seasons of the show- on a shoestring I might add- and there are (I believe) 27 episodes.
Season One's shows are one hour and season two's are thirty minutes. The show was created by myself, Josh Levy and David Dean and featured a wonderful roster of guests including; Maggie Cassella, Deb Pierce, Ashley MacIsaac, David Gale, Diane Flacks, Bruce Gray, Ronnie Burchett, Michael Lewis McLennan, Scott Lowell, Bobby Gant, Dan Lipman, Elvira Kurt and many, many others discussing are variety of topics. The show was relaxed, freewheeling and a lot of fun to do. The episodes are currently still in endless rotation on Out TV and someday soon I hope to post a full show/guest list as well as clips from the show on this site.
Of course, like everyone else in theatre and television, I've always really longed to do films. And luckily the opportunity has come up a few times. My first film "Love and Human Remains" was directed by Denys Arcand and produced by Roger Frappiere and Pierre Latour and was an amazing experience even if the film itself didn't set the world on fire.
My second film isn't really a film at all, but a feature length improvisational video created with Daniel MacIvor in 1995 on Gay Pride Day. "Parade" was made as a learning exercise by MacIvor and myself and because of union waivers that were never taken care of, it can't really be shown publicly- at least not for profit. It has played at a number of gay and Lesbian film festivals around the world.
My most recent film was "Leaving Metropolis", an adaptation of my play "Poor Super Man" that I directed myself. It won the Audience Favourite Award at the Sydney Australia Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and is available in a very nice package- complete with trailers and director's commentary- from Wolfe Video.
David is a painter whose success has brought him fame, money and insulation from the life experiences that inspired him to paint. When he decides he needs to get out in the world again, he takes a job as a waiter at a small café. The last thing he expects to do is fall in love with Matt, the co-owner of the café. Leaving Metropolis is about the effect of their affair on the women in their lives. Shannon and Kryla are David's best friends. Shannon is an hiv- positive transsexual waiting for her final operation. Kryla is a refugee from several failed relationships who resents David's new love. Violet is Matt's wife. Love, hate, life and death - all have a place in this contemporary story about a group of thirty-something urbanites.
Kim Todd, Paul Stiles, Ken Mead
Kim Todd, Paul Stiles
Director of Photography
Forrest and Forrest Casting
Set in a dreary urban landscape of an anonymous Canadian city, LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS is a dark comedy about a group of twentysomethings looking for love and meaning in the '90s. The film focuses on roommates David, a gay waiter who has has given up on his acting career, and Candy, a book reviewer who is also David's ex-lover. David and Candy's lives are entangled with those of David's friends (a busboy, a psychic dominatrix, and a misogynistic civil-servant) and Candy's dates (a male bartender and a lesbian schoolteacher). Meanwhile, a serial killer menaces the concrete and asphalt neighbourhood in which David and Candy live.
Sal (Aidan Devin)
The Drag Queen
Sylvain Morin Ben Watt
The Native Boy
The First Victim
The Second Victim
Ginette Robitaille, Jean Kazemirchuck, Michele Nolet
Brad Fraser is one of Canada's best known playwrights, in addition to being a director for stage and film, a talk show host and wearing many other hats. Born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1959, Brad won his first playwritings competition at the age of 17 and has been writing ever since.
Brad's International hit play Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love premiered at Alberta Theatre Projects PlayRites festival in 1989. It has since been produced worldwide, with highly successful runs in Toronto, New York, Chicago, Milan, Sydney and London. It has been translated into multiple languages, and was most recently produced in: Athens, Greece; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Poor Super Man, developed by Canadian Stage, was first produced by the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati in 1994 and has enjoyed successful runs in such diverse cities as: Sydney, Australia; Edinburgh, Scotland; London, England; Denver, Colorado; and Toronto, Ontario-to name a few. It was nominated for a Governor Generals Award for Drama and has now been developed into a feature film with Brad as writer and director. Poor Super Man, like Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, was listed by Time Magazine as one of the top ten plays for that year.
Martin Yesterday, which premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 1997, has been subsequently produced by Theatre Network in Edmonton, a long time producer of Brad's work, enjoyed a very controversial run at The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester England, and opened in Spring 2002 at the New Conservatory Theatre Centre, San Francisco.
The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England commissioned Snake in Fridge, which opened November 20, 2000. This script will be produced in New York April, 2005. His new musical Outrageous, written with composer Joey Miller, has recently concluded a successful run at Toronto's Canadian Stage and has been redeveloped for off-Broadway. The Royal Exchange Theatre commissioned Brad to write his latest play Cold Meat Party, which had a successful opening at the theatre in February 2003. It has since played in Toronto.
Other produced plays include: Mutants (Walterdale Theatre, Edmonton, 1981), Wolfboy (Twenty-fifth Street Theatre, Saskatoon, 1982), Rude Noises (For a Blank Generation) (A pseudo-collective with Paul Thompson and Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto, 1982), Chainsaw Love (Edmonton Fringe Festival, 1985), Young Art (Theatre Passe Muraille, 1986), Return of the Bride (Edmonton Fringe Festival, 1989), The Ugly Man (Alberta Theatre Projects, Calgary, 1990) and Prom Night of the Living Dead-a musical with Darrin Hagen (The Citadel Teen Festival of the Arts, Edmonton, 1991).
Brad's plays have won numerous awards including The London Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, The L.A. Critics Award, The Dora Mavor Moore Award, and London's Time Out Award for Best New Play. Brad is a five-time winner of the Alberta Culture Playwrighting Competition and a two-time winner of the prestigious Chalmers Award.
In addition to his work as a playwright and director Brad has spoken at various universities and arts institutions across the continent on such subjects as "Why I Hate The Theatre"-a witty, merciless commentary on the current state of theatre and theatrical criticism (The Grand Theatre, London, Ontario and The University of Saskatchewan, Regina), and the affect of AIDS on his work in the highly personal and hard hitting "What I Did During the Plague" (Concordia University, Montreal and The University of Nebraska, Lincoln). Brad has written extensively for print media (The Edmonton Bullet, The Globe and Mail, Western Living, The National Post), radio (CBC, BBC, and CKUA) and various film companies (Disney/Touchstone, Lewis Chesler Productions, Atlantis/Alliance and Serendipity Point Films).
Brad's film and television work include "Love and Human Remains" (Directed by Denys Arcand and Genie award winner for best adapted screenplay), "Parade" (A feature length video with Daniel MacIvor), and the self-directed "Leaving Metropolis" (Winner of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Audience favourite award and currently available on DVD in Canada and America). He worked as a writer and Supervising Producer on Showtime's highly popular Queer As Folk" for three seasons and continues to develop scripts for film, TV and Stage. Brad has been playwright in residence at Theatre Passe Muraille, Workshop West Theatre and Alberta Theatre Projects. He has been a three-time member of the Banff Centre's Playwrights Colony. Currently Brad divides his time between his home in Toronto and Los Angeles. Brad's work has enjoyed the very important support of The Canada Council, The Edmonton Arts Council, Alberta Culture, The Trillium Foundation, The Laidlaw Foundation, Telefilm Canada and The Ontario Arts Council. Without the support of these groups Brad's work would not have achieved its success.
Brad's plays are available at finer bookstores everywhere.
Great North Artists Management
350 Dupont St.
Toronto, Ontario M5R 1V9
Tel: 416 925-2051
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This all relates to whether you're just browsing my site or using the e-mail and newsletter services.
Except when acknowledged to be the work of other people, all of the text, and graphics and photos on this Web site are Copyright © 2003-2005 Brad Fraser.
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I've been lucky enough over the course of my career to be photographed by some truly excellent people. Their photos are included all over this site and they must be credited. They are Tim Vant, Guy Doyon, Grant Olson, David Hawe, Guntar Kravis, Rauel, Adam Newman and Ed Godell