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An Interview With Norm Foster

Date Posted: 23/09/2015



Norm Foster has been called Canada’s preeminent comic playwright, and he is also the most produced playwright in the history of his country.  Mr. Foster has over fifty plays to his credit including Ethan Claymore, The Foursome, The Affections Of May, Wrong For Each Other, Jasper Station (with Steve Thomas), The Last Resort (with Leslie Arden), The Love List, Outlaw, Hilda’s Yard, and Mending Fences.  He is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award for his play, The Melville Boys.

As an actor, his credits include Skin Flick, The Long Weekend and The Love List at Theatre Orangeville, Art at Theatre New Brunswick, The Foursome at Theatre Aquarius, Mending Fences at The Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia, Here On The Flight Path at The Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina, and Waiting For Godot at the Sudbury Theatre Centre. 

Norm Foster will be gracing the Theatre Orangeville stage once again in the upcoming production of Jonas & Barry In The Home. A story he says was inspired by the “pestering” of Theatre Orangeville Artistic Director, David Nairn… 


What was the inspiration behind Jonas & Barry In The Home?

It was actually the result of much pestering from David Nairn to write a play that he and I could perform together in retirement homes in Florida.  He called it ‘The Boca Play’. 


Which character (Jonas or Barry) do you identify with the most?

I identify more with Barry who is NOT the character I play.  Barry is kind of curmudgeonly like I am and he is more of an everyman than Jonas is.  I like playing Jonas because he’s not like me.  That’s fun.


What sort of person is going to love this show?

Anybody who likes a story with laughs and heart.  This isn’t a story of two old men sitting around griping about their lives. It’s a story about two old men who want to do more with their lives. And it’s funny! And maybe a little shocking at times.


What will the audience be thinking in the car as they drive home after this show?

I know one thing they’ll be thinking but I can’t say it here.  It has to do with a certain part of a man’s anatomy.  They might also be thinking, “Maybe we shouldn’t put Dad in the home after all.”


Who in the show is most like their character?

Perrie Olthuis. Perrie plays Rosie Voight and she’s the level-headed one in the show. I’m not saying that Perrie is not outrageous at times, she’s just closer to her character than either David or I.  Of course it’s still early yet. That could change.


What play or musical do you wish you had written and why?

Death Of A Salesman because it’s the greatest play ever written.


“I am a closet… Barry Manilow fan.”


What is your least favorite question about your work?

“Why don’t you write a drama?” I wouldn’t enjoy writing a straight drama and if I don’t enjoy what I’m writing then why would I write it?


This is one show you do not want to miss; Jonas & Barry In The Home runs from October 15 - November 1. Tickets can be purchased on-line or by calling the Theatre Orangeville box office at 519-942-3423.



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