ON THE CREATION OF THE PLAY, “THE WORKINGMAN”
Tom: Well, you know why I wrote The Workingman?
Q: Because there was a contest?
Tom: That’s right. I only had three days to write it. And then not too long to produce it. There was a theatre festival [the 1975 du Maurier Festival of Canadian Plays]. So that was the long and the short of it, you know, then Pulp Press decided to publish it.
Q: What about the casting of the actors?
Tom: At the New Play Center?
Q: What do you remember about that?
Tom: I remember the actors, but like with any play I seldom have anything to do with the actors. Not never, but it’s very rare.
Kate [Lynch], more than anyone, I think she has an eye for casting. So if Kate wants to cast something we’re doing, I would really have to have trouble with a particular actor for me to even say anything about it. It’s not just me. I mean, even people who haven’t worked with her have thought, why did she use so and so, who turned out to be so fabulous? I don’t know how she knows how to do that. I don’t. So as a result I don’t do it.
The only guy that I knew while we were in rehearsals for the show was a guy named Wayne Robson [who played Gene]. Wayne Robson is actually very well-known here in Canada.
One day while we were in rehearsal he got a phone call, long distance. He went to get it and it was Robert Altman calling him to see if we wanted to be in Popeye. And so he did it. After he was in my play he did Popeye, in wherever country they were in for that [Malta]. You’ve probably seen him in the odd film. He was a short guy though. So he never was the leading man.
The guy, Jerry Wasserman [who played The Man]. He’s got a severe look to him but in actual fact, he works at UBC as, I don’t know, an English professor or whatever, but something like that [Professor of English and Theatre at UBC]. I’ve seen him on Disney films and shit like that. He got a lot of work. I think the other people just got out of acting.