Gillian Salmon (she/her) is a writer, improviser, actor and stand up comedian based in Fredericton. She has been studying with Second City since 2020 and is currently nearing the end of their Conservatory program. Mainly focusing on sketch comedy, she loves to try experimenting with different perspectives and surreal situations as a commentary on reality. She likes to travel when she can and read when she can’t.
This year Gillian has two sketches included in our festival: Historical Walking Tour and Where We Go One, We Go All.
How’s it feel to be making your NotaBle debut and how has the opportunity challenged you as a new writer?
It feels surreal still. I submitted thinking nahhh, these will never get picked and then was pleasantly surprised when they were. Watching the first rehearsal was incredibly exciting to see my characters come to life. I’ve seen my writing performed before but only in Zoom format so to see something in real life it was extra exciting.
The experience has challenged me as a new writer in that now I’ve got a taste of it and now I want more. So it’s challenged me to get my act together, pardon the pun, and to write more sketches.
If you had to describe your play in one minute or less, how would you pitch Historical Walking Tour to a potential audience member?
Can I talk fast?
Historical Walking Tour is a reflection on typical walking tours in which historical locations have now become something else and the audience is required to suspend some disbelief and use their imaginations.
Where We Go One, We Go All is a satirical look at the conspirituality influence on the wellness industry.
It’s two sketches because I am an overachiever and they were both short. In hindsight I should have submitted three because of the comedy rule of threes. This is a learning experience.
Is there a theme or message you are attempting to get across to your audience?
Only that there is room for absurdity in the midst of perhaps otherwise dramatic or serious theatre.
Could you comment on the important role NotaBle Acts plays in supporting new and emerging writers like yourself?
The thing that actually motivated me to submit were the writer’s rooms that were hosted via Zoom in April. I have a lot of sketches in the wings and the rooms gave me an opportunity to hear them aloud and make revisions, and then to ultimately submit. I had previously been wanting to submit a longer sketch show for the one act category but I saw the opportunity of throwing a couple in the ring for site-specific and thought, “why wait? If you get it, great. If you don’t, it’s still a good experience and you’ve got two sketches that are more polished.”
Gillian’s plays Historical Walking Tour and Where We Go One, We Go All will be performed outdoors as a pay what you can double bill (w/ A Toast to Happiness) from July 24-27, beginning at 8:30 p.m. near the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.
Historical Walking Tour and Where We Go One, We Go All by Gillian Salmon | Directed by Sydney Hallett | Featuring Thomas Johansen, Diana Chávez, Al Newling and Mallory Kelly.