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Meet The Writers: Greg White

In our "Meet The Writers" series, we're learning more about the participants of the CMTWC Writers Workshop. The Toronto Writers Workshop meets every two weeks where, under the guidance of Leslie Arden, writers learn and practice the craft of composition and lyric-writing.

What was your introduction to the theatre?

The first show I really remember seeing was Phantom in Toronto around 1989. I went with my school band, we sat in the very, very back row of the Pantages. It was the production, holistically speaking, I think that struck me. It was a revelation in terms of the possibilities of live theatre.

When was the moment you decided to write for the theatre?

It wasn't until I started performing on stage that I started to think about it with any real purpose. I had stayed away from the theatre for most of my life due to my own struggles with stage-fright that took years to overcome. When that finally happened, so did the desire to create original work.

Whose work do you admire and why?

Robert Lopez, for his ability to excel in multiple genres, styles, and voices. Lin Manuel Miranda for his limitless talent. Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron for their collaboration on Fun Home, intimate musical storytelling at its finest.

How do you like to write? What is your process? Where do you find inspiration?

I write mostly on the train. It is an hour and a half each day of time where I can put pen to paper without distraction. I tend to just start in and not try to edit to early, although I absolutely start editing too early. Inspiration is everywhere.

What do you want to see more of on stage?

I want more of what I never knew I needed. Things like Hamilton or Fun Home are examples of storytelling that are surprising and thrilling and new. Surprise me.

If you had to pick one musical cast recording to be your "desert island record" which would it be?

[title of show]. Everything I need to keep me inspired and laughing.

Complete this sentence: "I write because...”

I have to.

What's a tip you have about collaboration?

Always be challenging each other. It's the only way the best work comes out in the end.

Why did you join the Writers Workshop?

I have so much to learn, and Leslie has so much to give. Workshops like this also focus my efforts, they help me keep on a writing schedule. And of course the wonderful opportunities to meet new people, meet new collaborators, and try new things.

What is your favourite thing about the Writers Workshop?

Getting up there every two weeks to lay it out on the table for deconstruction, criticism, feedback, and most of all the support of fellow artists.

Greg White is an actor, writer, director, and producer from Toronto, Ontario. As an actor Greg has appeared in national commercials, films and television series, most recently on the new drama series "The Detail" coming to CTV in 2018. Greg has also written for television as the head writer for "Inside the Box", a television trivia game show for CanWest. Greg has written, directed, and produced commercials and award winning short films, and is the writer and director of the feature film "Separation" a psychological thriller starring Canadian Academy nominees Peter Stebbings and Sarah Manninen. Greg's previous stage work includes The Wizard of Oz as The Lion, Into The Woods as The Wolf (Queensville Players), August: Osage County as Steve Heidebrecht (Whitby Courthouse Theatre) for which he received a THEA nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama, and most recently in Avenue Q as Nicky (Whitby Courthouse Theatre). Greg is on Twitter and Instragram @whiteymcg.

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