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An Interview with Writer, Director, Actor and Teacher Marilyn Norry

Marilyn Norry

By Tariq Hussain

Marilyn Norry has 30 years’ experience in Canadian film and theatre. Not only is she a Jessie Award-winning actress, she is also a writer, teacher, director and producer. She has been a dramaturg at Playwright’s Theatre Centre in Vancouver since 1996, was a story editor on the television series Madison, played a continuing role on Battlestar Galactica and is the creator of My Mother’s Story, a project of plays and books dedicated to telling women’s history one mother at a time. For more information about the project, and for some beautiful stories, check out their website.

Marilyn will be speaking at the upcoming Write! Vancouver Festival, which takes place on May 26th, 2012. For more information visit: www.writevancouver.com.

Tariq Hussain: First of all, I’m amazed by all the many “roles” you have in the arts such as writer, actor, director, teacher—is there a role that you feel most comfortable in or are they all connected for you?

Marilyn Norry: I don’t know if I move from one thing to the next because I get bored or if it’s economic necessity. Sometimes it’s just curiosity.

TH: One of your many roles is being a “teacher” and you’ll be presenting a workshop at the Write! Vancouver Festival this month called “Telling Mom’s Story.” What have you got have planned for this workshop?

MN: With memoir writing, people are overwhelmed by the amount of things they could put down and they don’t know how to start. I encourage people to get the big picture of their mother’s life first because then they can figure out what they want to focus in on. Part of the exercise I’m encouraging everyone to do is to force themselves to think: “Okay, what was the beginning? What do I remember next and what happened after that?” We never do it. We’ve got memories scattered all over our brains and it’s a real process to just sit down and write it all out.

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