Meet the creators of Flora and Fawna- Darrin Hagin and Trevor Schmidt
How did you two first meet?
DARRIN: We were cast in a play called TIMES SQUARE ANGEL by Charles Busch for Kaybridge Productions by Maralyn Ryan. The show description is "New York, 1948. Irish O’Flanagan is the tough as nails, red-headed headliner of the Club Intime. A lifetime of hard knocks has left her bitter and with a chip on her shoulder the size of Mount Rushmore. In the spirit of fantasies such as “A Christmas Carol”, “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “The Bishop’s Wife”, an angel in the form of a sexy vaudeville magician named Albert comes down to show Irish that the path she’s been taking is leading her to disaster". Trevor played the Alfred, the angel (it was a stretch), and I played the leggy, redheaded leading lady, of course.
TREVOR: ...Of course. And we didn't really like each other.
DARRIN: No. Not really.
What was the first project that you worked on together?
DARRIN: We were producing TRANNE OF GREEN GABLES, the final instalment of the Tranne Trilogy (with TRANNY GET YOUR GUN, and L'IL ORPHAN TRANNY). I was playing Tranne , in red braids and a burlap dress and we wanted someone to play Rose Thorne, the "prettiest girl in the (w)hole of P.E.I.- and also the most eeeevil!". And we thought of Trevor, of course.
TREVOR: ...Of course. I was the Nellie Olson to your Laura Ingalls Wilder/Anne Shirley. Will people still get that reference?
DARRIN: Old people will get it.
How would you describe your joint creative process?
DARRIN: I think we work very well together. We complement each other.
TREVOR: You never compliment me!
DARRIN: Complement. With an 'e'. As in- we fill in the holes for the other person.
DARRIN: Not like- Don't be gross! I mean, we pass pieces of script back and forth and you do one section and I do the other-
TREVOR: We equally share a lot of the writing.
DARRIN: That's what I meant.
TREVOR: I think once we've agreed on a tone for the piece, it comes together quite quickly.
DARRIN: Although, to be honest, a lot of people expect that we must fight a lot because we are both perceived to be Big Personalities.
TREVOR: But we don't fight.
DARRIN: No. We just bicker.
Did you do Beaver/Scouts (etc.) growing up? Do you have any fond memories of it? Do you have any terrible memories?
TREVOR: I never did. I never felt comfortable in an all-male environment. I still don't. I always feel like an outsider and that I'm just waiting for them to turn on me.
DARRIN: I was in Boy Scouts for a year and I hated it.
Where did the idea for Flora & Fawna come from?
DARRIN: We were up in the Yukon, in Whitehorse, on a research and workshop trip for our new musical KLONDYKES, and we took a long drive from Whitehorse to Skagway-
TREVOR: It was a looong drive. Darrin forgot to renew his license, so at the car rental place I discovered that i would have to do ALL the driving .
DARRIN: I did the navigating. And took pictures. And took care of snacks. And it wasn't THAT long.
TREVOR: I had to listen to you eat for, like, four hours! That noise you make- all (garbled noises of chewing, slurping, sloshing, clacking, clicking, smacking, chomping, etc).
DARRIN: (over) So someone said "Look at all this flora and fauna" and the other one said "Those are great character names" and by the time we'd got back to Whitehorse we had brainstormed some ideas
This production of Flora & Fawna was originally staged at the Edmonton Fringe in 2014. When you first put this show in front of an audience, what surprised you about their reactions?
DARRIN: It was pretty incredible.
TREVOR: We're never really sure what reaction we'll get to any of our shows until it happens.
DARRIN: But in one of our early performances, a woman stayed behind. At Fringe you only have a few minutes to strike your set for the next group to take the stage, so we basically bowed, ran offstage, and then ran straight back on to clear our set and props. But this woman struggled to get onto the stage- she had mobility issues-
TREVOR: She was quite large and used those arm crutches…?
DARRIN: And she told Trevor "I wish there had been a group of girls like this when I was that age".
TREVOR: And she cried. And then I cried.
DARRIN: And then I cried when Trevor told me.
TREVOR: There's been a lot of crying with this show.
DARRIN: Yes, there has.
You both are also in the rehearsal for another show that you are creating together called Klondykes. Can you tell us a little more about that show?
DARRIN: It's about lesbians in the Klondike during the Gold Rush years of 1896-1899.
TREVOR: Darrin has written some beautiful music.
DARRIN: You're complimenting me!
TREVOR: … dammit.
DARRIN: To be fair- you wrote such good lyrics that I've barely had to change a word- and that's rare in composition. It's very poetic and I think it'll show people a different side to our writing. They expect the campy, bitchy stuff we do at Fringe-
TREVOR: But it's got the 'sucker-punch' aspect that I like.
DARRIN: We love to have the show turn at the 3/4 mark and morph into something with a bit more depth- that takes the audience by surprise. FLORA & FAWNA does that. So did TRIPLE PLATINUM. Even BITCHSLAP!.
TREVOR: I'm nervous but very excited for KLONDYKES to premiere in the Network season. It's brand-new, so we don't know how it will be received.
DARRIN: But it's been fun rehearsing it!
TREVOR: Please remind me never to rehearse two shows at the same time again.
DARRIN: Don't ever rehearse two shows at the same time again.