The story of People Suck begins way back in the halcyon days of the early 2000s (that means idyllic, if you're like Megan and had to look it up). The world was rejoicing in Will Ferrell's SNL "Goulet" impressions, people were only just beginning to discover the magic of texting and selfies, and two optimistic young go-getters named Megan Phillips and Peter Cavell met at the University of Western Ontario. They were both students in the Faculty of Music - Peter majoring in piano and composition, and Megan frankensteining a degree which allowed her to sing and write essays. And while they were both procrastinating from studying, the two could often be found cracking wise on Western's Improv Club.
But the carefree days of university finally came to an end. Megan jetted off to England for a Masters in Musical Theatre Performance, while Peter did his own Masters in Composition in Victoria before moving back to Toronto where he came to work as a Musical Director for the Second City Training Centre. Despite the distance between them, they kept running into each other in the strangest places. And though it was unclear whether this was fate or just random chance, one thing was obvious: they were meant to write a musical together.
"I have this idea for a show," said Megan last summer. "It'll be called People Suck."
"That's brilliant," said Peter. "I'm in."
"I haven't told you anything else about it yet," said Megan.
"I'm still in," Peter replied. "People DO suck. It's a story that needs to be told."
And told it shall be.
For months, Meg and Pete brainstormed and wrote cross-country. Several nights a week, the magic of technology brought them together so they could complain about their various weathers and play their made-up game Cursor Wars... and slowly, carefully, they crafted a show to take their audience where they had never been before. No detail was overlooked - from writing melodies that could challenge even the most pesky earworm, to finding the perfect rhyme for 'asshole'. (It's 'casserole', by the way.)
The next step was to assemble the most awesome team the universe had ever seen.
[We'll need you to visualize an Ocean's Eleven-style heist-crew-assembling montage mmmk?]
First: director Kerry Griffin, funny-person-extraordinaire and director of the current Second City show How To Kill A Comedian.
Then: producer Victoria Laberge, a force in the Montreal community who had run the wicked theatre blog Bloody Underrated and was a fundraising ninja at Centaur Theatre, before recently moving to Toronto. Then: cast members Allison Price (Second City alumna and Peter's childhood piano-buddy), Arthur Wright (Meg & Pete's UWO buddy and better known as GoldenVoice), oh and Second City alums Ashley Comeau and Connor Thompson (great on their own, unstoppable as a duo).
And finally: Musical Director Jordan Armstrong, multi-instrumentalist and pride of the Second City Training Centre, and Stage Manager and Vancouver ex-pat Nicole Passmore, talented improvisor in her own right who fearlessly agreed to take the helm and steer the People Suck ship through waters we've never been before.
With the team in place, only one thing was still missing:
Contact us at: peoplesuckmusical [at] gmail [dot]com