Friday, September 27, 2013

Into social media? So are we

Stay in touch with Department of Common Sense. We'd love to chat with you.
One of the ways that we like to spread the word about our play is through social media. It's great for that, but the best thing about social media is the way we get to talk to people who come see the play. We talk to people after the performances, but having a conversation with people before a show and long after is why we like social media.

We've got a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a Tumblr account and this blog. Feel free to ask a question or strike up a conversation; after all, social media is a two-way street, it's not just a way for us to get some advertising. If you prefer e-mail, you can use that, too. Send us a note at

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tell people what you think

Who's up for more Common Sense?

Did you see Department of Common Sense at the Theatre Arts Guild's playwrights' festival in March or at the Atlantic Fringe Festival?

The critics have weighed in with their opinion of the play, but now is your chance. We will be submitting the play to festivals, including the Liverpool International Theatre Festival which takes place next May on Nova Scotia's beautiful South Shore.

Some festivals -- such as the one in Liverpool -- ask for is comments from people who have seen the play. Post a comment below and we'll send the link to the organizers so they can see what audiences thought of the play.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Critics praise Department of Common Sense

Sophia Smart (Fiona Kirkpatrick Parsons) warns persnickety bureaucrat Richard Clod (Rob McIntyre)
that she'll be keeping an eye on him.

During the 2013 Atlantic Fringe Festival, Department of Common Sense achieved box-office success but also earned praise from theatre reviewers.

Stephen Cooke writes in his review in The Chronicle Herald that Department of Common Sense:
"mixes a vintage screwball comedy flavour with a knowing nod to modern politics, and its characters are sharply drawn, especially the female leads who exude confidence, and pride in their ability to get around their so-called superiors."
Kate Watson of The Coast writes:
"There is comedy gold to mine from the workings of government, and playwright Ryan Van Horne has posted a surplus with this show."
Department of Common Sense earned 3.5 stars out of 5 from theatre critic Amanda Campbell on her blog, The Way I See It Theatre. Campbell writes:

"Department of Common Sense is an amusing piece of theatre that pokes fun at the ridiculous situations in office and political bureaucracies that a great many of us can ardently relate to."

Media coverage from Atlantic Fringe Festival

Sophia Smart (Fiona Kirkpatrick Parsons) tells Richard Clod (Rob McIntyre) how much she LOVES it when a process is followed perfectly, if you know what she means.

Department of Common Sense got amazing coverage during the 2013 Atlantic Fringe Festival and generated tremendous buzz.

Here are some of the media outlets that did stories on the play.

All the coverage helped generate tremendous interest in the festival and the play, which was named a Fringe Hit.

A play inspired by the absurdity of real life

Adele Courage (Lianne Perry) finds a way to cope with bureaucracy by downing some fine tequila in the office of Frank Walker (Mark Adam), the Minister of Common Sense.

The government and bureaucrats are notorious for making decisions that defy logic. Department of Common Sense is a play inspired by true life that could make you shake your head in dismay, seethe with anger, nod with painful understanding, but it is sure to make you laugh and forget the pain as a straight-talking, tequila-sipping minister and two whip-smart women take on a persnickety bureaucrat in a battle of wills – and wits.

First performed on stage at the Theatre Arts Guild's inaugural Playwrights' Festival in March, Department of Common Sense was part of the 23rd Atlantic Fringe Festival and won Fringe Hit as one of the five most popular shows of the festival.