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Do You Want What I Have Got? Craigslist-inspired musical makes the personal ad sing

Veda Hille, Bree Greig, Selina Martin, Dmitry Chepovetsky, Daren A. Herbert © Joanna Akyol
Bree Greig, Selina Martin, Dmitry Chepovetsky, Daren A. Herbert

Looking for a new apartment? New job? Something going on in your community? Stuffed penguins, decapitated dolls or love for sale? Well, look no further – the answer can be found on Craigslist, or more specifically, Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata!

Originally created as a 20-minute musical for Vancouver’s PuSh Festival in 2009, Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata has become a runaway hit touring across Canada.

As Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata from Acting Up Stage Company and Factory Theatre in Toronto arrives at the NAC, we sat down with cast member and 2013-14 NAC English Theatre Ensemble member Dmitry Chepovetsky and discussed the production and his return to the NAC stage.

What is Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata?

It’s a song cycle of verbatim craigslist ads that are sung and spoken. The show is super fun and poignant, the hunger and need for connection, to get and to give, to sell and to buy.

How did you become involved in the production?

I had worked with and have been good friends with Director Amiel Gladstone over many years and when the auditions for the premiere production in Vancouver came up, I had a friend record my audition in my kitchen for him and Veda Hille, and landed the part.

How has the play progressed from the original run in Vancouver to now?

It has definitely evolved as any new work. There are new songs, songs that have been cut, and the order modified with each run of the show.

You were a member of the 2013-14 NAC Ensemble, what were some of your highlights from last season?

Being a part of Jillian Keiley and Sarah Garton Stanley's inaugural ensemble was my definite overall highlight. Watching the building come to life, the excitement for the work and the support that permeated throughout Ottawa was beautiful to be a part of. I was extremely fortunate to play the roles that I did, and tell all those stories with an incredible company of people.

What you are looking forward to most being back at the NAC?

It’s like going back to your high school after you've graduated; a high school experience that you loved and enjoyed. More like summer camp. The people especially are my fondest memories in all areas, not only English Theatre. I Loved it all.

Finally, what would be the most interesting ad you've read on Craigslist?

When I first started working on the show, the London Telegraph had put out a list of the top ten Craigslist ads. I think there are five of those in ours. The one that I love to share with people the most that is in the show is a woman selling custom made cat hats for her dead cat Snowman.

Google that ad - it’s amazing. And Noodles, one of my favourites. Although nothing surprises me anymore.

Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata performed in the NAC Studio November 12 - 22, 2014.


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