TJ Dawe

September 6, 8:30am - 10:00am PDT. Hosted at SFU Woodward's — Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

part of a series on Muse

About the speaker

TJ Dawe is a Vancouver based writer, director, dramaturg and performer of new theatre. He’s toured more than one hundred theatre festivals around the world. He co-wrote a play that became the feature film The F Word, starring Daniel Radcliffe as the TJ character. He co-created and directed The One Man Star Wars Trilogy, which has been touring the world since 2002, including runs in New York, London, Sydney and at Simon Cowell’s birthday party. He recently co-created and moderated a multimedia interactive career retrospective with Richard Dreyfuss. He teaches a course at Langara on how to create a solo show. He and his partner lead workshops on creativity and on the Enneagram.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career? Creativity is bringing something into existence that wasn’t there before. I create new theatre as my career - and help others translate their stories and ideas into stage shows.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy? Either from taking in other creative works - books, movies, music, theatre, etc, or by going for long walks.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person? Your belief that it’s better to work on your own rather than in a group is a belief - it’s not the truth. Your unstated belief that you work better on your own than with a group - also a belief, not the truth. Not a law of nature.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings? George Carlin

What did you learn from your most memorable creative failure? I did an elaborate drawing as part of an art class in university. I came up with the concept before I drew it. I could elaborately expound on the theme and significance of it, but it wasn’t really much to look at, compared with my classmates’ work, many of whom couldn’t tell you the theme of their drawings. Ever since then I’ve let inspiration lead, and figured out the themes and justifications as I go, or after the fact.

What books made a difference in your life and why? “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller got me addicted to literature, and taught me about out of sequence storytelling, multiple points of view, that comedy and tragedy can co-exist, and about building a theme and paying it off. “The Stone Diaries” by Carol Shields got me seeking out the writings of women and other people with points of view and experiences different from mine. It also taught me about innovative storytelling that still hit you right in the heart - as have her other novels and stories. “Do the Work” by Stephen Pressfield got me understanding the creative process in a new way, honouring and including the inevitable anxiety that’s part of it all. I’ve recommended this book countless times, and frequently reread it, like a spiritual vitamin shot.

Additional details


Due to high demand for these FREE tickets, we use our waitlist for registration and will release tickets via lottery two weeks before the event. We find this approach to be the fairest and more equitable and appreciate you playing along. Don’t panic if you don’t get a ticket at first, we release additional tickets from the waitlist and priority is given to those who get stuck on the waitlist two or more months in a row. If you are issued a ticket but cannot attend after all, please release your ticket ASAP so someone on the waitlist can join us. Remaining applicants will remain on the waitlist and informed if tickets get released and offered access to FieldTrips when available (watch your inbox).

Please do not register if you aren’t sure you will attend. If you are on the list remember that means we have not only reserved you a seat, but arranged for your food and coffee, so be at the venue by 8:15 for breakfast! If you arrive later than 8:30 your tickets will likely be released to folks on the waitlist who are in line.