THE LIST: Margo MacDonald

THE LIST: Margo MacDonald

Ten things theatre powerhouse Margo MacDonald can’t live without.

Margo MacDonald
Photography by Rémi Thériault

Margo MacDonald is a powerhouse on the playbill, her name appearing as a writer here, an actress there. Always ahead of the curve, she started Company of Fools in 1990 and has since appeared onstage with Odyssey Theatre, Third Wall Theatre, and The Great Canadian Theatre Company. In January, her play Shadows, which won Best of Fest and Fan Favourite at the 2010 Ottawa Fringe Festival, will be staged anew. Based on a true story of sexuality and the stage in 1930s New York, Shadows opens the undercurrents festival at the GCTC.

1 Tea

I’m particularly addicted to Wittard black tea with vanilla. I first tasted it when I was studying in England, and now whenever I know someone who is going to the U.K., I make them bring me back some. But, really, any tea is essential in my day.


2 Books

I’m a bit of a bibliophile. I actually work part-time at Collected Works solely to feed my book habit. I have some 7,000 volumes at home. I’m currently reading Ivan Coyote’s Missed Her.


3 Scones from The Scone Witch

If someone says, “Let’s meet for tea,” I always suggest The Scone Witch. I buy them and freeze them for those days when it feels like the world is crashing down. I’ve tried others; these are the best.

4 Theatre

ScarvesWithout theatre, I probably wouldn’t exist. When I was five, my parents took me to see Oliver; I just couldn’t get over the fact that there were people who do this for a living. For days, I acted out scenes and sang songs to myself. I’ve never looked back.

5 Sweaters and scarves

Being bundled up on a cool autumn day, walking around and taking in the beauty of the colours — autumn is a very good time for me, creatively. Summer kills me!


6 Fluevogs

I’m really hard on my shoes. I do tours for Haunted Walks, and I don’t drive, so I walk everywhere. I probably own four different pairs right now — they’re durable and comfortable, and I love the look of them.

7 The Atlantic Ocean

My parents are from Nova Scotia, and I visited the East Coast when I was a kid — the ocean got into my blood, as my mother would say. I’ve seen it from many sides — the Maritimes, England, even Bermuda — and I just feel so drawn to it.

8 Silence

I think because I lead such a busy life, it’s really important to have time by myself to simply read or drink tea or walk.

The Weakerthans

9 The Weakerthans

I think they should be the poet laureates of Canada. Everything is so fundamentally Canadian, and yet accessible even if you’re not from Canada. They’re marvellous.


10 Kissing

This one should be pretty self-explanatory. Onstage, kissing can involve many considerations. But in real life, a good kiss is one of the best things.