Caitlin Hicks is an author, international playwright, and acclaimed performer, storyteller and presenter in British Columbia, Canada.
"My life and work have been profoundly affected by the central circumstance of my existence: I was born into a very large military Catholic family in the United States of America. As a child surrounded by many others, I wrote, performed and directed family plays.I graduated Cum Laude (English & French) from Loyola Marymount University in LA. I worked as a writer for LA Times, Mattel Toy Co, & CBS & NBC radio in San Francisco. When I was 26, I dropped out of the corporate world to become an actress. At the same time, I met my creative soul mate in an Improvisation class -- an accomplished artist from Canada named Gordon Halloran.In Toronto, I began writing for the theatre when Urjo Kareda at The Tarragon Theatre invited me to be a member of the Playwrights Unit there. My first play Six Palm Trees, co-written with Gordon Halloran, came out of that effort.
"My path as a writer has always been a personal spiritual journey, although my work is not religious. I am drawn towards stories that I don't hear often in the mainstream culture. Often I begin writing because I need to explore something that 'cannot be said'. I enjoy bringing to life personal, pivotal stories which have the kernel of transformation and which connect us all to each other.
"Monologues from several of my plays were featured in Smith & Kraus' series Best Women's Stage Monologues (New York). The film "Singing the Bones", adapted from my original theatre play, debuted at the Montreal World Film Festival to stellar reviews and has screened around the world since 2001. While "A Theory of Expanded Love" is my debut novel, published in North Carolina by by a small US trade publisher, I've published short stories, including That Rescue Feeling, (shortlisted for the John Spencer Hill Fiction Award), George Goes For a Walk (Knight Literary Journal), Saving Scarlett (The Feathered Flounder).
"I have performed my original fiction and non-fiction for CBC regioal & national radio. In print, my writing has been published in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Vancouver Sun, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Fiddlehead Magazine, Knight Literary Journal and other publications.I am a past member of Playwrights Guild of Canada and a current member of The Writer's Union of Canada and served as a regional rep for Federation of B.C. Writers. I served as BC YUKON Regional Rep for TWUC during The Pandemic.
I'm a storyteller and an inspirational keynote speaker. In this role I use my body of one-woman characters whose experiences told in the first person are broad and specific to enhance the theme of the lecture. For writers conferences and events, the topic of my presentation is "Why We Write". I also have a companion workshop called ''What's Your Story?' See https://www.caitlinhicks.com/wordpress/whats-your-story/
IN 2019, I launched a podcast with my creative partner, public artist Gord Halloran.
SOME KINDA WOMAN, Stories of Us is a theatrical podcast, featuring many diverse characters from all my international touring, one character at a time. I also feature other women's writing. A description: Provocative, inspirational stories in character. A woman's life: the unacknowledged grief of life we don't want to admit, even to ourselves. And the laughter. Free download on iTunes, iHeart, Stitcher and anywhere you get your podcasts. Backstory and illustrations for every podcast can be found either here: https://www.caitlinhicks.com/wordpress/podcasts-some-kinda-woman/ or here: https://www.caitlinhicks.com/wordpress/blog/
It is my belief that writing can connect us to each other deeply; it celebrates our individuality as well as the richness of our diversity. As a species we learn through art in the most profound way; the exploration is always thrilling and full of surprises.
Through her family of characters who speak with passion in the first person, Hicks shines a light on women making their way through the dictates of biology and culture, time and mortality. Her theatrical presentation takes her audience on a search for meaning and resonance as she delivers emotionally charged, honest portrayals of each character facing unique life challenges. Hicks toured internationally with comedic and dramatic character-based monologues and theatrical presentations to hundreds of audiences, standing ovations and excellent reviews. A natural performer, she brims with a contagious energy, alternating easily between hilarity and poignancy, and linking us all by bringing us into a visceral experience of our shared humanity.
Her Keynote presentation ‘Why We Write’ examines the first story that inspired her work.
“My mother created and bore fourteen children with her body — and this experience was all around me as I grew up and moved out into a world created in the image and ongoing benefit of men. As I became a woman, I began to understand that being a woman isn’t so much a topic or a theme as it is a way of being in our bodies in the world. My empathy for women charged all my work. I wanted to embody them, to explore and speak their usually trivialized realities. The natural evolution of this passion became my life as a playwright and performer.”
'The Unbearable Hilarity of Existence: How the Grief of Life Can Inspire Humour, Resilience and Gratitude'.
‘Why We Write’ or ‘What’s Your Story’
My Introduction to Why We Write is a keynote monologue that invites audiences to self-reflect on their life experiences and how those shape their writing exploration.
Afterwards, the workshop. Including: questions for reflection & inspiration, exercises, writing.
Most people write the same story over and over, often in different forms. Is there a story you keep coming back to, time after time?
How do your stories reveal your innermost beliefs? Are you aware of your unique point-of-view? What type of archetypal story are you most comfortable with?
Creating Memorable Characters. In my first book A THEORY OF EXPANDED LOVE, the protagonist, pre-teen Annie Shea is feisty, outspoken, innocent and yet, skeptical. In spite of, or because of her intense indoctrination in the rules and legends of Catholicism, she has an alternate 'take' on most things, and is not afraid to verbalize her own discontent. Much of the humour in her character is self-depreciating, and much of her mental monologue is her trying to figure out what, exactly, is going on. In this presentation, I will read some excerpts which display the many facets of Annie's 'unforgettable character'& personality and talk with students about such things as The Suffering of the Low Status Character and the use of Surprise! in creating humour. Students can look at their own lives and talk about, for example, turning embarrassing moments into rich story.
The other aspect that can be explored is the historical nature of this story, and how it differs via so many details, from the mainstream life of a teen in 2022.