In a small white office space at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre, Greg Everett sits at his writing desk in a corner of the room encompassed by knickknacks, totems and art he’s collected over the years.
"This is my little sanctuary," said Everett.
Everett used to think writing wasn't a viable career choice for him, but a few years ago, he decided it was something he needed to do. Now, it’s becoming his career.
Everett has written two plays in this office, including his newest one-act play, GULLYWHUMP.
GULLYWHUMP is situated in the make-believe world of Bvrntland, adopted from Everett's real-life rural neighbourhood of Burntland Brook N.B., just outside the Village of Plaster Rock along the Tobique River.
"The world of my play is a really exaggerated and twisted, a kind of black magic surreal universe version of where I grew up," said Everett.
"My friends call [my plays] New Brunswick eldritch horror, I just call it like, Maritime black magic surrealism."
Gullywhump is a word Everett said is regionalized to his home town.
When Everett was a kid, his dad told him Gullywhump’s were monsters who lived in a ditch, deep ravine or gully.
"We would go on walks and [my father] would tease me saying the Gullywhump's are going to get me."
The peculiarity of the word Everett heard so often in his childhood sparked the idea for the play.
"In the beginning I just had the idea that I wanted to write a play called GULLYWHUMP, because I knew it would generate a ton of interest just from people wondering what that means."
GULLYWHUMP follows the tale of two brothers, Elisha and Saul, who set out on a pilgrimage to spread their sisters’ ashes and retrace a path of trauma and abuse. The two recount the abuse their sister faced as they head towards a cabin at the end of a ravine, all while being pursued by a Gullywhump.
This is Everett’s second play to be staged as part of the NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival, a festival to help emerging artists produce their plays.
Everett said the NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival helps artists, like himself, to revise their scripts and get an entire production crew together for rehearsal.
This is the first one-act play that director Miguel Roy, 24, has directed. He enjoyed seeing the play come together and said he liked directing it because “it’s weird.”
“It’s the kind of script that has evolved so much since I first got my hands on it,” said Roy.
“Despite it being framed in this strange world that Greg [Everett] is developing, it’s a real story about people before anything else. It’s about a family, grief and loss.”
GULLYWHUMP runs from Aug. 1 to 3 at 7:30 pm in Memorial Hall on the University of New Brunswick’s campus. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students, seniors and underemployed folks.