Brad Fraser (born June 28, 1959, Edmonton, Alberta) is a Canadian playwright, screenwriter and cultural commentator. He is one of the most widely produced Canadian playwrights both in Canada and internationally. His plays typically feature a harsh yet comical view of contemporary life in Canada, including frank depictions of sexuality, drug use and violence.
Fraser first came to his prominence as a playwright with Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, an episodically structured play about a group of thirtysomethings trying to find their way through life in Edmonton, Alberta, while the city is haunted by a serial killer. It was a hit at the Alberta Theatre Projects' playRites '89. The play was named one of the 10 Best Plays of 1992 by Time Magazine.
While the New York production of Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love attracted significant attention, Fraser has not directed his career toward New York. Indeed, his next script, Poor Super Man, had its premiere in Cincinnati, Ohio. Coming three years after the 1991 Robert Mapplethorpe controversy in Cincinnati, Poor Super Man inspired international headlines when the board of directors of Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati temporarily canceled the production because of its anticipated obscenity. After a public outcry, the production was reinstated. Poor Super Man opened without incident.
Fraser won London's Evening Standard Award for Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love in 1993. Porter Anderson, theater columnist for New York's Village Voice, conceded that Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love was "under-rated during its 1991 run at the Orpheum", and that the play "had a grunge sensuality that could seduce a young audience to live theatre" and a "slasher plot [that] ripped away at the exhausted cynicism of alienated Canadian youths".
Fraser also has written two films, Love and Human Remains based on his play Unidentified Human Remains... and Leaving Metropolis, both adaptations of his plays. He has also written for the television series Queer as Folk, was host of his own Toronto-based television talk show, Jawbreaker, and for a period of time wrote a biweekly column for the Canadian gay magazine fab. Keanu Reeves had his first acting role in the Toronto production of Fraser's play Wolfboy in the year 1985 at Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto, Ontario.
Plays and performances
- Wolfboy (1981) - his first play that brought him initial attention in Edmonton; a musical adaptation came later
- 1985 - Toronto stage production at Theatre Passe Muraille with Keanu Reeves
- 1999 - First UK production by State of Unrest TC at the Finborough Theatre with Merryn Owen & Stephen Hudson
- Chainsaw Love (1985) Edmonton Fringe Festival
- Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love (1989)
- Calgary (1989) world premiere at the Alberta Theatre Projects' playRites 1989 festival
- Edmonton (1990) Workshop West Theatre, directed by Brad Fraser
- Toronto (1990)
- Chicago (1991) Wisdom Bridge Theatre, directed by Derek Goldby
- New York (1991) directed by Derek Goldby
- New Theatre, Sydney (1994), directed by Stuart Katzen
- London (2006), Warehouse Theatre (Croydon), directed by Dominic Leclerc
- São Paulo (2008), Espaço dos Satyros, directed by Marco Antonio Pamio
- Cincinnati (2010) Studio 307 Series, directed by Casey Snipes.
- Edmonton (2010) Studio Theatre, directed by John Kirkpatrick
- The Ugly Man (1990)
- Poor Super Man (1994)
- Cincinnati, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati (1994)
- Edmonton (1994) Workshop West Theatre and Theatre Network, directed by Fraser
- Buffalo, Buffalo United Artists (1994)
- Edinburgh (1994)
- London, Hampstead Theatre (1994)
- Washington, D.C., Signature Theatre (1995)
- Toronto, Canadian Stage (1995)
- Montreal, Théâtre de Quat'sous (1995)
- Sydney Theatre Company (1995) directed by David Berthold.
- New Theatre, Sydney (1999) directed by Stuart Katzen
- São Paulo, Centro Cultural São Paulo (2000) directed by Sergio Ferrara (awarded best director by APCA - São Paulo Arts Critics Association - one of Brazil's main theatre prizes)
- Martin Yesterday (1998)
- Outrageous, (2000, musical with composer Joey Miller) Canadian Stage Company
- Snake in Fridge (2001) Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, directed by Braham Murray
- San Francisco, Actors' Theatre of San Francisco (2001) directed by Christian Phillips
- Cold Meat Party (2003) Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, directed by Braham Murray,
- Toronto, Factory theatre (2004) directed by Braham Murray,
- True Love Lies (2009)
- Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester (2009)
- Factory Theatre, Toronto (2009), directed by Fraser
- 5 @ 50 (2011)
- Kill Me Now (2014)
- Park Theatre, London (2015) directed by Braham Murray