Camille Inston

Camille Inston photographed on Sept 7, 2017.

"I was a big storyteller as a kid. Does that mean I was a chronic liar back then? Probably," muses Camille Intson, an award-winning playwright.

Today, the third-year double major theatre studies and English student is part of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. She has written several plays that have been produced around the country, notably at London's Grand Theatre, Paprika Festival, Newmarket National Ten Minute Play Festival, About Love Festival and Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival.

Her play Road, a story about four love-struck individuals moving in and out of each others' consciousness on a train, won the Newmarket National Playwriting Competition and competed internationally to be selected for Vancouver's About Love theatre festival in 2016. She also directed the Arts and Humanities' theatre production Antigone in 2016 and launched her own Winnipeg-based company, the ArtLaunch Theatre Company, that provides a space for voices and stories. 

Although Intson loves to take risks and put her work out there, she admits that it comes with significant challenges. 

"I have a very fragile sense of self, but I also work really, really hard," says Intson. "Criticism is tough in any creative field because you get genuine criticism from people who are there for the work and then social criticism where people don't separate you and your work."

Intson says that she's had to build a thick skin while also acknowledging that her work isn't made to impress people.

Despite her success, Intson remains humble. "My hobbies are just being human. Although I have some cool extracurriculars, I'm still a human being with flaws," says Intson. 

Even though Intson is heavily involved in the writing world, she wasn't always a writer. At the age of 10, she was a harpist who played at weddings. After she quit the harp, she began songwriting and then fell in love with the art of writing.

When she's not writing, Intson spends her time reading, watching foreign films and napping in hidden spots on campus. She particularly enjoys reading her family's genealogy and watching Russian history documentaries.

She also has a love for culture and activity planning. She works as a Quebec City tour guide during the summer and volunteers as head soph for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities during the school year.

Currently, Intson is working on three pieces about love, fate and time with the hope that one day she can produce a show in Toronto. Although she doesn't know what will happen, she knows that her passion and motivation will allow her to create works that give her insight into the people around her.

Her positive attitude extends to her advice for aspiring artists.

"Don't put people on pedestals. Learn from everything you read and write, even if you hate it. You can learn something from everybody," she says.

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Vivian Cheng is a third year medical sciences student and Culture Editor for Volume 111. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her curating another playlist or thinking about puppies. You can contact her at vivian.cheng@westerngazette.ca.

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