Biography of Kevin Arthur Land
Kevin has been writing and producing plays since 1980. His comic drama “Turns” was voted “Best Original Play—1982” in Victoria. In 1987, he returned to his native Hamilton to co-produce his television adaptation of the play with CHCH-TV.
The show aired in 1988 to critical acclaim and ran in every major Canadian market as well as six countries around the world and finished a four-year run on Bravo in 2004.
His other works for the stage include “Dinner at the Norms”, an absurd comedy of manners; “Possessions”, inspired by a case of demonic possession that took place in Germany in the mid-seventies; “Chants”, a family drama; “After Marlene”, a musical profile of the legendary Marlene Dietrich; “Heyday” a vaudeville show based on the celebrated Kinrade murder of 1909 which was produced by the Players’ Guild in 2003; and “Miss Begotten”, based on the life of poet and incest survivor Dianne Ester. He adapted his play “Skinning the Cat” to film and it was made into a feature in 2010.
In addition to directing productions of eight of his own plays, Kevin has also directed the world premiere of Dave Carley’s “Writing with our Feet” for Theatre Terra Nova and Nelles Van Loon’s “Babe Ruth Comes to Pickle River” for Theatre Aquarius, starring Samantha Bee.
For the past few decades, Kevin taught playwrighting in schools to primary and secondary students. He also taught playwrighting to high school students during Theatre Aquarius’ annual Career Day for many years.
Kevin has worked with his wife Mary-Jo, who is a psychotherapist, on a variety of projects. She introduced him to Hamilton poet and incest survivor, Diane Mattiussi, about whom he created his one-person show, “Miss Begotten”. He was also a member of a writing team consisting of Mary-Jo; Dr. Joanna Santa Barbara, a child psychiatrist; and Dr. Graham McQueen, from the Centre of Peace Studies at McMaster University. They wrote sixteen stories of healing for Afghanistan, intended to help school children of all ages in that country cope with the trauma in their daily lives. They were produced without copyright, and are available at no cost at thejourneyofpeace.ca. To date, nearly half a million copies have been printed and distributed to schools in Afghanistan.
In the fall term of 2015, Kevin worked with a senior writing class at Sir John A. Macdonald High School, which had a very high ratio of newcomers to Canada amongst its population, to help them write a one-play based on the experiences of their peers as they struggled to adapt to Canadian life. He then served as a resource to the drama teacher in the second term, leading to the production of the play, entitled “Better”, by the theatre class. This experience was captured in a documentary, entitled “A Better Day”.
Currently, he is adapting his screenplay “Static” to the stage as a musical, featuring music he has co-written with his partner, Hamilton musician Nicki Nero.
Kevin and his wife Mary-Jo are parents to five children. They live in Priceville, Ontario.