Q&A: Who's Your Daddy?

International performer Johnny O'Callaghan on bringing his fatherly solo show to Toronto's East End Performance Crawl

Written and performed by Johnny O'Callaghan
Directed for Toronto by Aaron Willis

Johnny O'Callaghan in Who's Your Daddy. Photo by Nancy Savan.

Johnny O'Callaghan was not the type anyone expected to become a father: single, suicidal and out of work, the actor found himself on an adventure of adoption in Uganda and lived to tell the tale. The story of how he found his son is the focus of the hit show Who's Your Daddy? now playing in Toronto as as part of Crow's Theatre's East End Performance Crawl.

Here, we chat with O'Callaghan about what went into creating this heartwarming work.

Theatromania: Tell us about Who’s Your Daddy. What inspired you to write this piece?

JO: People kept asking me how my family came to be, I am very white and my son is very brown. Most assumed it was a tidy little adoption story. Nobody really knew what I went through to adopt my son. When I looked back on it, it made me laugh. So I wrote out the story one day and I did a reading of it where everyone laughed and cried. The producers in the room wanted it and we put it on it's feet in LA and it ran to sold out houses for six months.

Theatromania: Has the performance changed much since you first staged it?

JO: Yes we opened in LA and then it transferred to the Edinburgh Festival, each time I perform the show I learn more. Writing it has felt like sculpting, performing it feels like playing music. I feel when a note is not working. So it continues to grow and evolve. The new york production had a few edits as does the Toronto version. I imagine the play will always grow.

Theatromania: Have you learned anything new or significant during this process?

JO: In telling the truth and not censoring oneself, I created a universal story. It seems to touch people on many levels. The more conservative the person, the more they grew while watching. The story seems to have a healing quality. People leave inspired and uplifted.

Theatromania: What do you hope audiences take away from this experience?

JO: I really want to take the audience on my roller coaster ride of adoption. To show them the insane things we do for love. And also make them laugh as we go.

Theatromania: What’s next for you?

JO: I am currently in development with the movie. It will be very exciting to see the show on the big screen. This might be the last outing of the play before the film hits the big screen, hopefully in 2015. To stay up to date visit johnnyocallaghan.com

Who's Your Daddy? runs until June 1st as part of the East End Performance Crawl presented by Crow's Theatre. Visit crowstheatre.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Fri, 2014-05-23 - Sun, 2014-06-01


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