Getting to know more about PSFT actors with 4 questions
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ONSTAGE? My first real stage appearance was in junior high in Winnipeg where I grew up. The school was doing a short musical called, ironically enough, Who Killed Lake Erie. I really wasn’t brimming with confidence as a teenager and so I hadn’t ever tried out for something like that, even though I knew – but only in my heart – that it was something that I had a talent for. And I certainly didn’t have a big part or a solo or anything like that. But I gave it my all and it confirmed for me that being on stage was a pretty terrific place to be. So, after that experience, I went on to high school where I did all the shows and was lucky enough to get great roles and a lot of encouragement from my teachers. Also, in spite of the title of that long ago junior high musical, it gives me enormous pleasure to confirm that Lake Erie is alive and well and thriving!
June 13, 2022
June 6, 2022
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ONSTAGE? My first time ever show on a proper stage was the Addams family musical at the grand theatre.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE ROLE?I would have to say my favourite role ever was playing Dickon in the secret garden, at the palace theatre. It was such an amazing role and having the opportunity to play this wild almost ethereal character was an incredible experience.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ON STAGE MISTAKE? My favourite onstage mistake was also in the secret garden and it was when I was singing one of my big songs where the verse goes quite fast and I couldn’t for the life of me remember the words, so I just ended up holding one not for a really long time until I got back into the chorus haha. But as far as I know no one noticed.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE? A dream role of mine would be to play the MC in Cabaret. That has to be my favourite character of all time.
May 9, 2022
April 4, 2022
Jory McLean – Stage Manager
March 28, 2022
Haley Helm – Set Designer
March 14, 2022
Lani Martel – Stage Manager
HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN LIVE THEATRE? Going into my second last year of high school, for my electives, I wanted to take woodworking or auto mechanics but neither was available at my new school. I was told I may be able to do some woodworking in this course called Theatre Tech. I did very little woodworking but I discovered all the jobs that are involved in creating the magic of theatre. I thought I would become a carpenter but I sort of fell into stage management my first summer out of college.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCTION TO WORK ON? One of the productions I’m proudest of is “The Mountaintop” at The Grand Theatre (2016). Not only did I love the script and the cast, and I was part of a fantastic creative team, but there was a 5 minute part of the play when I called 119 cues– including lights, sound, video, set moving (revolving stage as well as flies coming in from above). It was all called off of an actor enumerating an incredibly long list of names of people and events. It was like a dance between her & I; her leading and me matching her rhythm. I still get goosebumps when I think about it.
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PRODUCTION PROBLEM YOU HAD TO SOLVE? Stage managers do a LOT of problem solving, whether it’s related to scheduling, or technical issues or personnel so no situation stands out.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PRODUCTION TO STAGE MANAGE? This is a boring answer but I don’t have one. I love storytelling so give me a good script and a great team and I’m happy. But give me a good script, a great team AND some challenging cue sequences (and the time to rehearse them!) and I am a very, very happy stage manager.
February 28, 2022
Eric Bunnell – Set Designer
February 14, 2022
January 4, 2022
October 14, 2021
October 11, 2021
September 15, 2021
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE RECREATING A ROLE THAT YOU’VE PERFORMED BEFORE? Performing a role you’ve done before isn’t as uncommon as you might think. I’ve done it at least a dozen times. But I tend not to think of it in terms of recreating a role. Each production is different: A different venue, production team, fellow actors- a different context. In the case of The Fixer-Upper, yes most of these elements are the same but one thing is not- my age, where I am now as opposed to then, and that influences how I see the character, the situation. There is also the opportunity for improvement and seeing things we missed last time and the luxury of the knowledge from the first production. Ultimately I think I’ll be able to grow further with Bruno revisiting him this time around and that will lead to a better performance.
WHAT ARE THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES TO THIS ROLE? Obviously being onstage alone is a challenge. There’s nowhere to hide. As the focus I can’t lose my focus or I might lose the audience. There is also the challenge of engaging the audience with this role. It is a show of stories, not a lot is happening actively, physically, so the storytelling has to be compelling and enthralling which means Bruno’s words and imagination have to be vividly brought to life.
HOW DO YOU ANTICIPATE THE EXPERIENCE OF PERFORMING TO A SMALL AUDIENCE? Audience size is never really a concern for me. Of course a full house and lots of laughter can really lift and support a performance but an audience of two is still an audience and they will enjoy the performance however they choose just as a larger one will. And if they do enjoy it? Mission Accomplished!
ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC TECHNIQUES THAT YOU USE TO RELATE TO A FELLOW ACTOR THAT YOU CAN HEAR BUT NOT SEE? Listening. Danielle is a great actor and it comes through in her voice. Her voice and characterizations provide me with everything I need as Bruno to be in relationship with. I just have to listen. Listening is perhaps a practice I could exercise more and The Fixer-Upper has given me that opportunity. (I’m sure my family will hope I carry that practice over into my day to day life.)
September 10, 2021
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE RECREATING A ROLE THAT YOU’VE PERFORMED BEFORE? I think it’s always fun to revisit a role I’ve done before because when it’s a good piece, there are always new moments of discovery. And you can also do some fine tuning. For this one it’s been about 7 years since we’ve done it – even aging 7 years makes a difference in how you approach your scripts. Coming into rehearsal was certainly a more comfortable situation this time as I knew exactly what to expect.
WHAT ARE THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES TO THIS ROLE? The unique challenges for me in this show are that I’m playing 3 different characters but you never actually get to meet them. The play is a series of phone calls with our main character, Bruno. So I’ll be backstage “on the phone” with him throughout. I have to make sure my choices for each character are very specific to clearly differentiate them since you’ll only be hearing them. That means making decisions about how old they are, where they come from, their relationships to the other people in the script, the rhythm in which they speak, how do they move/sit/hold themselves, are they aggressive or friendly, intelligent/ditzy, direct/wishy washy, manipulative/empathetic, loud/timid speakers, fast/slow speakers, and exactly where to place their voice in my mouth, etc. I have to do my best to paint a clear picture for Bruno and also the audience so they can easily follow the story.
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO CONNECT WITH AN AUDIENCE YOU CAN’T ACTUALLY SEE? While on my mic backstage, I’m close enough that I can certainly hear the audience reactions but I still do feel a bit disconnected from the action. When we did this show before I found it a little more challenging knowing how long I should wait for laughs before I continued on; you want to avoid stepping on the laughs when you can to be sure people are able to hear the next lines. That makes it all the more important to really just focus on my conversations with Bruno – it’s like if I stay connected to him, I’ll automatically be more connected to the audience.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC TECHNIQUES THAT YOU USE TO RELATE TO A FELLOW ACTOR THAT YOU CAN HEAR BUT NOT SEE? I would say being in the moment, visualization, and focus are what I find most useful. I have to really do my best to listen to the other character. I visualize the entire world of these characters and so I think about my relationship with them, how I feel about this person in general and how I feel about what they’re saying to me/how they’re treating me right now. My focus has to be grounded and steady so that I can do my part in keeping that ball in the air to keep the action moving.
August 9, 2021
July 19, 2021
July 12, 2021
July 5, 2021
June 28, 2021
June 21, 2021
June 14, 2021
June 7, 2021
May 31, 2021
May 17, 2021
May 10, 2021
May 3, 2021
April 26, 2021
April 19, 2021
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ON STAGE? Back in the 60’s there was no theatre in my Elementary or High School. I went into verse speaking competitions. I recited passages from Shakespeare. In grade 12 I won the Burnside Trophy from The Shakespeare Society of Toronto. I did Juliets’ famous “potion scene” from Romeo and Juliet. I never imagined in a million years I would win first prize. I used to practise the monologue in my parents basement near the coal chute so the mood was perfect for poor Juliets trauma.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE ROLE? My favourite role was Maxine in Bordertown Cafe. Blyth did the original version back in the 80’s. The audience adored this play and so did the actors. I loved working with the late Jerry Frankin. The cast bonded in a special way and it was a huge success. Maxine was just a funny, wonderful role and all summer the locals would yell across the street “hey Max how’s it going?”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ON STAGE MISTAKE? One of my many theatre mistakes was falling down the stairs in Port Stanleys’ production of “Giving UpThe Ghost.” A bit of a shock and a bruised ego but “onwards and upwards” or should I say downwards.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE? I don’t have a dream role. I am proud of my career and now thrilled to have a recurring role in a TV series called Y-The Last Man.
Live theatre will return and the audience and actors will create magic once again.❤
April 12, 2021
April 5, 2021
March 29, 2021
March 22, 2021
March 15, 2021
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ON STAGE? When I was about 8 I performed in a pretty great pantomime of ‘The Princess and the Pea’. I shared my first performance with my dad, who had performed professionally in bag piping but never had been in a show before. Neither of us knew what a pantomime was going in but it was all so exciting and we caught the theatre bug in a big way. My dad still performs in community theatre in B.C. and I work professionally in Ontario.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE ROLE? I think my top favourite roles all come from the same show. At Magnus Theatre I did a production of ‘Bed and Breakfast’ with Daniel Krolik where I played 11 roles! It was so much work, trying to figure out little ways to indicate each character, vocally and physically but it was sooo much fun. I would love to do that show again. I loved playing the pregnant, easy going cafe owner, and the shy, gay stuttering pre-teen as well as the snobby, well-to-do Hotel Guest. And all with no costume changes or props. Wild!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ONSTAGE MISTAKE? Well, in that same show ‘Bed and Breakfast’, my pants split at the beginning of act 1. And I don’t mean a little tear, they were opened from top to bottom. And I don’t change, or leave the stage even, for the next hour! So I just performed two dimensionally, never turning my back to the audience. It was a challenge but we made it through.
This next one’s not really a mistake, but maybe not the most professional moment of my career. I’m sure other people in this cast have mentioned the same thing… I hope. When we were doing ‘Book Club’ at the one and only Port Stanley Festival Theatre one night, the audience was really fired up and laughing a lot. There is one moment where my character, who has been unintentionally considered
gay by his crush, decides to act overly macho to make up for it and does a full man spread sit on the couch. The audience DIED laughing. And I mean they lost their marbles. So much so that I couldn’t continue. I started looking to my other castmates to see if they were witnessing the same hysteria that I saw. I don’t know who was first, and if I did I would never tell, but one by one the cast began to crack. The awesome Stage Manager Jory timed the laughter and it lasted a whole minute! 60 seconds. That may not seem like a long time but in comedy that’s a looooong time. The whole cast eventually corpsed (laughed on stage) and it was just a room full of people laughing on and off the stage. It was glorious and so much fun, I will never forget it. (Although it may have not been 100% professional).
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE? I would love to play a really wacky character again. Something really big and funny. Maybe if they made the Big Lebowski into a play I could play the Dude. “I’m The Dude, So That’s What You Call Me. That Or, Uh His Dudeness, Or Uh Duder, Or El Duderino, If You’re Not Into The Whole Brevity Thing.” I think it could work.
Also I would love to get a play or movie produced. I’ve been doing a lot of writing during the pandemic, which I’ve loved, and hoping to get a short film produced soon. 🙂
March 9, 2021
March 1, 2021
February 22, 2021
February 15, 2021
February 8, 2021
February 1, 2021
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ON STAGE? I can’t remember what the play was. It was a school production. It was before I was 10. I was playing a turtle. What I remember most, is that my Mum made me the most amazing costume, very simply. My turtle shell was a laundry basket covered in brown packing paper, with the shapes of the shell drawn on to it. I could curl up in a ball on my hands and knees and fit underneath the laundry basket and just stick my head out when I had something to say. My Mum was so clever.
January 25, 2021
January 18, 2021
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ONSTAGE? The absolute first time I appeared on stage outside of church Christmas pageants was as one of the three little pigs in my kindergarten class’s acclaimed production of The Three Little Pigs. If I am remembering correctly I played the stick house piggy.
January 11, 2021
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ONSTAGE? I actually still have vivid memories of taping my father’s dress socks to the side of my head, wearing a white pyjama jumper and performing as Snoopy in our Grade 1 presentation of “Charlie Brown’s Christmas”! I also remember the feeling I got inside while listening to a hundred people laugh and clap when I was onstage. I think it’s that feeling I miss most during these COVID times. My first professional gig was the world premiere of “Small Time”, by Norm Foster, with NORM in the show!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE ROLE? As an actor, I get asked that a lot. While it is very much like choosing a favourite child, I have been fortunate to play some great roles, like Frieda Heitz in “The Last Resort”, Marty McCoy in “Discovering Elvis” (gave myself male pattern baldness for that one), and Daddy Warbucks in “Annie” (went right down to the root for that one), to name just a few.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ONSTAGE MISTAKE? Well, “favourite” is an interesting word for this question. One very memorable moment came during a performance of “I’ll Be Back Before Midnight”. In one of the lighter, touching scenes of what is a pretty scary, hairy play, my wife and I have a tender moment where I pick her up in my arms and carry her upstairs to the bedroom. In one performance, I swooped her into my arms and duly farted. And not a little fart. We heard some chuckles from the front row, so we played a cute little giggle to each other and then totally lost it once we were off stage. I figured that maybe the first row or two heard it, so we didn’t dwell on it. Three years later, I was at a friend’s Birthday party and someone came up to me and asked if I was in that show. When I confirmed it was me, they commenced to tell me “I was there the night you farted!”. Turns out, they were in the second-LAST row of the theatre!
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE? I love the challenge that comes with playing multiple characters, like Allan Duncanson in “Harvest”, and one of my dreams would be to play one of the clowns in “The 39 Steps”. It’s also been a dream of mine to play Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof”. Outside of those, I love creating a character for the first time, so it is a dream come true whenever a theatre company casts me in a Premiere production.
January 4, 2021
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ONSTAGE? I was about 8 and my ballet school was performing at The Oakville Centre, but my first time on stage professionally was 4 years later. I was 12 and I was playing Bet in OLIVER at the Limelight Dinner Theatre in Toronto. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE ROLE? My favourite roll was Dainty June in GYPSY at The Stratford Festival. I could have played that part for years. It was directed and choreographed by Brian Macdonald, who was one of our most revered directors of G&S and musical theatre in Canada.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ONSTAGE MISTAKE? My favourite on stage mistake has to be when i was doing CHARLIE BROWN at the Georgian Festival Theatre in Meaford, ON. I was playing Sally and I had this great monologue about a sculpture I had to make for art class, a bent coat hanger…..I also entered in tap shoes for that monologue. I was waiting in the wings on stage left and i was sure it was my entrance, so, i flapped on loudly from the wings only to find I was 3 scenes too early. i found myself on stage with Schroder, his piano, and Lucy.. Needless to say i circled the stage, still flapping around in my tap shoes , and LOUDLY exited stage left. i figured I had nothing to lose at that point .
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE? My dream role……?????? Well, now that I direct/choreograph mostly, my dream role would be to be an Artistic Director of a theatre one day. BUT i would also love to do MAME with my best friend Lisa Horner . We have already talked about how we would switch back and forth between Vera and Auntie Mame, depending on the day.
December 28, 2020
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ONSTAGE? a) As a paid performer: when I played Jonathan Harker in Dracula in a summer employment student group production at the University of Guelph. I worked with an incredible performer named Michael Shrawen (sp?) who played Renfield. We had this crazy chase scene where he leapt from the stage onto an 8 foot high platform to cut off my escape. b) unpaid: I think it was a Christmas show in about grade 2 at my elementary school in Sudbury, Ontario where they gave me the narrator role because it had the most lines and I was good at remembering lines. My Mom says it was at my pre-school which coincidentally was part of the Early Childhood Education program at the University of Guelph but I don’t have any real recollection of this…thank goodness
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE ROLE? Playing opposite Liz in the two-hander show “Same Time Next Year” at Magnus theatre in Thunder Bay. It was written by Canadian playwright Bernard Slade who also created TV shows like the Partridge Family and The Flying Nun. Lizzie was great and had to wear the most extraordinary collection of wigs as her character aged throughout the show. The only wig they proposed for me, which was when the show entered the swinging sixties, got kiboshed…again, thank goodness.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ONSTAGE MISTAKE? When I was a real ham in high school, I played Sneaky Fitch in a comedic Western. It was at the height of popularity of the Rock Group, the BeeGees and Movies like Saturday Night Fever in which their music featured. As I lay dying, my monologue required me to repeat the phrase “Stayin’ Alive” several times. Bear in mind, the script for Sneaky Fitch was written years and years before the BeeGees even existed. But that didn’t stop me from surreptitiously snapping the fingers of my downstage hand each time I said the line: “Stayin’ alive”, “Stayin’ alive”. The audience lost it.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE? Strangely I always wanted to play Lee in Norm Foster’s the Melville Boys but am a bit long in the tooth for that one now. I grew up loving the Rock Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar and I never felt my lack of singing chops should prevent me from playing Pontius Pilate. But getting the chance to play Angus in Michael Healey’s masterpiece the Drawer Boy at PSFT was definitely a dream role.
December 21, 2020
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ONSTAGE? I was 4 years old. It was a year end dance recital where I tap danced with 8 other kids with our teachers in the wings in case we forgot steps. I remember being terrified but so curious about what it would feel like.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE ROLE? I played Bananas in, “House Of Blue Leaves” by John Guare, in my 2nd year exam play at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC. It was the first time that everything I learned started to click. The work disappeared and I was fully engrossed in the role.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ONSTAGE MISTAKE? The time the whole cast of “Book Club” at PSFT fell into a laughing fit on stage. The audience was along for the ride. None of us could keep a straight face so we just laughed. For a full minute. Felt like ten! It was so cathartic. It was a moment of synchronized joy for everyone there. To me, it encapsulates the magic of theatre in one moment.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE? Since I was a child, I’ve been a huge fan of strong, female characters who are a bit broken. I was a huge fan of Rosalind Russell and Ethel Merman and their portrayal of Mama Rose in “Gypsy”. That would be the ultimate dream role for me. “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” has been a sort of anthem for me throughout my life. It perfectly suits just about any situation and I’m often humming it under my breath.
December 14, 2020
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ONSTAGE? I recently saw the fantastic Sarah Machin Gale’s PSFT promo and she and I happen to have the same first onstage show, “The Wizard of Oz.” For me, I was in Grade 1 and it was during my first year at St. Joseph Elementary School in Wawa ON where we moved from Windsor in the late 70’s. Being 6 years old, I played a munchkin. Ding Dong the Witch is Dead was my favourite song at the end and I think the rest of the time we did a lot of munchkin giggling and hid from Dorothy behind extra large green garbage bags that were filled with stuffing and covered in paper flowers. I’m not sure set budgets for small productions have improved that much over the years.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE ROLE? My favourite role was Alice in Sexy Laundry opposite Jim Doucette at PSFT. The show is a comedy about a couple attempting to rekindle the romance in their relationship – the script was a really nice mix of laughs and some very touching moments. I tend to gravitate more to comedic scripts that are grounded in the realities of relationships. And hey, I got to use a whip so this show really had it all! I just remember laughing all the time in rehearsal with Jim and our director Liz Gilroy – you really can’t ask for more than that. I hope we can remount it one day for you see, I’m older and much wiser now (well, I think I’m wiser anyway) and I can use even more of my own experience having been married in real life for the past 12 years.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ONSTAGE MISTAKE? I was playing The Baker’s Wife in The Capitol Theatre Repertory Players production of “Into the Woods” in Windsor, ON about 20 years ago. I wish I could remember the name of the amazing designer/creator of our cow, “Milky White.” This cow was simply gorgeous – the softest coat, long eyelashes that were the envy of everyone in the cast, he was also a puppet in that we could open his mouth and actually feed him some props during the show, and the best part was that despite the fact that he was quite large, he was on wheels so my baker and I could easily roll him around the set. And it went very smoothly during rehearsals and through many runs of the show. Until the night one of his back wheels caught on a set piece as we quickly rolled him onstage. And you guessed it, he tipped right over. Both of us quickly set him right, gave him a pat and a nuzzle to make sure he wasn’t hurt of course, (had some silent, inside laughs along with the audience who was killing themselves) and got on with the show. That happened to be the night the show was recorded so we have this wondrous event on tape to watch over and over again. This brought cow tipping to a whole new level!
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE? Oh, I’d love to play Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd one day. I love the darkness and daring of this show and it has some fantastic songs. I was in the ensemble of this show actually about 26 years ago and was one of the members of the quintet. We had a fantastic leading cast so I learned so much just by watching them every night. And there’s nothing like some complicated Stephen Sondheim when you’re still learning to read music! It’s been a while since I’ve performed in a musical but I do miss it very much.
December 7, 2020
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ONSTAGE? The first time I appeared on stage in a ‘play’ that I can remember would have been in Grade 2 at Burnham public school in my hometown Cobourg, Ont. I can’t recall the name of the play, but I do remember I was the head mouse of a group of mice inhabiting the Trudeau household ( that would of course be Trudeau senior) planning a route to the pantry while avoiding the house cat. A riveting suspenseful plot and I daresay a masterful performance on my part; a mouse has never been so mousey. I have also played a tree but that’s a story for another time.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE ROLE? My favorite role, apart from Iago and Macbeth, would be Bernard Nightingale the egotistic, fame seeking and promiscuous academic from Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. An English don on the verge, so he thinks, of proving his theory that Byron killed another man in a lover’s duel thereby pulling himself out of obscurity and into the upper echelon of academia where he feels he belongs. Spoiler: his theory turns out to be wrong. However my favorite role at PSFT, and one of my all time favorites is the role of Bruno McIntyre in Lorne Elliot’s The Fixer Upper; the doomed cottage renovator trying to step out from the shadow of his Aunt Tillie while sharing hilarious stories about family and relationships directly with the audience. A challenging but highly satisfying show.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ONSTAGE MISTAKE? You know, no mistake onstage is ever a good thing, generally it is either a blip you hope no one notices or it is an altogether mortifying experience so to identify a favorite is not so easy. That said, I was in a production of Ray Cooney’s Run For Your Wife (and no I’m not referring to the PSFT production, though I was I in that one) where at the end of the play the bumbling Detective Porterhouse, a gentle soul really, comes out in frilly apron,tea service presented, with the statement “I’ll play mother!” and is rounded upon by the ambitious somewhat hysterical Detective Troughton who who shouts “Sit!” and Porterhouse drops into a chair. In this production it was a comfy low wing back chair. Our actor playing Porterhouse was cast because of his talent, of course, but also because he very much suited the name of Porterhouse. On this particular night when he dropped back into the chair his backward momentum was such that he knocked the chair loose of its moorings, it was bolted to the stage, and the chair, he, and the tea service went ass over, pardon the pun,tea kettle. It was so surprising and so fitting and such a display of athleticism (the actor springing to his feet unhurt, you might think it had been part of the show) after an instant of stunned silence the whole cast, and I do believe the whole cast was onstage at that point, burst out laughing, as thankfully did the audience. It took what felt like two minutes to recompose and carry on through the final few minutes of the play. It was a shameless display of ‘corpsing’. But who would blame us? The actor involved was not only unhurt but a great sport and enjoyed the laugh with everyone, and I think was a bit proud of what as I have said was quite an acrobatic achievement.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE? I don’t know that I have a dream role. I’m always pleased for the opportunity to work and love making audiences laugh. Particularly in my newer role as playwright. I recently originated the role of Blake Wellner in The Writer by Norm Foster and I would call that a dream role. I’ve always loved Shakespeare and a good villain (I realize good villain is an oxymoron but you know what I mean) so I’d have to say I would truly love to play the role of Richard the Third. I don’t know if I’m getting long in the tooth but I’d jump at the the opportunity. Apart from that, to adapt a line of Norm Foster’s, I’d say my dream role is my next one.
November 30, 2020
SARAH MACHIN GALE
November 23, 2020
November 16, 2020
What was the first time you appeared on stage?
The year was 1962 and I was six years of age singing in a regional school competition. The venue where I performed still stands. It’s a small redbrick Victorian building near the corner of highways #10 and #24 in the village of Caledon. At that time it was the town hall. My performance was flawed. Midway through the song I lost my words and left the stage in embarrassment. The adjudicator singled me out and in front of the audience said that I was very special and said that she wished she could give me a medal but couldn’t because I had forgotten my words. Her kindness encouraged me to continue in singing competitions and it was those future experiences that gave me my ‘stage legs’.
What has been your favourite role?
What is your favourite onstage mistake?
It wasn’t mine but I was on stage at the time. It was during a performance of a Murder Mystery at The Shaw Festival. A well known actor blanked on the name of murder suspect “Lizzie Borden”. So he called her “Laura Secord” instead. I sent him a box of chocolates for Christmas.
What is your dream role?
King Lear……yah that will remain a dream for sure.
November 9, 2020
What was the first time you appeared on stage?
The very first time I was ever onstage was in Grade 1, way back in 1977. I played the fairy in a school holiday show, with a little tutu and leotard; I don’t even remember what the show was! What I do remember is that I was also the narrator at the beginning of the play, so my beautiful bristol board and tinsel wings had to be covered with a huge white sheet for the big reveal later. I do remember how the crowd went, “Awwwwww…” when I came out. Been a while since I’ve got that response!
What has been your favourite role?
I think my favourite role was Lavatch in the Canadian Stage production of All’s Well that Ends Well at Shakespeare in High Park a few years ago. The role is actually a role for a male clown, but the director had this cool vision where Lavatch became a very overtly female clown, almost a parody of female actually. I was all stuffed up with body padding, and I wore a cow print dress and huge red lips and carried a martini everywhere I went. I got to sass people all the time and address people in the audience directly with some extra text that was written for me. I also did some lounge singing. It was a huge challenge to find the right balance for her and I loved it! Also up there with my favourites though, is the time at Port Stanley when I played a really dim police officer who disguised herself as a tree in order to catch the bad guys.
What is your favourite onstage mistake?
Oh dear, this is from a Port Stanley show and Simon doesn’t even know about it, I don’t think, so I’m sticking my neck out here. It wasn’t a mistake, but rather bad form onstage. We were doing Real Estate and the four actors involved were all very close friends and spent a lot of time together outside of rehearsal. (I married one of them, eventually!) We had got hooked on a famously bad movie called The Room, and one of our jokes to each other was to say “Oh hi, Mark,” which the lead actor/director of the movie said frequently in a really weird, unintentionally comical voice. So last night of the run of Real Estate, an evil idea occurred to me. Bruce Davies and I didn’t enter until about 20 minutes into the play, while the other two actors had been onstage the whole time together. I didn’t tell Bruce what I was planning. My first line was “Hi Joel.” So when I came on, I said, “Oh hi, Joel” in the same weird voice from the movie that we’d been mocking for weeks. It was just the subtlest shift, nothing the audience would notice, and I thought the other three actors would just register it and have to struggle not to smile. But what actually happened is that they lost it. Completely. They were laughing so hard that they couldn’t say their lines, and this went on for what seemed like an hour! The audience was loving it – I don’t know if they thought it was a built in joke in the play or if they suspected that something had gone off the rails, but they were laughing up a storm as well. I think I was the only person in the theatre with a straight face! I think that’s the one and only time I ever pulled a joke on castmates during a performance, and it was very unprofessional, but so good!!!
What is your dream role?
Well, that’s hard to say – there are so many roles I’d love to play. I want to play all the great male Shakespearean roles, although I’m a bit old for Hamlet. Lady Bracknell from The Importance of Being Earnest has been a favourite since I was about 11, and I would love to play the part of the old lady in The Chairs, by Ionesco, so I’ve got something to look forward to in about 20-30 years! Shirley Valentine! That would be a challenge…
November 2, 2020