4 Questions

Getting to know more about PSFT actors with 4 questions

Getting to know more about PSFT actors with 4 questions


November 30, 2020

SARAH MACHIN GALE

WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ONSTAGE?
The first time I was in a play was in my elementary school musical’s production of The Wizard of Oz. I was in Grade 4, so I must have been 8 or 9 years old. I was Glinda the Good Fairy and I was pretty excited about my costume. I got to wear Mrs. Jones’ wedding dress.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE ROLE?
Ah!!! So many favourites! I loved playing Mrs Webb in “Our Town” in a production by Theatre Rusticle directed by Allyson McMackon. Also I loved playing Julia Child in a production of “To Master The Art” at the Grand in London, ONT, directed by Susan Ferley.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ONSTAGE MISTAKE?
I remember once being on tour and there had been some huge delay in us arriving at the theatre we were supposed to perform in. We were touring in Germany and maybe there was something lost in translation, but we arrived at the theatre to set up and the set from the previous play was still in place. So we decided that we’d just try and perform our play on their set. The set in place was “La Cage Aux Folles” and the play we were doing was “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. I think there was a lot of ‘laughing upstage’ during that show!
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE?
My dream role is performing in live theatre again. But really, I can’t wait to get on a stage in front of an audience. There’s nothing like it!

 

November 23 2020

CAITLIN DRISCOLL
WHAT WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU APPEARED ONSTAGE?
My first stage appearance was at the Peterborough Theatre Guild as Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web when I was 12. I had to paint my face completely grey every show to match my grey spider’s outfit.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE ROLE?
That’s like picking your favourite kid (or in my case cat 😉 ! I can say one of my favourite roles was playing the Pomeranian triplets Hedwig, Berta and Ima on stage at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre last year! It was such a workout and so fun to do three wacky characters.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ONSTAGE MISTAKE?
I was playing multiple roles in a show at 4th Line Theatre in Millbrook Ontario. So, I had to underdress a sequined top to be a dancer in one scene, while at the same time, I was playing an old drunk man in another scene. The old drunk man I was playing had to fall on top of someone sitting on a chair. One day the chair beneath us broke! We both tumbled to the floor and my old drunk man’s jacket ripped open to reveal a sequined top! I think I said “whoopsie” in my old man voice and tried to close my jacket as we ended the scene. Not sure how many people noticed the sequins, but I got a good laugh about it.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE?
I love playing as many characters as possible in a show. I love using different voices and accents and making people laugh. Mostly I am just happy to be on stage in any capacity and I can’t wait for that to happen again.

November 16 2020

WILLIAM VICKERS

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?

This is such a tough question because theatre is a collaborative art form. Enjoyment and success is dependant on the quality of the production you’re in.
Playing motel manager “Phillie” in George F. Walker’s “Problem Child” (in Munich Germany) and “Criminal Genius” (in Niagara Falls Ontario) were two particularly pleasant experiences. Mr Walker wrote a beautifully funny yet profoundly tragic character and it was a thrill to play him.

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

RACHEL JONES

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

Jeff Dingle

What was the first time you appeared on stage?
The first time I ever appeared onstage was in my Elementary School Christmas Pageant. I was in grade 4. The plot involved a host of cartoon characters having scenes with Santa (or an elf? Some sort of festive character…) and they learned about the spirit of Christmas, or something like that. One scene would have Charlie Brown and Linus, the next Scoobie Doo characters, I think Aladdin was there, etc. I played Piglet in the Winnie the Pooh segment. I had two lines and it was awesome.
What has been your favourite role?
This is really hard. I had a lot of fun last summer at PSFT playing a washed up TV Ghost Hunter in Giving Up the Ghost. Later that year I also got to be former Prime Minister Joe Clark in Michael Healey’s very funny play 1979 for Theatre New Brunswick. I was really lucky to have those parts. They were both non-stop rollercoasters. You have to cherish roles like that cause they don’t come around every day.
What is your favourite onstage mistake?
Once upon a time I was in this play called Macbeth, you might have heard of it… I was playing Malcolm, King Duncan’s son. We were performing outdoors in the summer. It was the scene where everyone wakes up to discover that Duncan has been murdered. At the end of the scene Malcolm and Donalbain (my brother) are left behind to ponder our next move since everyone will likely suspect we were the killers. I have the final speech in the scene. It’s a good five or six line piece of poetry, and I completely blanked. As Donalbain is talking about hiding in Ireland or something I just stared at him thinking “I have no idea how I respond to this”. Not only that, but I have to say something that ends the scene and gets us off stage. When Donalbain stopped speaking I just stared at him “dramatically”, put my hand on his shoulder and proclaimed:
“Let’s ride!”
And then I ran away into the woods, forcing Donalbain awkwardly run after me. I convinced nobody that this was supposed to happen, especially since the audience was packed with English Scholars who were attending the production as part of a convention. The event was so infamous that on closing night members of the cast made t-shirts with an image of a disappointed Shakespeare with the caption: “Let’s Ride”.
What is your dream role?
Personally I think I’d be a terrific Phantom of the Opera. And by terrific I mean terrible. I couldn’t sing the part to save my life and nobody would find me scary in the slightest, but man that would be fun. I think forcing an audience into watching me butcher Andrew Lloyd Webber for two and half hours would be an incredible experience… for me:)