Tag Archives: Watermark Theatre North Rustico PEI

Boeing Boeing Going Boffo

watermark2019-posters-05

BOEING BOEING by Marc Camoletti

Translated by: Beverley Cross & Francis Evans

Fasten your seat belt for a non-stop ride that will take you up, up and away! Boeing Boeing is a riotous farce about a successful architect named Bernard who is juggling three flight attendant fiancées – an American, an Italian and a German. Unexpected schedule changes bring all three to Paris, and Bernard’s apartment, at the same time. Bernard, his maid, and his visiting friend Robert must navigate the hilarious turbulence ahead. A non-stop comedy and a romp of international proportions.

“It’s deliciously, deliriously innocent. Pure pleasure and unconditional bliss!”

– The New York Times

At the Watermark Theatre through next week. Some performances are sold out. Call soon!

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse
Advertisements

Reigniting the Igniting

August 18th, 7:30PM at the Watermark Theatre

musicPoster-1-e1479417583377-223x300

Songs of Social Justice and Protest will be a selection of songs about yesterday and today’s social issues, and a protest anthem or two, featuring a broad range of artists from Woody Guthrie to Crosby, Stills and Nash. The songs will be interpreted by Tara MacLean, Nick Gauthier & Tian Wigmore and Rob Oakie.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Gone Gros Morne

leah-pritchard

“The secret to acting is don’t act. Be you, with add-ons.” Michael Sheen

“I’m going to take off now,” said Leah Pritchard. “I’m going to go. I’m going to do what I want. I’m going to leave. That’s what’s going to happen.”

It was the tail end of her last year at Gros Morne Academy in Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland. Closing in on the end of theater studies with Sarah McDonald, the teacher pulled Leah aside. “Of all the students here, the one we think would be feasible as a professional actor is the one who’s always saying they don’t want to do it. You would be the one strong enough and talented enough to actually make it.”

Leah Pritchard had other plans. She was geared up and buckled down about joining the Mounties. She meant business.

When the class mounted their year-end play, everybody’s parents coming to see the show, Sarah McDonald rustled up Ross and Marion Fraser-Pritchard. She meant business, too.

“We’re going to put her in theater school at university, so that’s the plan,” she told Leah’s parents.

“My dad did not want me leave Newfoundland and he did not want me to be in the RCMP,” said Leah.

“Fine, great, we’ll keep her here,” said her father, despite himself and his wife both being Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“I was still very angry about being in Newfoundland, about being moved around, leaving Nova Scotia.” She was 17-years-old. “I was a surly teenager, a willful child. I didn’t want to be here anymore.”

She turned 18 her first day three months later at Memorial University of Newfoundland. “She can’t get into the theater program right away, but we’re going to make sure she gets into it,” Sarah McDonald told Leah’s father. “She was my mentor,” said Leah.

In the meantime, she snuck into theater classes.

“I was hanging with my friends one day when I got locked in the class by accident when the professor came in. After I didn’t get called out for it, after a few weeks I started answering questions,” she said.

“Who are you?” Todd Hennessey, the teacher and Head of the Division of Fine Arts, finally asked her. “Do you take this class?”

“Um, no,” she answered.

“Don’t worry,” her friends told the teacher.. “You’ll meet her officially next year.”

In her last year at Memorial University she headlined Hard Ticket Theatre’s production of “Venus in Fur.”.Todd Hennessey directed the spooky two-person sex comedy. “It takes one heck of an actress to convincingly play a character who is regarded as being a fantastic actress, and Leah Prichard nails it,” wrote Rachael Joffred in her review.

The campus she attended was the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College at Corner Brook, where the bulk of the theater program was, and which is two hours from  Rocky Harbour. Wilfred Grenfell was an English doctor who opened hospitals, orphanages, and cooperatives one hundred years ago to serve the coastal inhabitants of Labrador and Newfoundland. He was an able-bodied doughty man. Once marooned on a slab of floating ice slob, he killed some of his dogs to make himself a fur coat in order to survive.

“They wanted to keep track of me, since I was just 18.” Two years later her mother was reassigned to RCMP Headquarters in Halifax. Her father took a post in the capital city, as well. Leah Pritchard stayed lived studied and worked in Newfoundland for the next nearly seven years.

Rocky Harbour is on the far western edge of Newfoundland. The town is home to Gros Morne National Park. There is a fjord lined with cliffs and waterfalls, formed by long-gone glaciers. There are caribou and moose, rainy moody fog-bound mountains, and the tablelands, where you can walk on the earth’s mantle. The landscape is ancient.

“If you ever see tourism commercials for Newfoundland,” said Leah, “there’s always this big fjord where somebody is standing with their arms outstretched saying, “Look at the world!’ That’s where I lived. You can spend a long time by yourself there. I ended up loving it.”

A native of Nova Scotia, Leah Pritchard grew up in Lower Sackville, a fast-growing suburb of Halifax. In the 1950s it was known for its drive-in theater, harness racing track, and WW2 bomber plane ice cream stand. It is today a family-oriented commuter community.

Her parents, now both retired, were RCMP policeman and policewoman. The Force, as it is known, is both a federal and national police force. It enforces the law on a contract basis in the territories and most of the provinces. In many rural areas it is the only police force. Its French acronym, GRC, is sometimes repurposed as Gravel Road Cops.

Despite its name, the Mounties is not an actual mounted police force anymore, although it still was in the 1930s when they brought the Mad Trapper of Rat River to justice.

Her grandfather was a RCMP officer. “It’s just a family thing,” she said. “It also makes you very popular in high school, let me tell you,” she added with a booming guffaw.

She is the youngest of five children. Her sister and two older brothers were adopted by her father when he was 21-years-old. “Their dad was a motorcycle cop and died on duty. My dad fell super in love with his widow and made a bold choice. The kids were 3, 2, and 1-years-old. The RCMP has always been a part of our lives. There’s a sense of honor and tradition.”

Growing up, the family moved whenever and wherever her parents were assigned. It was how they moved to Newfoundland, when her mother was made a detachment commander there. Leah spent most of her teen years in Yarmouth, on the Bay of Fundy in southwestern Nova Scotia. The seaside town is proximate to the world’s largest lobster fishing grounds.

“You get real accustomed to small town life real fast. There’s a lot of space in and around Yarmouth to get weird.”

No matter what efforts you summon to make sense of it, the world can still be a strange place. Small towns impart a sense of place, but often feelings of self-consciousness, too. It can mean the opportunity to create your own options out of the weird mix of things.

It is where Leah caught the acting bug.

“I was at a production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” at our high school when two of the actors started laughing hysterically on stage about something and couldn’t control themselves. I thought that looks like fun.”

She took fine arts and acting classes in both French and English. In lieu of lunch the drama students staged short one-act plays at a nearby small theater, declaiming their dialogue and handing out sandwiches to show goers who needed a bite. “We were just harmless theater geeks, so the teachers let us go and do that. I started spending all my time in theaters.”

Once in the acting stream at Memorial University she discovered the program was the only one of its kind in Atlantic Canada. It combined practical and academic training with small class sizes and one-on-one attention to detail by actors directors production professionals doubling up as faculty and staff.

“It’s a fabulous program, especially learning to handle Shakespeare,” said Leah. “The Newfoundland accent is the least bastardized accent in North America, the closest to what it would be in Shakespeare’s time. It’s got that time’s rhythm and music to it.”

Many Newfoundlanders work in classic theater, especially at Canada’s Stratford Festival, the internationally known repertory theater festival that showcases William Shakespeare. “The music is in our DNA,” said St. John’s native Robin Hutton, who has performed at Stratford for close to a decade. ”We can’t have a party without a sing song.”

Natives of ‘The Rock,’ as the province is sometimes known, who have worked at Stratford include Brad Hotter, Jillian Keiley, and Deidre Gillard-Rowlings. “We’re storytellers in Newfoundland,” said Brad Hotter. “Theater is a craft handed down, where you learn from people who pass it down from generation to generation.”

Leah Pritchard’s last semester at Memorial University was spent in England, taking master classes with working professionals and seeing shows in the West End and Stratford-upon-Avon. “You see as many plays as you can, you write reviews, and you rehearse a play. When you come back you put it up. It’s the culmination of all the work you’ve done the past four years.”

One of the plays she saw in London was “The 39 Steps,” accompanied by her brother, Ian, a six-foot-six lanky young man with curly ginger hair who at the time was also in the theater program. The show is a comic treatment of the Alfred Hitchcock movie. It is played for laughs, so Leah and Ian laughed their heads off

“Most people would unanimously agree that I’m a very loud person,” said Leah. “If I’m being quiet, there’s something wrong. Ian has an even bigger laugh, a booming laugh, not subtle, at all. We were there laughing our heads off, Eastern Canadians watching a comedy. Everyone around us was quiet. Somebody said, ‘That’s not why we’re here.’ English audiences are reserved. Come on! I said. That’s exactly why we’re here. Join in the jokes, please.”

Sometimes being the loud enough voice for quiet thoughts is what works. Leah sang with the Xara Choral Theatre Ensemble on their debut CD “Here On These Branches” about northern cultures, communities, and landscapes. It was nominated for best classical recording of 2015 at the East Coast Music Awards.

It’s what she does getting ready to go on stage every night, too. She sings to herself, pop jazz show tunes by Julie London, Ella Fitzgerald, and Julie Andrews.

Back in Newfoundland with a newly minted BFA in acting on her resume, she found work as a bartender, a nanny, and an usher. “I’d get up at 6 in the morning, nanny the three kids, drop them off at their family’s restaurant, jump into a shower, get into my uniform, and go usher at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.”

She worked in a candy store to make ends meet.

“You eat a lot of candy,” she said.

She got a job at a dinner theater in Halifax.

“You gotta do it,” she said. “It’s like cutting your teeth.”

Madrigals in the Middle Ages were a kind of dinner theater. They made a comeback in the 1970s, featuring mysteries and musicals. Actors like Lana Turner and Van Johnson performed between appetizers and dessert. Burt Reynolds owned his own dinner theater.

“You’re a performer, but you’re a waiter, too,” said Leah. “You sing and dance and run off stage to pick up six plates on a tray, deliver them, and run back on stage. You get into wicked great shape doing it.”

The bane of dinner theaters is the hubbub. “You’re a waiter as well as a performer and you have to deal with eaters. But there isn’t a fourth wall. If someone starts talking on their phone, because they don’t really give a fuck about you, you can stop and say, do you mind?”

It’s best said with an upturned nose, mock haughtiness, and a snooty English accent. “It’s not like you’re in the middle of a soliloquy,” she said.

Breaking into the arts world is often a matter of catching a break.

”My first Equity gig was in the fall after I graduated, which is very lucky.”

In late 2013, another teacher from the university, Jerry Etienne, saw her in a remount of “Venus in Fur.” He has directed more than thirty productions as Artistic Director of Theatre Newfoundland Labrador and founded the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. When he signed on to direct “The Rainmaker” at the Watermark Theatre on Prince Edward Island the next summer he asked her if she would consider signing up at the same time.

“Yes, please,” she said.

She played the plain spinster in the drought-ridden story set in Depression-era America whose family worries center on her slim marriage prospects and their dying cattle. “Leah Pritchard tunes into the right emotional channel,” wrote The Buzz, Prince Edward Island’s arts and entertainment monthly tabloid.

Summer stock at the Watermark Theatre in North Rustico on the north central coast of the island means finding a place to live and a place to eat. “The stage manager and I roomed together for four years.” She ate at Amanda’s that became Fresh Catch that became Pedro’s Island Eatery when it was taken over by a Portuguese couple. “This village has been crying out for Pedro’s,” she said. “They give you so much food, delicious, and a beer. I get passionate about their haddock.”

Meanwhile, she worked up and down the east coast. “I’m very much an eastern girl,” she said. “I’d go insane without the ocean.”

In the spring of 2016 Leah appeared in “The Drowning Girls” at the Neptune Theatre in Halifax, a play about the real-life early 20th-century British wife killer George Joseph Smith, who married three women in succession and drowned all three in succession. “There was a lot of sitting in water for long periods of time. There was even a splash zone by the first row.“

Later that fall she played Balthazar in “The Spanish Tragedy” at The Villain’s Theatre in Halifax. All the actors were actresses in the new adaptation and the revenge story unfolded with a plentiful dose of black humor.

By the end of the summer season of 2017, after four seasons at the Watermark Theatre, she had appeared in productions of “Blithe Spirit” “The Rainmaker” “The Lion in Winter” “Romeo and Juliet” “An Ideal Husband” “The Glass Menagerie” and most recently “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” and the perky newlywed in “Barefoot in the Park.”

“The Watermark has been very kind to me,” she said. “I’ve gotten the opportunity to do Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw and Tennessee Williams.”

“Leah Pritchard and Jordan Campbell have genuine chemistry together, an innocent quality which is very watchable and perfectly suited to the play,” wrote Colm Magner in his review of “Barefoot in the Park” for The Guardian.

Some roles are more challenging than others.

“The Glass Menagerie was hard,” she said. “It was physically challenging, limping around, and I couldn’t figure Laura out, at first. She’s someone who lives inside herself, although as an actor on stage you can’t be too inside yourself. She’s a character who withdraws from the world, is quiet and reserved, and doesn’t want to be in confrontation. But on stage you need to be present, need to be seen, and need to be physically heard.

“It was weird.”

In the fall of 2017 Leah went on tour with Xara Choral Theatre’s adaptation of “Fatty Legs,” a children’s true story book about a plucky eight-year-old Inuit girl gone off to a residential school. “They called me Fatty Legs because a wicked nun forced me to wear a pair of red stockings that made my legs look enormous,” says the heroine. The larger theme is the cultural genocide of Canada’s defunct Indian boarding school system, which separated children from their traditional land, skills, language, and family.

Working with youngsters isn’t new for her. She has been a teaching assistant for Neptune Theatre’s youth theater workshops and led PEI Watermark Theatre’s youth theater acting conservatory for three summers.

Still a self-professed east coast girl, Leah Pritchard has recently moved to Toronto. The city boasts one of the liveliest theater scenes in the world, from major musicals at the Mirvish Theatres to Soulpepper, North America’s only year-round repertory company, to Buddies in Bad Times, the world’s largest and longest running queer theater.

“I want to be on the coast, but I understand the opportunities are in Ontario. I know what stages I want to be on and I’m going to keep working as hard as I can to get on those stages, by hook or by crook.”

Getting in the front door is easy to do if you’ve got a ticket. Getting in the stage door is hard to do if you’re an aspiring actor. Trying to make it in Toronto is a long uphill row to hoe.

“In Toronto no one needs to see you, no one needs to let you into the audition room, because there are thousands of you out there,” said Leah. “The way I approach my career is, there are thousands of good actors, but there aren’t thousands of me. There’s only one of me and they should be so lucky.”

Sometimes she tosses her head back when she laughs, like an actress from another time, a Myrna Loy or Angela Lansbury, who she bears a resemblance to. If she hasn’t laughed ten fifteen twenty times a day it hasn’t been a good day. “I get that I’m a young Angela Lansbury, a lot. I should be as lucky as that. I tell them I’m like a young old lady, not like how people are trying to be beautiful today.”

Looking ahead moving forward owning her career in the big city, she has several pokers in the fire, including Prince Edward Island. “It depends if there are roles for me in the plays they choose,” she said. “Five years in that theatre would be amazing. Even if they don’t, if I can manage a visit, the ocean, Pedro’s, it would be fabulous.”

She toured in the fall of 2018 with Xara Choral Theatre’s production of “Fatty Legs” reprising her work with the troupe.

This year she has found her way back to the Atlantic Ocean and Pedro’s Island Eatery and the Watermark Theatre for her fifth season, appearing in both summer shows, “Boeing Boeing” and “Crimes of the Heart.”

“She is very. very funny in ‘Boeing Boeing,'” said Robert Tsonos, Artistic Director at the Watermark.

“I’m always working to better myself as an actor,” she said. “I’m an independent artist, so I’m not desperate to be liked. I’m older, a little wiser, although maybe not very wise. I’m still only 28. How wise can a 28-year-old be?”

It”s not about to be or not to be.

It’s about the sharp-eyed actor on the way to doing what she wants who understands the first word line page in the manuscript of horse sense keenness awareness is about being unfailing about being you, adding-on but no second-handing and no pretending about what you’re doing to make yourself happen.

Photograph by Matthew Downey

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

A Thin Line Between Life and Life on Stage

Art Imitates Life, or Life Imitates Art?

6e26b8b3-87ac-4ecf-bad5-26747f6dc7da.jpg

Four of the characters in Watermark Theatre’s production of Boeing Boeing this summer begin the play engaged to be married and Artistic Director Robert Tsonos had no idea that two of the actors he cast to play the roles were also engaged to be married (but not to each other). “It’s one of those situations where art imitates life or vice versa”, says Tsonos. “The cast are all in their 20’s and early 30’s so I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised”.

PEI actress Jenna Marie is engaged to Landon Holmes and will be married at the end of August. They met when they were 16 years old at one of Jenna Marie’s first jobs as a tour guide at Cows Creamery at the North River Causeway where Landon worked as a “Scoopervisor”. They became fast best friends, with a little help from the ice cream he would sneak to her, but weren’t romantic in any way, and when Landon left the Creamery they drifted apart. Over the next 7 years they kept in touch very little while Jenna Marie moved all over Canada, but when she returned back to PEI they decided to reconnect over a bowling game which quickly turned into their first date. One month after their first date Jenna Marie moved to Italy for 7 months, and they decided to do long distance. They talked every day, and despite the time change Landon would make sure to Skype her as she fell asleep almost every night. Landon decided to go to Italy and travel with Jenna Marie at the end of her time there and they fell deeper in love and became inseparable.

Toronto based actor Warren Bain is engaged to Katie Ryerson and will be married in January. They met after an evening performance of Macbeth in Prescott, Ontario while Warren was working at the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival. They both went to the same theatre school, Warren was in his fourth year while Katie was in her first, and had seen each other in the hallways of the school but had never really chatted. They hit it off, had an enjoyable conversation, and made no plans to see each other ever again. The world works in mysterious ways though, and a few weeks later they ran into each other at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. They committed to having a date the following week. They saw a show, dined at a local restaurant, then wandered the streets of Toronto, lost in thought, conversation, and that romantic atmosphere that only warm nights and street lights bring.

Playing characters that were also in love and ready to take the next step made both actors think about their own journeys. “Playing a fiancé in Boeing Boeing is so much fun, and it’s easy to be excited about being engaged to Bernard because I just think of how excited I am to marry Landon.” enthuses Jenna Marie, “Gloria is definitely a little more headstrong then I am, but Landon says that Gloria’s love of all food (and weird food combinations) is something that isn’t too far off from my tastes and I would have to agree!”

Warren also reflected on how the role has made him think of his own situation. “Getting ready and planning for a wedding really makes me appreciate the timetables and obsession with organization that Bernard has in Boeing Boeing, there’s so much to do, it could fall apart at any minute! Katie and I also both work as actors and our careers take us away from each other for long stretches of time. Spending the summer on the Island is wonderful, but it’s three months away from Katie, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.”

Boeing Boeing runs all summer until August 31st at the Watermark Theatre in North Rustico. Visit http://www.watermarktheatre.com or call 902-963-3963 for tickets.

Watermark is a proud member of the PTN – Professional Theatre Network of PEI

For more information please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Hooked on Hooking

Watermark Lobby Art Gallery – Rug Hooking

 

60968ce1-98d6-4c91-a088-c46399c56a89.jpg

For the 2019 season, the Watermark Gallery installation is a celebration of traditional rug hooking with a very creative nod to the lobster fishing history of North Rustico. The bows, gates and other pieces from old lobster traps have been used to showcase the hooked pieces. Some of the art pieces tell a story and others are PEI and seaside memories.

Rug hooking as we know it today may have developed in North America, specifically along the Eastern Seaboard in New England in the United States, the Canadian Maritimes, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In its earliest years, rug hooking was a craft of poverty. The vogue for floor coverings in the United States came about after 1830 when factories produced machine-made carpets for the rich. Poor women began looking through their scrap bags for materials to employ in creating their own home-made floor coverings to cover up their cold floors. Women employed whatever materials they had available. After 1850 their hooked rugs were created on the burlap of used old grain and feed bags. Every scrap of fibre that was no longer usable as clothing was put into rugs. Yarns and wools are now usually used in the making of the pieces.

Today rug hooking or mat making as it is sometimes referred to has been labeled in Canada as a fine art. “…we call it painting with wool…” says rug-hooking instructor Linda Marchbank of Travellers Rest, who has been immersed in this art for the past decade. The art of rug hooking has made an amazing comeback with large rug hooking groups all over North America, in Australia and England. In 2006, the Hooked Rug Museum of North American Society was incorporated and opened in Hubbards/Queensland, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Visitors can enjoy the creative work of the Island Matters Rug Hooking Group and Friends, curated by Shelagh Lindley of The Plum Tree Studio, PEI in our lobby all summer long.

Official Opening of the Gallery is on July 10th from 2:00PM to 3:30PM.
The Gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 2:00PM to 7:00PM, Closed on Sundays.
Open until August 31st.

Watermark is a proud member of the PTN – Professional Theatre Network of PEI

For more information please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com

Watermark Theatre
57 Church Hill Ave
North Rustico, PE  C0A 1X0
www.watermarktheatre.com

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Chat With an Actor

A Chat With Actor Alexandra Montagnese

thumbnail_Photo AlexandraMontagnese

Q: Tell me about the characters you’re playing this summer?

AM: I am playing Gabriella in Boeing Boeing the passionate, feisty yet forgiving, Italian flight attendant. She speaks a language of love through her actions and soon becomes protective when she starts to catch wind of the situation at hand. All Gabriella wants is calm sensual companionship in an otherwise turbulent lifestyle, hopping airport to airport without much time to lay roots.

In contrast, I play the social butterfly, Chick in Crimes of the Heart letting me dig in the deep rootedness of southern American family matters. I’m playing the cousin to the three sisters at the centre of the story. Every time we see Chick, she is coming from a meeting, or headed to another responsibility, always with an eye for scrutiny and decorum. She is sharp, ready to pounce, and will certainly fill any dead air with her extensively long sentences. She’s got this fast-talking, friendly manner of getting what she wants while tossing jabs here and there, if you catch them.

Q: Have you worked with any of the other company members?

AM: I was lucky enough to spend 2 years at York U with Hannah where we did our MFA together. And when I say together, I mean there were only 5 of us in the acting program, and we spent day and night, every single class, and rehearsals together. We even got to play sisters in Three Sisters as both of our thesis roles.

Q: Are you looking forward to spending the whole summer on the Island?

AM: This is my first time on PEI and I am just delighted to start the summer full of seafood and sandy beaches! I’ve made extensive lists of all the things I want to do while on the island but I am most excited to go on adventures and see things I’ve never seen before. I’ll be the one asking people where I should go on my days off. 

Q: How will you keep it fresh every night when you have such a long run?

AM: The wonderful thing about theatre is that it’s humans every night, and as long as I remain true and honest with where I’m at, it will be fresh and interesting and new. I really value the work my fellow actors do, and out of respect to them, I listen, and respond authentically to what they’re offering. To me, honouring the work stage management, direction, lights, sound, front of house, and all the folks working to put me there onstage keeps me motivated. I also like to dedicate each night to a new person in the audience, whether I know them or not.

Robert Tsonos Artistic Director

Watermark Theatre

 

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Off the Stage

A Chat With Actor Hannah Wayne-Phillips at the Watermark Theatre

thumbnail_Hannah_WaynePhillips_headshot.jpg

 
Q: How will you keep it fresh every night when you have such a long run?
HWP: The incredible thing about live theatre is, every night is different because every night we get a new scene partner- the audience. One of the wonderful things about working in an intimate space like Watermark is that as actors we can really be present with the audience and have an exchange with the audience. That relationship, or that exchange, is very different with different groups of people and that alone keeps the work fresh. Sometimes I also like to focus on one detail and see how it changes the action. So I might focus on how a certain memory from childhood, or a relationship with a character in the play, affects the character’s journey in the play.
Q: Are you looking forward to spending the whole summer on the island?
HWP: I am thrilled to be spending the summer on the island. I’m excited for many things about being in PEI this summer, but top of the list is getting to swim in the Atlantic Ocean everyday.
Q: Tell me about the characters you are playing this summer?
HWP: I am very excited about the two characters I will be playing this summer! In Boeing Boeing I’m playing Berthe, a Parisian maid, who already has me busting a gut at her bold and slightly cantankerous way of communicating with her boss. Amidst her boss’ chaotic lifestyle, Berthe applies her shrewd and exacting mind to holding the house together, and with great success (most of the time). Berthe runs a tight ship; she has a ubiquitous watch over her domain. I cannot wait to jump into the skin of this fiery, smart-as-a-whip, subversive, fretful, wonderfully dramatic Parisian.
I’m also playing Lenny in Crimes of the Heart. Lenny and her sisters have already captured my heart and imagination. Lenny is the sister who is the caregiver; she is reliable, and self-sacrificing. She’s very interesting to me, because at face value she appears meek, but just below the surface she has a depth of soul and an emotional life that is very intense and at times quite dark. When we meet Lenny at the beginning of the play her life is very hermitic. Yet, she yearns for a life that’s bigger, with more passion than she believes she is able to have. That internal tension and Lenny’s journey to becoming an active person is extraordinary to me. I am very excited to fall further in love with this wish-making, horse-riding, yearning, cautious, sensitive, intense, empathetic misfit.
Q: Have you worked with any of the other company members?
HWP: Yes! Alex Montagnese and I were in the same class for our MFA in Acting at York. We always hoped we would be able to share the stage again soon, and I’m thrilled that the opportunity has come again so quickly. Alex is a truly gifted artist and I can’t wait to jump into the ring with her and the entire cast this summer.

Robert Tsonos

Artistic Director
Watermark Theatre

 

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse