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Playing House with Colin Anthes

By Chris Illich

Celebrating their 10th anniversary, Stolen Collective Theatre are ready to present their first one-person performance. House, written by Daniel MacIvor, directed by Danielle Wilson and starring Colin Bruce Anthes is a story of a character Victor who is a stage at his life where nothing has gone as planned. Anthes performs a 60 minute one-act monologue which tales the ups and downs of Victor’s life as the audience unpacks the traumatic events that have led up to this moment.

“We really don’t know what has happened to him, but as the course of the play turns over we learn what has happened to him and figure out the significance of the title of the play. Essentially he foregrounds his own performance while he works through the incidents and events that has brought him to where he is now.” – Danielle Wilson, Director.

Following is our interview with the lead, Colin Bruce Anthes.

Danielle explained to me that you saw the original performance of House. She mentioned it as a ‘dream role’ for you. Can you detail that experience?

Yes, I saw House when I was a first year student at Humber College. MacIvor was doing a farewell tour, shortly before a hello again tour, and performed a few of his best known solo shows including House and Monster. I had never seen theatre like it before, so pared down yet completely active and live, so theatrical yet profoundly honest and human. House was transformative for me. I fell in love with independent theatre watching this play. It changed the direction of my whole career. And now, at 30, I’m performing it at the same age MacIvor did when it debuted. It’s a bit surreal, and complete dream come true in the fullest “I can’t believe it’s actually happening” sense

So what can you tell us about the play, about the character of Victor and how you’ve created this persona for this performance?

Victor is a guy without an umbrella standing under life as it takes a leak. He’s a part of that crowd we don’t like to talk about much, the people who have problems without a hint of glamorous silver lining, the people who in the muck of the real world. And he’s calling it for what it is.

What has the preparation/rehearsal experience been like for you? It must be taxing doing a 60 minute monologue on your lonesome…

Oh it’s bloody exhausting, but I love theatre that makes me collapse in a heap when it’s done. I crave being totally alive with the audience. And I love being on stage for the entire show. It’s just wonderful to perform in the perpetual presence of everyone gathered there. And Victor is such fun and such a brilliantly composed character. It’s going to be a joy sharing MacIvor’s creation with them. It is, of course, challenging to rehearse. In particular, we have to be cautious with my voice since a rehearsal is just me going at full steam for a handful of hours. But those are technical challenges. It’s a joy. I’m very lucky.

Finally, what do you hope to achieve (for both yourself and the audience) from this role/play?

I want the audience to be taken on a ride. I want to take them on Victor’s not-quite-stable roller coaster ride. I think it’s a show that hits emotionally first, intellectually later. I hope to accomplish that. I hope to absorb them in the experience in the moment, and leave them with something to chew on when they walk out. But I’ll leave it to others to determine whether or not I succeed.

House will be housed at the Robby at the Folk Arts Center from September 15-30 and tickets are available at stolentheatrecollective.com

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