Emily Piggford stars as the witch in Impulse Theatre’s original production, Wolf in the Mirror, directed by Andrew Barrett.

Intrepid theatre brings wolf to the door

Wolf in the Mirror is a cutting-edge Canadian stage play and it requires a modern approach.

Andrew Barrett, the 24-year-old founder of Victoria’s Impulse Theatre and director of their new production, Wolf in the Mirror, uses some unusual methods to coax the performances he needs from his actors. He doesn’t expect his cast to conform to his singular vision, but instead encourages a concerted effort that cultivates creativity.

“With Impulse, I can’t be the vision-driven director,” says Barrett over lunch at a downtown deli. “I can’t sit them down and say ‘this is what I want.’ Instead, I ask them, ‘what do you think should happen?’ and if it jives with the way I feel about the piece, we implement it.”

Many directors see the cast as employees, rather than partners, but Barrett trusts the actors involved in his productions. After all, there is a reason that he selected them for their parts.

“The actors do their own research, and I never want to know very much about what they learned. Then I say, ‘go away, and come up with a shape based on depression, or a waterfall, or a tree.’ ”

Shapes. Emotion. Inner world. Inner dialogue. These words come up often as Barrett explains his process. It makes sense because many of his productions, like Wolf, have the added challenge of being totally free of dialogue, which means the story must be told solely through movements and expressions, a technique he feels is extremely effective when done properly.

“I did a show at the Fringe Festival in 2012, and there was a girl in the cast who didn’t gesture at all, but she carried the story because she was actually listening and being affected. She created a whole inner world around her, just by acting. When I think about her performance it makes me cry.”

Wolf in the Mirror is a cutting-edge Canadian stage play and it requires a modern approach. The audience should keep an open mind to freely interpret what they see on stage.

“I’d like the audience just to sit and not try to figure out what the actual story is. I love it when the audience tells me what the story was about.”

So what is Wolf about? Well, Barrett seems reluctant to proffer an explanation, but after a deep breath, he gives it a try.

“The story follows a girl, and her transformations into a witch by a man who has an ensemble of shadows around him. Ultimately, the piece is about rising up against a tyrant who has stolen your identity.”

Wolf in the Mirror opens on June 19 at the Metro Studio Theatre. For more information, go to impulsetheatre.ca. 

 

Just Posted

Catch the Motown sound on stage in Oak Bay

Dave Dunnet Community Theatre hosting Motown Magic on Oct. 3

Scottish flavours abound at the McPherson during Skerryvore’s return

Acclaimed Celtic rock fusion band here Oct. 6; whisky tasting, acoustic pre-show added

REVIEW: The Children not depressing, despite nuclear fallout theme

Belfry Theatre production well acted; story asks important questions, writes Sheila Martindale

VICTORIA SYMPHONY: Classical masterpieces help welcome autumn

Virtuoso violinist, pianist to perform triumphant works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven

MATHIEU POIRIER: Winterbrau a feast for dark beer lovers

Canoe’s popular annual celebration of winter brews expanding to two days, Nov. 9-10

Shambhala named best music festival in North America

Shambhala Music Festival is held at the Salmo River Ranch in B.C.

Set your alarm! Night Shift Halloween tix on sale Friday morning

Royal BC Museum’s adult-only costume event expected to sell out quickly

Canadian author Graeme Gibson, partner of Margaret Atwood, dies at age 85

Gibson remembered for putting his words into action for both cultural and environmental causes

Trailer released for Jason Momoa TV series filmed on Vancouver Island

‘See’ will debut on Apple’s new streaming service on Nov.1

Victoria bookstore looking to earn a place in the record books

Russell Books still collecting Guiness World Records books from public for massive tower

Eddie Money, ‘Two Tickets to Paradise’ singer, dies at 70

The rock star recently announced he had stage 4 esophageal cancer

Cross-cultural flamenco production tells personal story through dance, music

Indian, Spanish influences seen in Nritya, coming Sept. 26 to Glenlyon Norfolk School theatre

$9.8 million announced for B.C. arts groups by province

BC Arts Council to distribute 394 grants across more than 50 communities

Best of the 2019 Victoria Fringe Festival revisited

Wonder how others felt about Fringe shows you saw? Find the Pick of the Fringe winners here

Most Read