Interviews

Published on June 4th, 2019 | by Biz Books

The Biz Interview: Pedro Chamale

Chicken Girl is currently underway at ANNEX in Vancouver. We talked to a few of the artistic talents involved in the show.

Here is our interview with Pedro Chamale!

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Can you start by telling us a little bit about your involvement with Chicken Girl?

Well to start off I am the co-artistic director of rice & beans theatre, which means that I helped to produce the production. I was also the technical director for the show and play the part of the Submariner.

What should audiences expect from the show?

I think that the audience should expect to go on a ride. The piece itself has such a movement to it, there are a lot of working parts all hurtling through the world that the play happens in. From the mythology that Derek builds in the play to the wonderful artistry that all of the designers bring and the complex performances my fellow actors bring to the stage.

From your perspective, what is the most rewarding thing about acting in theatre?

There is no one thing that makes it rewarding that I can put my finger on. I think I can only say that, if I had to label it, it’s that I find great joy being part of it, getting the chance to work with all of the great artists that I have and tell the stories that I have been able to.

What are the three most important ingredients for a successful stage performance?

I don’t think I can prescribe what is most important but just what I choose to value which is a lot so I will pair it down as much as I can. Being ready for anything, knowing that all of my choices are not precious, that the director sees the bigger picture and that my current choices may need to change to help get the play to where it needs to be and to constantly make my fellow actors look better by supporting the choices they make.

In your opinion, what is the current state of Canadian theatre and how has it evolved since you first got involved in the industry?

The current state is one of flux and one of great resistance. There is change that is happening in many aspects, to some folks its all happening too fast and others not fast enough. I think there are some theatre makers who are seeing a decline in audiences and others who are managing to engage people in a meaningful way which is having them see great success in audience turn out. All I know is that those who think they can continue to make theatre the way they always have or that are simply programming their one show for a certain audience per season are holding up the system that has excluded so many of us for so long.

When I first started in the industry I was a young artist wanting to make things my way and no one was throwing money at me to do so. There was not that much support on a funding level for those of us trying to do that, now there is a lot more support for emerging artists and for new voices. With the help of grants such as the early career development grant, almost every company in town is working with new exciting artists every year. It’s great and I am so happy that young artists have that support for them now.

Also when I started, whether I knew it or not I was hungry for theatre that reflected who I was as a person and that I had to make it. I was lucky enough to partner with Derek at such an early stage in our careers, with him I was able to find someone who was willing to throw everything we had into making our art, continually trying new things and learning from all of our mistakes. We created work that excited us but was always pushing our capabilities as artists and producers while still maintaining a joyful room where people are happy to be there.

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned about theatre in your career so far?

To own the mistakes I have made and to learn from them. That I have many strengths but also weaknesses and that I have to be honest with myself about those weaknesses and when I am not right for a certain job.

What theatre-related books and authors have been influential in your career so far?

Well certainly there is Acrobat of the Heart by Stephen Wangh, A Director Prepares by Anne Bogart, the french Absurdest playwrights have always been a source for me such as Alfred Jarry and I would say two books that are not theatre-related but have influenced me in theatre are the collected works of Calvin and Hobbes and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

What other projects are you working on right now?

After Chicken Girl wraps I will be heading to the Banff for my last module of the Banff Leadership in Arts in Culture Program that I have been taking, continuing to write my new play Made in Canada: an agricultural operetta which will be our next production for rice & bean and finally getting to take my honeymoon seeing as I got married last year and have yet to do so.

Where can we find out more about you?

Soon you will be able to find more about me at pedrochamale.com but I have yet to build that. So for now you can find me at riceandbeanstheatre.com, and on my Twitter and Instagram which is @pedrowyourboat.

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Thanks to Pedro Chamale for speaking with us!

You can check out Chicken Girl at ANNEX until June 7th. For tickets, please visit TheatreWire.com


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