Published on October 1st, 2014 | by Biz Books
The Biz Interview: Pippa Johnstone of The Rainmaker
Pippa Johnstone is the lead in Pacific Theatre’s production of The Rainmaker by N. Richard Nash. In advance of its opening today, we spoke with Pippa about her role and the various projects she has going on at the moment.
What was were the elements that drew you to be part of this production?
First and foremost, I just love the story. I am always drawn to stories about family, heartbreak and hope, and this story has a l all three. The story really hits home for me, it’s a real lesson in learning to love and believe in yourself, and about how beauty comes from how you see yourself. I think most people I know can relate to that on some level. Not to mention the creative team we have assembled is an absolute dream! I feel so lucky getting to work with some of my favourite artists in Vancouver on this beautiful play.
Can you share some of your creative process in preparing for the role from the initial planning of the production all the way through to opening night?
Creating this show has been a real treat. Working with Ron, our director, I have felt a huge amount of freedom to explore so far, and build trust within the cast. We’ve spent a good deal of time focusing on the heart of the story, the heartbreak and hope of the characters and exploring the desperation that comes from living in a dry season when your livelihood depends on rain. Even though we don’t live in the Dust Bowl in the Great Depression, the themes are all relatable in their own ways, and we can all get behind hoping for a better future beyond the horizon.
Are there any books or specific authors that have been influential to you so far in your creative journey?
In general, I have a few key acting books I like to keep around. I studied Meisner technique in New York before I went to UBC, so I’m a big fan of Sanford Meisner On Acting, and currently I’m reading (and totally inspired by) The Open Door by Peter Brook.
What were the biggest challenges for you as an actor in preparing for this production and how did you deal with them?
Maybe the biggest challenge is just allowing a story that feels very personal out. This play hits home for me, and I know many others in the cast, and opening yourself up to telling something true and secret about yourself feels very revealing and very rewarding. It has been a pleasure to explore, and I’m so looking forward to sharing it.
What can you share about any future projects that are in development?
Right after The Rainmaker, I’ll be in a completely different type of project, with Trainspotting as a part of Rumble Theatre’s Tremors Festival playing at the Russian Hall November 12-15th!
The Rainmaker opens October 10th at Pacific Theatre and goes until November 1st, 2014. For tickets and information, please visit PacificTheatre.org.