||Cue to Cue celebrates all the great theatre in Toronto from the small independent companies to large international productions.
For the inaugural Cue to Cue post, I wanted to focus on an independent project, rather than a big-budget show. I doubt it would be a stretch to suggest that the majority of theatrically-inclined Torontonians spend a fair amount of time attending friends’ fundraisers and dodging Facebook event invites to near-weekly indie show openings. So I thought that perhaps a glimpse into the struggle of producing and directing independent productions in this city might be in order. Enter Carter West, the director of Edward Albee’s The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, which opens at the Tarragon Extra Space next Tuesday, June 19th. The Goat is the story of a middle-aged man who falls in love with a goat, and the chaos that ensues when he reveals this fact to his family.
Tim Walker and Rosemary Doyle in The Goat or Who is Sylvia?
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a director and about your theatre company, ATIC Productions
I’ve directed shows in British Columbia, the U.S. and now Toronto. Other than that, I think I’m too young to say I have a definitive style or trademark as a director. ATIC productions began as a family endeavour six years ago to put a show in the Fringe. From there the company has grown, albeit slowly, and The Goat is our fifth production and first in Toronto.
What inspired you to perform this fairly well-known play?
Albee is the perfect playwright for the budget-conscious theatre producer. While his plays confront difficult themes with unfairly rich characters, they are often confined to one room. This allows room for minimalism without sacrificing any elements of the piece itself. He allows you to produce his work with integrity and honesty whatever the conditions of the productions. He is also one of the most intelligent voices of his generation, and The Goat proves him to be provocative and insightful well into his 70s. Beyond the practicality, The Goat is a badass of a play. The narrative structure is sophisticated and draws on classical elements of tragedy, the characters are simultaneously emblematic and parodic of the society they represent and, perhaps most crucially, the show is thrilling to work on and to watch.
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