Brandon Wicke is a long time friend of Bygone’s former producer, Tom Beattie. This summer, Brandon took his play “Third Person” across Canada, and as he is soon mounting the show here in Toronto, we took a few minutes to learn a bit more about Orphaned Egret Productions and the show.
1. What is your role with Orphaned Egret Productions and “Third Person”?
I suppose I’m a co-founder of Orphaned Egret, as well as something like an “Artistic Director”, though we haven’t really donned such titles so-to-speak. For the company, I handle things like promotions and correspondence with festivals on behalf of the company. As far as Third Person is concerned, I’m the playwright and director.
2. Give us Orphaned Egret’s history – how and why did it get started?
Orphaned Egret really came into being when we decided to bring Third Person to the Montreal Fringe this past June. While the five members of OE had all worked together in various capacities during our time at Concordia University here in Montreal, Fringe marked our first collaboration as professional theatre artists. Our plans eventually grew to include a summer-long cross-Canada tour of the play, with stops in Montreal, Stratford, Hamilton, Toronto, and Vancouver.
3. Give us a quick run-down of “Third Person”
Third Person is half music-hall slapstick antics and half soul-searching philosophical exploration, the marriage of which makes the show a very unique and exciting theatrical experience. Above all, it’s an absurdist comedy, but one which will leave you thinking differently about our place in the universe. The most memorable aspect of our production is the beautifully designed stop-motion text, which scrolls in live conversation with our actors throughout the play, challenging characters and audiences with snappy retorts and malicious tricks. I guarantee you’ve never seen text used so engagingly.
4. What has been your favourite part of working on “Third Person”?
The whole process has been a sheer delight, and of course it’s difficult to pick a favourite element. I would say one of the most exciting things for me personally has been speaking with audience members after shows and hearing their own interpretations of the work. I’ve been told comparisons to Plato’s allegory of the cave, Descartes’ arguments on determinism, Calvinist religious theory, and eastern theology, as well as others I can’t recall. It’s so humbling to hear that the script has provoked such thoughtful insights in our audience members, and I count myself very lucky that they’ve been excited enough to share them with me.
At the Fringe-for-All promo event just before our run at the Montreal Fringe Festival, we prepared to take the stage for our two-minute slapstick routine. The act immediately before us was a dance troupe whose promo starred a trio of attractive, partially nude women. Tough act to follow. We carried on regardless and got plenty of big laughs from the loosened up crowd, going on to have a great run at the Fringe.
6. Where and when can everyone see the show?
We’ll be at the Imperial Pub on 54 Dundas Street East, August 15th (8pm), 16th (8 & 10), and 17th (8pm) which is a Thursday through Saturday stretch. This is the same stretch that Bygone is presenting their wonderful DIAL M FOR MURDER, which you should make sure to see first. I hope it whets your whistle for theatre enough to share another evening of your weekend with us. The show’s 50 minutes long, and tickets will be pay-what-you-can at the door.
7. Anything else we should know?
Follow our twitter @OrphanedEgret for updates throughout our summer tour, and come enjoy a great weekend of theatre with us in a couple of weeks. Thanks so much to Emily and the folks at Bygone, and I can’t wait to see Dial M!