Friends of Bygone – Colin Asuncion in “Fugitive Songs”

Our AD Emily Dix worked with Colin Asuncion when she directed “Hairspray” for St.Michael’s College, back in December 2011; Colin played the charismatic Seaweed Stubbs. Sam Moffatt, another performer in “Fugitive Songs” was the Hairspray‘s music director; small world, eh?We’re sitting down with Colin to get the dish on his latest show with First Act Productions; “Fugitive Songs”

Colin Asuncion

Colin Asuncion

Give us First Act Productions’ history – how and why did it get started? Have you worked with them in the past? In what capacity?
First Act Productions is a young Toronto theatre company which was created by Nicole Strawbridge a few years ago. The company has produced a bunch of large-scale, well known shows like FAME and Little Shop of Horrors. Like a lot of up-and-coming theatre companies in the city, First Act casts a good mix of working professionals and recent theatre grads. My first show with First Act was HAIR this past January. Nicole had seen me in a student production of Hairspray (which Bygone Theatre’s own Emily Dix directed) and invited me to audition for her company. I landed the role of Berger which is the biggest role I have played to date. Since then, I have performed in All Shook Up with the company and now Fugitive Songs, for which I am also co-designing the set.

What is your role in Fugitive Songs?
I play a moody young man (none of us have character names) who is dissatisfied with his life. He hates his neighbourhood and feels haunted by his ex-girlfriend. In an effort to get away from it all, he joins the other characters on a long road trip, during which he gets in touch with his feelings and learns a lot about himself. It gets kind of intense and emo at times, but I have a lot of fun playing him.

Give us a quick run-down of Fugitive Songs.
Fugitive Songs is a song cycle about people who are trying to run away from something, be it a person, place, or state of mind. They go on a road trip together during which they try to fix the problems that led them to get away in the first place.

What has been your favourite part of working on “Fugitive Songs”?1270665_454120654701606_2003221797_o
I absolutely love the music. The sound of the show is a mix of folk, gospel, and pop – it’s really cool. Really contemporary. So that’s pretty awesome. Also, I’m co-designing the set which has been a great experience. In addition to theatre, visual art is my other creative love so it’s been really wonderful getting to combine two of my skill sets.

Any fun rehearsal/performance stories or anecdotes you’d like to share?
Well, our stage manager Dylan is going to teach me how to roll a joint and not look like an amateur. I have to roll a j in my opening scene so we’ll see how that goes.

Where and when can everyone see the show?
Nov 8 – 16 at Fraser Studios (76 Stafford Street, near Trinity Bellwoods Park). Tickets are $25 and you can get them at www.firstactproductions.ca.

Anything else we should know?
The show is going to be ridiculously good. Come.

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Dial M For Murder – Crew Spotlight – Jackie McClelland

Jackie McClelland is our props master and one of our set designers for “Dial M For Murder”!

Jackie McClellandBio: Jackie is a set and prop designer specializing in period work for both film and stage. Selected credits include: Robin Hood: The Legendary Musical Comedy, Romeo and Juliet, Bent (Hart House Theatre); Twelfth Night (Canopy Theatre Company); Into the Woods (Bravo Academy); Little Women (First Act Productions); A Ladylike Murder, City of Angels (Victoria College Drama Society); Sundance (Two Wolves Theatre, Toronto Fringe Festival).

1. How did you get started with set design?

I started out studying film, actually, but got involved in theatre in my spare time. I played a few small roles in school shows – chorus parts, mostly – before making the transition backstage.

 2. What is your favourite part of the creative process?

It’s hard to narrow it down to just one thing — I love brainstorming and doing tons of research right off the bat, but it’s just as satisfying to put my hands to use building, painting, and decorating.

3. What are some challenges you face working as a set designer?

There are almost always limitations in terms of budget and time. In a perfect world, I would have limitless money and hours to spend crafting a perfect set and filling out all the little details that draw in the audience. Getting around these hurdles, though, is part of what makes this job great. I love when someone is impressed by something that I “MacGyver’d” for practically no money!

4. Any advice for other people looking to pursue set design?

I honed my skills building props before moving up to set design and dressing. It gives you the opportunity to work directly with the set designer and learn a lot from their experience – I definitely recommend it.

5. What are you most excited for in regards to “Dial M For Murder”?

I’m a big Hitchcock fan, but I’ve always felt that Dial M for Murder is a story that belongs more on stage than it does on screen. There’s the potential to create a lot of tension through staging and I hope to enhance that as much as possible with the set. I also love working on period pieces and have a special soft spot for Mid-Century Modern design. It’s gonna be great!