Thursday, April 21, 2011

Imaginary characters, fame, celebrity and clowns are all part of Girl Got Lost Productions’ mounting of Cowboy Mouth

If you’re seeing a piece of theatre where two characters exist only in the intellect of the third, does that make it a one-man show? And, is the best all-around advice for director’s venture into the realm of hyper-reality this: add clowns? To find the answers to these and other ontological questions, I turned to director Chelsea McIsaac, of Girl Got Lost Productions, as she put the final, strange touches on Cowboy Mouth, now underway at Espace 4001.

Sam Shepard’s 1971 play—co-written with his girlfriend, seminal rock-poet Patti Smith—is an angry rant about rock stars, movie stars, and the religion we’ve made of renown and celebrity.

Written in the fury of a few days when Sheppard had left his wife O-Lan Jones and shacked up with Smith, the rambling story of Cavale, Slim and Lobster Man features Aaron Turner, Owen Clark (both appeared in the Persephone production of Henry V last November), and well-known cabaret and clown actor Kathy Daehler.

McIsaac began working in the business, though from the other side of the desk, at an untimely age. Every Montreal actor is aware of McIsaac’s day job as an agent, working beside her mother Susan Glenn at Glenn Talent Management. Nearly 20 years ago, McIsaac was casting parts for a play at the Saidye Bronfman when she saw an actor interpretation lines from a Shepard play.

In theatre auditions you see a lot of monologues, says McIsaac. And back then, an actress performed a piece from Cowboy Mouth and it actually struck me. I went and found the play—this is when I was 18—and said to myself that if I ever directed, this is the one I’m going to do.

McIsaac cut her teeth directing Amiel Gladstone’s Hippies and Bolsheviks in 2009, getting honest reviews in her first outing. Ready at last to revisit Cowboy Mouth, she says, What it meant to me at 18 isn’t what it means to me currently. It can be seen as an actually angry story, but if I was going to direct the play now I had to reinvent it.

View this site: Behavior in Organizations (9th Edition) by Greenberg and Baron

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