Saskatchewan playwright, Daniel Macdonald’s “Blow Wind” is set to be the 2019 summer production at the Rosthern Station Arts Centre. The play’s plot revolves around a family of 4 siblings as they deal with their mother’s continued descent into dementia and dealing with the family farm.
The Wakaw Recorder had a chance to speak to one of the lead actors in “Blow Wind”, Michelle Piller, who plays Joleen, the second oldest sibling in the play. Michelle grew up mostly in Toronto and us currently living in Halifax, but she jumped at the chance to audition and come to Saskatchewan for this summer production, “There was the call out for audition. I saw it and saw the show was in Rosthern and I decided-against all reason- (laugh) that I would addition anyway. I didn’t think I stood a chance, but I got the part.”
Michelle was excited, she explained, because she had received a scene and a monologue and the writing and character really spoke to her, “I felt like I knew the character Joleen right away, like I had lived in her world, I had an immediate sense that I knew her world and I got excited.”
The actor has nothing but positive things to say about the production and the team she is working with and her enthusiasm is evident, particularly when explaining why was willing to come out to Saskatchewan from the Eastern Coast of Canada for a Summer production.
“I’m a firm believer in Canadian theater artists working in any city they can. I honestly believe that helps us all up our game, it helps us all and strengthens the fabric of our theater. People get very protective over what is available in their city. I understand that. On the other hand, I think that as performers we all do better work if we get to work with others.”
When speaking specifically about “Blowing Wind”, Michelle explained that one of the interesting aspects of this project are some of the changes that have been made by the playwright himself.
“This (production) is entirely different, so a bit of rewriting from the playwright was done and now the actors are taking up not only the acting, but we are doing the music. We are performing the original music by Eileen Laverty, but we are now doing the music. So, we act and sing and play instruments.”
This is a very interesting aspect of “Blowing Wind”. Theater, in general, requires a great deal of commitment and work from the production and acting teams, and musical theater is no exception and has some added challenges (such as the musical training and, in this case, the requirement of playing instruments as part of the cast). Michelle, who received training in Opera, began her career in musical theater while in her 3rd year in University when she was cast for a Sondheim play. Her background, however, is a great tool for her and has giver her skills she still brings to the stage in every production.
For now, Michelle and the rest of the cast are putting the final details on “Blow Wind” and it is shaping up to be another successful season at Rosthern Station Arts Centre.
Make sure to catch “Blow Wind” July 5-28. For tickets visit https://stationarts.com/events/upcoming-events/ of call Rosthern Station Arts Centre at (306)232 5332.