People Behind Summer and Smoke: Alan and Vivian

Sound Operator: Alan Westin

1. Why (and when) did you decide to become involved with Walterdale?

I enjoy theatre and my educational background incorporates elements of Walterdale. Previous obligations now afford me the opportunity to become more involved.

2. Why do you choose to be involved in the production side of the show? How did you get started doing this?

I did my practicum with the Alberta Ballet before they moved to Calgary and enjoy the behind-the-scenes involvement.

3. What other productions (at Walterdale or elsewhere) have you been a part of? What was your role in those productions?

I’ve been a Sound Operator for: The Love of the Nightingale and The Misanthrope. I’ve also assisted the Master Builder in set builds, encompassing approximately ½ dozen shows.

4. You’re a volunteer with Walterdale, what is your “day job”?

I’m a Marketing Designer for a North American firm with the head office located in Atlanta.

Actor: Vivian Binnema

1. Why (and when) did you decide to become involved with Walterdale?

I became involved with Walterdale this fall by auditioning for Summer and Smoke. I had just returned to Edmonton after a year in Victoria and wanted to find a way to become involved in Edmonton’s theatre community.

2. What character do you play in Summer + Smoke?

I play Rosemary, the town librarian.

3. What commonalities, if any, do you have with your character?

Like Rosemary, I love books. I am also relatively quiet and sometimes have trouble getting other people to listen to me when I want their attention!

4. Why do you act? What are you trying to do every time you go on stage, no matter what role you’re playing?

I act because I love doing it. When I’m onstage I try to live inside the mind and body of another person. By the time I am performing a show, I have spent a few months learning about another person’s history, thoughts, habits, friends, and hometown, and when I’m onstage I try to represent this person as a whole person, and to share this person with my fellow actors and with the audience.

5. What other productions (at Walterdale or elsewhere) have you been a part of? What was your role in those productions?

This is my first production at Walterdale, and my first time being involved in community theatre. I did quite a bit of acting in high school, including plays and musicals. One of my favourite roles was playing Jan in the musical “Grease.” I was involved in two productions in University; we had a split cast in each production so on half of the nights I acted and on the other half I did stage managing duties.

6. Which do you like better – acting or stage managing?

I prefer acting but I did enjoy my stage managing experience and would possibly do it again sometime – although I’d want to be an assistant stage manager, I think, since it’s been awhile since I did any stage managing and the (re)learning curve would probably be pretty steep!

7. You’re a volunteer with Walterdale, what is your “day job”? What do you do outside of  Walterdale and work?

I have a part time job as a cook at a Senior’s Home. I also volunteer as the Communications Manager at the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of the North Saskatchewan River.

Read more articles in the Behind Summer and Smoke series.

– Jenna

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