After the House Lights

Daddy Issues at Edmonton Fringe Festival


Daddy Issues
Walterdale Playhouse (10322 – 83 avenue) August 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

An interview with Peter Aguero

Peter Aguero. Photo credit: Gene Kennish

Describe your show in five words.
Stories told by a son.

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?
The show is comprised of 6 stories told chronologically from my early childhood to present day. I try to tell the stories from a place of honesty and perspective that gives voice to the kid that I was when I wasn’t able to process the events. It’s a recollection of a relationship that was (and is) a difficult one to struggle through.

Daddy Issues and the work done by The Moth [which Peter hosts] is all about real stories. What is it about real stories (as opposed to ones that might be interlaced with fiction and imagination in a traditional theater show) that appeals to you as a performer? What do you think the appeal is for the audience?
I’m drawn to telling true stories because they break down any barrier between the performer and the listener. You can see when people can relate to your own experience and it makes you feel relieved that you weren’t the only person in the world to feel that way. I think that the audience gets the same benefit. They hear a story about someone’s life and understand that they aren’t alone. Stories can facilitate instant community.

I would think the idea of sharing one’s real stories with audiences across the globe would scare quite a few people. What was your mental process when preparing to create and perform Daddy Issues?
My biggest focus in preparation for this show has been to make sure that I’m telling the truth about the events. In telling the stories in repetition, I start to access the memories in a more thorough way and get a clearer picture of what actually happened and how I felt. I don’t have fear of the material, as I think that when you tell your stories, you shine a light on your life and start to own the events and choices. It gives you power. After years of hustling as a performer, I don’t get scared anymore of sharing my stories. They’re mine now.

Anything else you want the audience to know about the show?
I want to be clear that this show isn’t me ragging on my father for an hour and ten minutes. It’s really not even about him. It’s about certain moments and events that he was a part of and how I lived them. I don’t like my dad. He doesn’t like me. That’s my business. The audience is free to feel about him (and me) however they will after seeing the show. Maybe they’ll like him. That’s cool. I’m not the boss.

Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?
I’ve never performed in Edmonton, so I’m very excited to be a part of the Fringe this year. I’m indebted to Martin Dockery, a regular Fringe performer, for suggesting that I apply to the festival. Martin’s performing in two shows this year, a solo show called The Dark Fantastic and a 2-person play that he’s written (and am acting in with Vanessa Quesnelle) called Moonlight After Midnight. They’re both awesome.

The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. I’ll be previewing shows up until the Fringe starts. Want your show to appear on After the House Lights? Email