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This article was published 4/12/2017 (1339 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Carson Nattrass has et go of his performing role to invest in other actors as the new artistic director at Rainbow Stage. He has been involved with the theatre company since 2003, when he graduated from the University of Alberta with a bachelor of fine arts degree in drama-acting.
"I’m excited to help the community be the best that it can be," Nattrass, hwo lives in Wolseley, said. "I’m still trying to respond to, it’s down to 80 now from 125 texts, that I’ve been getting now. It’s a first for me."
Up to today, he’s been involved with 14 Rainbow Stage productions that include acting and directing Footloose; A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline; Cash: Ring of Fire. He also has experience as an actor and writer and has brought 15 new professional plays to production and the development of over 50 new plays in festivals, readings and workshops.
Meanwhile, Nattrass studied at the University of Manitoba’s theatre and film department and participated in many continuing education programs, including the upcoming 2018 Stratford Festival of Canada’s Michael Langham workshop for classical direction.
As artistic director, Nattrass will be responsible for implementing the creative vision and focus of Rainbow Stage.
"You have to first and foremost honour the playwright and the play that you have been given. You do that in many ways by casting it well and putting the right people to play the roles as written by the playwright, creating a world around it with the set and design and costumes that serve that play and then the audience that’s paying to see it is the other side of the coin," he said.
"You want to honour their expectations and their loyalty to the company."
Nattrass has more than 20 years of drama experience. He has worked with renowned names in the acting scene such as Tony Award winners Andrew Lloyd Webber and Len Cariou, Tony nominee Kristin Hanggi, BAFTA and Emmy award winner David Suchet, and Academy Award nominee Sarah Polley.
The artistic director has to be able to see the big picture, Nattrass explained. Actors focus more on themselves and their roles in the play, while the director oversees all aspects.
"I think some people could be overwhelmed by that, but I find it comforting to have the whole thing in front of me."
Nattrass said that local, long-established theatre companies need to be creative with their budget to solve their obstacles.
"When I go see a show in a high school I’m always thrilled by how they solve their problems. I’ll go see the Wizard of Oz in a high school and see how they created a tornado, that is brilliant, and that didn’t cost you anything, you just used your mind to solve a problem," he explained.
"The challenge of not having a lot of money turns into blessings like offering the role to someone in town who might not be the obvious choice but that person gets to shine in a role that they never would’ve got to do before."
"The challenge in our market is to continue to offer the audience with world-class theatre in our bracket."
Nattrass is already working the company’s next season, which starts with A Chorus Line - In Concert on March 16.
For more information on the upcoming season, go to www.rainbowstage.ca
Community journalist — The Times
Ligia Braidotti was the community journalist for The Times until 2019.