Alumnus Andy Cohen in The Hunchback!

Every so often, a show comes along that you are proud to be a part of, which you feel makes you a better person, by getting to speak those words and wear that vest and glue your eyebrows; a show where you go to bed at night wanting morning to come so badly so you can go back to rehearsal. This has been my Hunchback experience (my ‘hunchsperience’).

Photo of alumnus Andy Cohen far right at The Hunchback's  Audience Talkback

Alumnus Andy Cohen far right at The Hunchback’s Audience Talkback

I first fell in love with Edmonton-based Catalyst Theatre when they toured their production of Nevermore to the Arts Club a few years ago. I loved that the original story, music, movement, costumes, set… they all worked harmoniously to add different layers and dimensions to the story (as opposed to merely adding spectacle). I feel blessed to get to be a part of (and learn from!) this fantastic, courageous, twisted, generous company of artists. The Hunchback is also a production that makes me glad that I have a BFA (shameless plug)… most of us in the cast do have BFA’s.

L-R Theatre at UBC alumnus Andrew Cohen with Robert Markus and Beth Graham

L-R Theatre at UBC alumnus Andrew Cohen with Robert Markus and Beth Graham

With an ensemble of only 8 actors trying to recreate the streets of 16th century Paris, cohesion and ‘complicite’ between us was essential – especially as a newbie stepping in in this phase of the show’s life (it premiered last year in Edmonton). Rehearsals were long, exhausting, and we were all called to participate in every rehearsal, but for good reason.

I am incredibly proud to be part of this show, to get to perform it in my hometown Vancouver, on the Playhouse stage… I’m just over the moon. I’ll never forget the feeling of walking out onstage for the final scene at our first (and sold-out) preview… just buzzing; it was electric. I welled up. I thought: THIS is why I do this.

~ A guest post by BFA Acting Alumnus Andy Cohen

Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

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