Claire Armstrong on her role in Kat Sandler's latest show at The Storefront Theatre
Presented by The Slab Collective
Supported by Theatre Brouhaha & Red One Theatre Collective
Written and directed by Kat Sandler
Dora Award-winning actress Claire Armstrong returns to the stage this spring in LIVER, a new dark comedy by prolific Toronto playwright Kat Sandler. A dark exploration of life, death and how we run from both, LIVER centres around the alcoholic Andrew, who wakes up on a gurney missing his liver, and the lives of everyone around him are thrown into choas as they decide how far they'll go to protect their discovery.
Here, we chat with Armstrong about her role in the show and her experience working with Sandler.
Theatromania: How would you describe Kat Sandler’s new play LIVER in a few sentences?
CA: This play is dark, hilarious and downright mad at times. It is fueled by five vastly different personalities who collide with each other and make funnies happen at classic Sandler breakneck speed. But there is a painful, touching undercurrent running beneath the narrative, which opens up and grinds the action to a halt in moments of surprising and unexpected vulnerability.
Theatromania: Tell us about your character. What attracted you to this role?
CA: Rachel is a juicy character to play because she’s so multi-layered. Kat has written her beautifully, in a way that resonates in the writing and makes the character so rich to inhabit. She has strong convictions and opinions, and her self-preservation instincts are well-honed. But she’s also vulnerable, wounded, and funny without knowing it, which is something that Kat does expertly with her writing. All of these things are what ground Rachel in this mad, out-of-control world of the play, and what allows the audience to identify with her.
Theatromania: How would you describe Sandler’s approach as a director? What have you learned from your experiences working with her?
CA: Kat works in an extremely collaborative way, which is why actors love working with her so much. As a writer and director she is very open to incorporating her actors’ thoughts and ideas into the script, because she wants the voice of the character to resonate with you. When we are on our feet, she takes all suggestions, questions and struggles and works with you to turn them into playable actions. Working with Kat is a partnership, and the result is an experience that is freeing, empowering and wildly fun as an actor.
Theatromania; What's next for you?
CA: This summer I will be working on a few film projects and gearing up for the upcoming fall season at the Storefront Theatre - which we will be announcing at our spring gala on May 15th! Check out our website for details and join us for the party!
See Claire in Kat Sandler's LIVER, on stage April 30 to May 10, 2015 at The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor St. W). Visit thestorefronttheatre.com for more information and to buy tickets.