Q&A: The Dog & the Angel

Up-and-coming performer Connie Wang on her role in Theatre Columbus' new winter show at Evergreen Brick Works

Written by Martha Ross
Directed by Jennifer Brewin
Music direction by John Millard

Cast of Theatre Columbus' The Dog and the Angel. Photo credit: Jacqui Jensen-Roy.

Theatre Columbus' winter theatre at the Evergreen Brick Works has become an annual tradition for many in Toronto. This year, the company is presenting Martha Ross' The Dog & the Angel, directed by Jennifer Brewin and featuring a talented cast (including Leah Cherniak, Paul Rainville, Michael Rinaldi, Courtenay Stevens, Jennifer Villaverde and Connie Wang), six local choirs and George, the golden doodle. The play tells the story of one family’s annual holiday party run amok.

Here, we chat with newcomer Connie Wang to find out more about her role in this festive outdoor show. Bundle up!

Theatromania: How would you describe The Dog & The Angel in a few sentences?

CW: The Dog and The Angel is about the importance and ridiculousness of tradition. Christmas is such a huge deal for the Pine family that the idea of tradition skews Rozel’s order of priorities. This creates extraneous tension and stress amongst all family members because somehow, the decorating the tree is more important than the dog who is in a coma.

Theatromania: Tell us about your character, Isobel. What motivates her and can you relate to her at all?

CW: Isobel is a teenager who is entering a stage in her life where she talks back to her parents because they are acting insane or just being annoying. She’s the only one who will say what is wrong with the Christmas situation. Isobel is motivated by her dog, Oggie, who is in a coma. Oggie is essentially Isobel’s sister. Oggie was the only one in the family who is on the same page as Isobel, and in the play Isobel is dealing with the thought of losing her best friend.

I can definitely relate to Isobel because my parents can get so bonkers that they just need to be properly schooled by me, haha! I have no problem telling my parents what they need to hear. Earlier this year my dog, Milo, kept running away from home because he was “apparently” searching for me and my little sister. This was the first year that both of us have moved out. Milo stopped eating and drinking water for two days. So my sister and I kept calling my mom to take him to the vet to get anti-depressants. We had a dog whisperer come check on Milo and she said that he didn’t need anti-depressants because he was still eating his doggie treats. Now, Milo is best friends with my dad, so all is well. Anyway, Milo is so important and so is Christmas for my family.

Theatromania: What advice do you have for winter theatre first-timers?

CW: Winter theatre is such a magical experience. Even though it’s cold out, there is always a feeling of love and joy in the air. Also, overdress! Don’t try to be stylish, just wear a nice hat and put on your snow suit.

Theatromania: What has been the best part of this experience for you personally so far?

CW: The best experience is being able to watch and learn from everyone else. I work with very experienced artists so I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s been a delight since the first moment I met them. Additionally, I was always so afraid of the winter, but this experience has taught me the importance of being outside. It’s actually not that bad, really. I think I can beat the winter blues this year!

Theatromania: What’s next for you?

CW: I am going to Beijing for two weeks in January to see my extended family, mainly my grandparents. Then I will continue to pave my path as a Canadian film and television actor. I am also workshopping with Marjorie Chan on next year’s winter play!

Catch The Dog & the Angel from December 11 to 30 at Evergreen Brick Works. Visit theatrecolumbus.ca for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Thu, 2014-12-11 - Tue, 2014-12-30


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