Performers continue to find innovative ways to participate in new shows during the pandemic, including online streaming plays like Pageant.
Richmond-raised actor Nick Rose is one of six male-identifying actors who play women competing for the title of Miss Glamouresse. The show is streaming online from the Kay Meek Arts Centre in West Vancouver tomorrow (Aug. 18) and Aug. 25 at 3 and 7:30 p.m.
An alumnus of Whiteside elementary and McRoberts secondary schools, Rose credits his Grade 7 teacher, Ms. T, for kickstarting his start on stage.
“(She) wrote a musical for her class every year to perform for the whole school,” says Rose. “I was cast as the lead, and the moment I stepped out onstage I knew I wanted to be an actor. Ms. T really inspired me and pushed me in the right direction.”
Rose has done most of his theatre work in Alberta after graduating from MacEwan University in Edmonton. He’s worked for the Mayfield Dinner Theatre, Freewill Shakespeare Festival and the Citadel Theatre.
“A top for me would have to be Canada the Musical, which is a show I did in Canmore and Banff. Ninety minutes of Canadian music history—how can you go wrong? We would see hundreds of people from all over the world and even through language barriers, music can bring people together. I think that’s one of the many magical and timeless things about music and musical theatre. Music can transcend so many barriers and bring communities together,” says Rose.
Rose describes Pageant as “a lot of fun and filled with an incredible amount of joy.”
“At the heart of it all, it’s about setting goals and doing what it takes to achieve them. But it’s about balance too,” he says. “The show is centred around this pageant, this competition where the stakes are intense and high, but it’s woven together with clever bits of comedy and lightheartedness.”
He describes his character, Miss Deep South, as being driven. Despite having a “traditional” mindset, Rose says there are moments throughout the show where perhaps she “doesn’t want things to be that way.”
“She has trained her whole life for this pageant and winning is the only thing she has envisioned in her mind. It has been interesting to portray a character who is so deeply rooted in this outdated way of thinking.”
And following the challenges experienced by the theatre industry, Rose says working on a show brought a collective sigh of relief and a feeling of returning home.
“We had spent a year-and-a-half locked up at home singing and dancing in the mirror and honing our craft, but there’s magic that happens when you’re in a room with like-minded, talented people and get the opportunity to collaborate on a theatrical piece of art,” he says.
The show is live-streamed only—with no in-person attendance—which Rose says is a spooky feeling. It requires actors to harness more energy and effort, he adds.
“We rely on each other a lot more, I think. It requires you to trust a lot more. You have to trust that what you’re doing in that moment will read right to the audience.”
For more information on Pageant, or to buy tickets, click here.
Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel