Sardis secondary grad Andy Thompson stars in an outdoor theatre production in Stanley Park this month with acrobatics, video and animation.
Fall Away Home, by Boca del Lupo and the Shadbolt Centre, is part of the 125th anniversary celebrations for Stanley Park, running Aug. 21 to Sept. 1.
Thompson takes on several roles, including a masked figure and a lawyer, in the free, all-ages production. The show blends live action, computer animation, and audience participation, with Boca del Lupo’s signature use of acrobatics, and theatre craft.
“In this one, I open the show in a role called The Auctioneer,” says Thompson in a phone interview, on a break from a costume fitting.
In the Fall Away Home fantasy world, he gets to supervise the “abduction” of pre-selected children in the audience, who have of course been pre-screened, with parental waivers signed.
“They get to ride on this contraption that del Lupo has designed which allows them to fly through the air,” he says.
There’s almost an Alice in Wonderland-like quality to the story as the protagonist also falls down a hole. She ends up on the other side of the planet, before making her way back home, in this modern fairy-tale story.
Outdoor shows can be a challenge for a trained actor, as they must override their instinct to “fill the space,” when projecting their voices outside, Thompson says. “You can wreck your voice if you’re not careful because the outdoor expanse is so vast.”
He’s used to it, though, as he has a street theatre troupe Duh Hockey Guys, and this is his second Del Lupo show.
Last time was in the 2006 Del Lupo production of The Shoes that were Danced to Pieces.
Fall Away Home is the Boca del Lupo’s seventh production of its kind. It’s been 11 years since they’ve performed in Stanley Park.
“It is especially exciting to us, as we are merging the new technology we’ve been developing in our indoor work with the large scale visuals of the outdoors—it’s going to be a lot of fun!” says Jay Dodge.
In fact, the show will include a chance for audiences to get involved and become part of the show — or not. Go to www.bocadellupo.com, to sign up to volunteer or participate.
Fall Away Home is by Boca founders Sherry J. Yoon and Jay Dodge, with contributing writer James Fagan Tait and animation artist Kunal Sen. It stars Evelyn Chew, Ming Hudson, Raphael Kepinski, Parnelli Parnes, Dawn Petten, Shane Snow, and Andy Thompson.
Thompson was born and raised in Chilliwack, and now works as an actor on stage, as well as in movies and TV.
He’s worked with actor Randy Quaid, Dan Castellaneta of The Simpsons, as well as director John Landis.
He graduated from Sardis secondary in 1987, and attended acting classes at Fraser Valley College, now University of the Fraser Valley.
Fall Away Home, by Sherry J. Yoon and Jay Dodge in the service yard parking lot of Stanley Park, Aug. 21-Sept. 1. Admission is free, all ages welcome, but reservations are mandatory go to www.tickets.shadboltcentre.com or 604-205-300
Runs August 24, 25, 29, 31, and September 1, at 8 p.m. (previews August 21, 22 & 23, 8 p.m.),