Posts Tagged ‘herr beckmann’s people’

An interview with Dawn Petten

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

An interview with Bill Marchant

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Tell us a bit about your character in Herr Beckmann’s People.

My name is Klaus. I am the older brother of Anna, son of Clara and Rainer. I have a passion for booze and broads. I have secrets that must be revealed at any cost.

What’s it like to work on a brand-new script? When this play is published, it’ll be your name in the front under the original cast. Is this more pressure, or less, for your work?

It is such a joy to work on a new script, to walk into to rehearsal with no preconceived notions of the play and to create a character for the fists time. The pressure is the same every time you do a show, to stay true to the needs of the story, keep your intention clear  and create as much room for the audience to sneak in there with you.

Tell us a little about your process.

My process? Wow. After thirty five years of acting and twenty of teaching, my process is tough to define. I surrender to the text and the impulses from my body. I trust that my partner in a given scene will provide me with enough tinder to set the place on fire. For me, the stakes can never be too high. We all are hungry for more: more light, more fucking, more fighting, more dancing, more desire, more singing, more shouting, all in the name of love. Every scene is a love scene. Every single one.

Outside of being an actor, you are….

Awriter, a producer, a director, a poet, a teacher, a musician, a wreck, a man of peace, a horny son of a bitch, a dreamer, a fraud, a gasmonger and a fool.

How is “just” being an actor different from being a director/writer?

Total surrender. Letting go of control is the most terrible euphoria. I love it.

What’s next for Bill Marchant?

Rest. Write. Rest. Teach. Write. Fear death. Write. rest. More fear. Produce. Contemplate suicide. Get slimmer. Rest.  Fuck. Rest. Rest. Direct. Rest. Act. Rest. ( most of the resting will not occur, but it sounds good in theory)

Mac or PC?


Bill Marchant is honoured to be working with Katrina Dunn and Touchstone Theatre.  Originally hailing from Georgetown, Ontario, Bill has spent the last twenty years as a proud member of the Vancouver arts community as an actor, writer and director.  His first feature film, “Everyone”, won the Zenith D’or at the Montreal Film Festival in 2004, followed by the debut of his next picture “By The Hour” at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. His upcoming feature, “Exley”, a collaboration with Canadian filmmaking legend Larry Kent, will be released this Fall. Last year saw the debut of two of Marchant’s original plays, “Ashes’ and ‘Gift of Screws”. “Seven Miles Out”’ an album of alt rock tunes co-written with Michael Chase came out in may of this year. Bill Marchant is Head of Department at Vancouver Film School. He thanks Sally Stubbs for her beautiful and provocative play and his students for their love and patience.

An interview with Playwright Sally Stubbs

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

An interview with Christine Willes

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

We sat down with Christine Willes, who plays Clara Epp in our upcoming production of Herr Beckmann’s People. Christine is just finishing up in Dangerous Corner at the Playhouse, and is also the Artistic Director of the William Davis Centre for Actors at Van Arts. You might recognize Christine as Delores Herbig from Dead Like Me, or everyone’s favorite demon from Reaper.  Needless to say, she’s a busy lady….

Tell us a bit about your character in Herr Beckmann’s People.

Clara Epp was a concert pianist in Germany in the 1930′s. She met and married a German Mennonite at the same time, and had 2 children. In the 1935, her husband urged her to emigrate to Kenya with him, because he believed war was coming. She refused because it would kill her career as a pianist. Instead, through her mother’s connections, her husband became an SS interpreter. Clara , now in her 60′s in the play, has seen the effects of her commitment to “her music” for almost 40 years – estranged daughter, husband dead, son dead of alcoholism complications. She is very strong, and heartbroken. Music is her main solace – Debussy and Chopin.
What’s it like to work on a brand-new script?

It is exciting, stimulating, challenging and terrifying. I think Sally has written a fantastic script, and I want to do it justice. I want the world to see this play.


Tell us a little about your process.

First I get the story of the play straight in my mind, then I fill in the back story and build images for everything and everyone I talk about in the play. At the same time I hunt for what drives the character – what does she want, and what does she do to get what she wants. I consider myself a story-teller. And the power of the story is in knowing the story thoroughly – in my bones.

Outside of being an actor, you are….

A Mom of 2 great kids. An educator. A fiery champion of women in the arts.

What’s it like to be part of two TV shows that have such a cult following? Do you get recognized on the street?

It’s lovely! Both shows have strong fan bases, and they love the shows so much. I do get recognized on the street, but I also get puzzled looks of semi-recognition. Someone remembers me from somewhere…..but where? I love that! I’m a character actor, a chameleon. I almost prefer not being recognized.

What’s next for Christine Willes?

A film – very exciting and hush-hush.

Vanilla or chocolate?

Vanilla or cinnamon!!!!

Herr Beckmann’s People runs from June 10-19 at Playwright’s Theatre Centre.