All theatre should be a theatrical experience. And that to me is what Listowel did with Chicken. Road. The director established a theatrical vision and vaulted the script off the page. The students committed to the vision 100% which added so much to the experience. It was something that not only I wasn’t prepared for, the audience wasn’t and the cast wasn’t prepared for the audience reaction. I spoke with a couple of cast members from the show the day after the performance to get their response to the audience reaction, what it was like to perform in a piece with such a vivid, bold vision and did they ever feel the show wasn’t going to work….
Not only did their work and commitment to the vision pay off, the show received an Outstanding Production award which means they move on to their Regional Festival in a couple of weeks. I’ll be there and I can’t wait to see the show again!
Lindsay: So, I have with me four of the cast members from Chicken Road. And then…
Girl 1: I was in Simon’s Wife.
Lindsay: You were in Simon’s Wife. You were in the other play for Listowel District.
So, first of all, let’s talk to the cast.
Now you’ve performed it. What did you think of the audience response?
Girl 2: It was insane, and we didn’t expect it to be that crazy.
Girl 2: Like, we came into it and we were thinking, “Oh, we’ll get a few laughs.” But in, like, ten seconds into getting on stage, people were just hysterical.
Lindsay: Well, you guys had, it was such a unique vision, right? Because you guys were literally chickens.
Lindsay: Which isn’t in the script! I mean, sort of abstractly, it’s there but you guys went with the literal. So, when Miss Webster said to you, “You’re going to be chickens,” what was your first response?
Girl 3: Well, I guess we were all just kind of, well, none of us have really acted like chickens before.
Boy 1: Yeah.
Girl 3: So, it was kind of new. So, it was just kind of like, “Okay, let’s be chickens!”
Girl 2: During audition process, we had to actually get on the ground and act like chickens, and she would be like, “Okay, bawk for us.” It’s really different because we’ll all used to being either really dramatic characters or being comedic characters and it was like, “All right, we’re going to be chickens!”
Boy 1: And now we get to play animals!
Boy 2: The way that it’s portrayed, it’s also really a good funny experience, too, not just because the way the play is portrayed, like, how we put the chicken character literally.
Lindsay: Yeah. Well, given you such an opportunity to be physical.
Girl 2: Yeah.
Lindsay: And an emotional monologue, too.
Girl 2: And then, the contrast is amazing between the monologues and, like, the scattered lines, and being a chicken, and being human, and being able to play with both emotions of being funny and then being serious. Well, we’re combining those two made…
Lindsay: Was there ever a point when you’re in rehearsal and you’re like, “This is not going to work. This is never going to work.”
Boy 2: Yeah.
Girl 2: I think I’ve used that.
Boy 2: I think, basically, all our cast…
Boy 1: All before…
Boy 2: …before, like, right when we started from the get-go, we were just, we were all nervous.
Girl 2: We were nervous.
Boy 2: We were just, like…
Boy 1: Yeah, it’s like…
Boy 2: We did not know how it was going to turn out…
Girl 2: Yeah.
Boy 2: …or how it was going to, how we were going to get it into something we could really, really work with.
Girl 2: The biggest thing that we had struggled with was, before we went on, there’s a few lines we kept messing up, and then, as soon as we got on stage, we just… We knew it.
Boy 1: Yup.
Girl 2: It just, it just so naturally, it just came to us and we pulled it off.
Girl 3: I guess this was just the type of play where, once you know it, you’re good.
Girl 2: Yeah.
Girl 3: It’s just that kind of play where it’s just, like, “Okay, we have all our lines out, we can do this,” because the lines especially really help you get into that character.
Girl 3: Especially the bawk bawk bawks help you become that chicken.
Lindsay: Now, and lastly, from the audience perspective, so, what was it like watching it?
Girl 1: Well, it started as really comedic and then you realize, “Oh my goodness, this is so deep.” Towards the end, I was like, about to bawl. It was just, like, so… It clicked with me. It kind of like, because like, yeah, I don’t know what would happen if you were in that situation. It would be just really hard to deal with and then it kind of shows you what would be going through people’s minds afterwards.
Lindsay: Yeah, and I have to say, just as a final note, that’s what I really loved about this interpretation. That comedic start…
Girl 2: Yes. Yes, definitely.
Lindsay: …because it kind of draws everybody in – “Hahahaha! Oh look! They’re chickens! They’re talking about… Oh, oh, oh!” you know?
Girl 2: Exactly.
Lindsay: And I’m really, really… I was really pleased to have been able to see it.
Boy 2: Firstly, I didn’t even expect that reaction when we came out.
Boy 2: Because none of us, like, at the start, where everybody was really laughing, none of us really thought it was that extremely funny. Just, like, “Okay, let’s just go with this. It’s going to be really awkward to do but okay, let’s just do this.”
Lindsay: No. No, no, no.
Boy 2: And then…
Lindsay: And then you just went for it. Awesome.
Okay, thank you very much guys!
Girl 3: You’re welcome.