Aaron Rothermund, the only gay cast member of Soup Can Theatre’s Fringe Festival reproduction of the Greek tragedy Antigone, speaks his mind about being a prolific gay theatre artist in Toronto.
Aaron Rothermund: I personally think that this is a very useful story that is speaking to our times – the G20, the Occupy movement and other things plaguing our media. We’ve updated it – we’re using the text and we’re speaking about it very naturally. It’s coming off the pages in a beautiful way with the images that we’re creating with our bodies – we’re infusing dance compositions, physical theatre, improvisation, clowns . . . making stories visually. We’re not just speaking words.
I really enjoy dancing. I really enjoy moving and being physical and active. The show will give you all those things.
As a gay person I usually walk into an audition or am in a show and I’m looked at as weak. Here, I’m the only gay person that I know of, but I’m the one doing all the muscular work. I’m lifting women. For me it is empowering. Usually I don’t get that opportunity.
I really haven’t had a break since February. As soon as I finish one, I go right into the next. Or I’m rehearsing two shows at once. It’s a difficult process because I don’t make tons of money. I don’t have benefits. I have a boyfriend and we never see each other.
Normally, when I go to an audition I wouldn’t talk about my sexuality because it isn’t really about me. It’s about the story that the director wants us to create. I can play gay. I can play straight. So I don’t find it useful to say it, especially since when you say it people judge you. I try to be as malleable and flexible as possible.
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