Growing up on stage
Harbour Grace teens have spent several summers acting with Perchance Theatre in Cupids
Young actors Annabelle Sheehan and Alexander Wilson are certainly no strangers to the stage.
It comes as no surprise that they’re both keen to perform in front of live audiences, as they’ll once again do this summer in Cupids with Perchance Theatre. Alexander, a 16-year-old from Harbour Grace, is the son of Paul Wilson, a veteran actor who has been involved with Perchance Theatre for years and also pops up in film and television productions. Both of Annabelle’s parents (including popular Newfoundland comedian John Sheehan, a Perchance Theatre alumnus) are actors as well.
“We’ve both been part of our schools’ drama troupes since Grade 7,” said Annabelle, a 17-year-old, also from Harbour Grace.
Alexander said his dad’s involvement in the arts interested him from a young age. He is now in his fourth season with the non-profit theatre company. It’s Annabelle’s third.
“It’s hard to put the words to describe it, because it’s such a unique opportunity that not many people, let alone people of our age, really have,” Alexander said when asked about being an experienced member of a professional theatre company at such a young age.
Perchance Theatre continues to make its home in an outdoor performance space unlike any other in the province.
The 2018 season kicked off Saturday, June 30, with the first performance of “Our Eliza,” a play by Megan Gail Coles that was also part of the 2017 lineup. Anton Chekov’s “The Seagull,” adapted by David French of Coley’s Point,” premieres July 14, with William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” debuting the following Friday, July 21. Alexander and Annabelle are both performing in the latter play.
“‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is the first Shakespeare play I ever read or heard of, and I’ve loved it since I was a kid, so it’s fun to be able to do it,” said Annabelle, who plays a fairy in the production, directed by Perchance Theatre artistic director Danielle Irvine.
The performers have been meeting at The Lantern in St. John’s for rehearsals in preparation for hitting the outdoor stage in Cupids.
“The whole show and the way it’s coming together so far is probably the most dynamic thing I think we’ve ever done up in Cupids,” Alexander said.
North River native Erin Mackey is back with the group this summer, fresh off her first year at the National Theatre School of Canada. Alexander admits he would not mind following in her footsteps.
“I don’t know if it’s just cause it’s a family thing or what, but since the first year I really did anything at school with the drama troupe, I’ve seen this sort of career path as something I’d genuinely love to follow in life,” he said.
A full schedule for summer performances can be found on the Perchance Theatre website — http://www.perchancetheatre.com.
Despite their ages, actors Annabelle Sheehan and Alexander Wilson have each been involved with Perchance Theatre in Cupids for several summer seasons. They’re both from Harbour Grace.