From performing childhood plays in rural P.E.I. to debuting at the Charlottetown Festival in ‘Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad,’ P.E.I.’s Bryde MacLean realizes her dream
From performing childhood plays in rural P.E.I. to debuting at the Charlottetown Festival in ‘Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad,’ P.E.I.’s Bryde MacLean realizes her dream.
From the time she was six, Bryde MacLean knew she wanted to be an actress.
Her earliest theatre memories include writing and putting on skits in her grandparents’ garage, her friend’s attic and her family’s basement.
“We’d haul out the Halloween costumes and my parents’ old clothes and we’d dress up. Then we’d write fantastical stories and use construction paper to build our sets,” says MacLean, with a laugh.
Her parents, Island actors Sharlene MacLean and Bill McFadden, were among the first to encourage her.
“They inspired me, as did my grandparents who I grew up next door to, who indulged my every whim whenever I wanted to make something.”
MacLean also learned about character development early on from her stepmother, a social worker, who would train other social workers and would take her along on home visits.
“I would go in and play the role of the troubled child or the kid who was taken from their house — whatever was going on. From a really young age, it helped me to want to empathize with other people and get inside other people’s stories.”
Then, every summer, she’d look forward to seeing the musicals at Confederation Centre of the Arts.
“Charlottetown was the biggest place ( for theatre),” says the Kensington native who, after graduating from high school, pursued an acting career, studying theatre at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Fast forward to this spring, when she auditioned for the Charlottetown Festival and was offered a role. She was thrilled.
“It’s a crazy, wild, exciting dream. Everyone knows that there’s nowhere else to be other than on P.E.I. in the summertime, but to be here for this reason is something else,” says MacLean, who is making her debut in “Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad” that plays in Studio 1 of the Confederation Centre of the Arts on selected dates until Aug. 29.
The romantic comedy takes place in a local hockey rink where Donna, a single mom is struggling with her son through his first year of minor hockey. She meets an unlikely hero in Teddy, played by Matthew Campbell, a single father who only knows how to connect with his son through Canada’s national pastime.
In fact, the theatre has been transformed into a hockey rink with boards, benches and fake ice. Performed in this intimate space, it gives the audience the feeling that they’re part of the action.
“It’s a style of theatre that’s playful and fun,” she says. “And, what’s so cool is that it’s my first time doing professional theatre. And this is exactly the kind of show I wanted to do.”
Donna (Bryde MacLean) and Teddy (Matthew Campbell) appear in a scene from “Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad.” The romantic comedy plays in Studio 1 of the Confederation Centre of the Arts on selected dates until Aug. 29.
Bryde MacLean is excited about making her professional debut at the Charlottetown Festival this summer. Her recent stage credits include “Attempts on Her Life,”“The Clandestine Marriage” and “Get Yourself Home.”