Thursday, July 26, 2007
Glen Sheppard: guiding us to greener pastures
Glen Sheppard is the Rat King- onstage. Off stage he doesn't associate with rats so much, but living in Paris for most of last year, he probably chanced to encounter a few along the canals. He is an ever-active multi-talent: actor, novelist, musician. The Daily Rat has it on good authority that as soon as Glen walked into his audition in late 2005, Stephanie and Maggie knew he was the one! He has played Boy, The Rat King, in both Toronto productions of the show, and is looking forward to reprising the role in Manhattan.
The Daily Rat: How did you get involved with The Rat King?
Glen Sheppard: Michael Balazo, the lover of Kathleen Philips who plays Carson. incidentally, Iam sleeping in their living room as we rehearse the show. I believe it had something to do with Bob Wiseman as well, suggesting Michael and Michael suggesting me. The three of us went to theatre school together although Michael bailed after a year. I sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic in the hall outside of Maggie's office in Hart House. [That was his audition!]
Rat: What is your role in the show?
Glen: I play Boy, the Rat King, a mutant child reared by rats.
Rat: What other creative and/or political projects have you been involved with?
Glen: I've done a great deal of theatre over the past ten years since finishing theatre school and throughout I suppose. A lot of new plays and musicals, some experimental stuff, some pseudo-performance art projects, a dirty underwear ballet with tampon marionettes for a feminist theatre festival, etc. I do a great deal of writing as well but haven't found the energy or angle to promote any of it enough to get it published, so I have a few novels that are pretty well ready to go but are going nowhere. And some poetry and screenplays and a lot of theatre pieces. Similarly I write songs that no one ever hears but I do a lot of singing my own songs in my apartment. Politically. well, I'll run somewhere someday but for now I get angry a lot and overreact to emails that my father sends me.
Rat: Of the themes in The Rat King, which do you feel a strong connection to?
Glen: This shit is happening already. there are three-armed boys being born in china. Fertility rates are down. arms races are out of control, all over. Women are still being controlled by men as property and servants. Ce could understand the rats as an analogue for diseases that defy the science we have developed to best them (and then there's the business of unpopular generics and the intentional obscurity of potential cures for future profits). Although I'm not sure that this was an intentional theme of yours. and this whole section likely reads like something the unabomber would write in birthday cards.