Keith Cole is a man who needs little introduction. Many Torontonians know him *very well* as a stage performer, or as one of his many drag characters- often short-haired, tough looking ladies with purse-fulls of gold one-liners. He is also a tap-dancer, activist, and film maker, and was feautured in Luis Jacob's film "A Dance for Those of Us Whose Hearts Have Turned To Ice" which was screened at this year's Documenta International Art Fair in Kassel, Germany. He is also a tireless supporter of many other Toronto artists. Basically, Keith is a Toronto icon.
Daily Rat: How did you get involved with The Rat King?
Keith Cole: I was the media contact for the first production in January 2006.
Rat: What is your role in the show?
Keith: In the summer of 2006 I was asked to play the role of ‘the suitor’ and the ‘strong man’ for The Harbourfront Centre production
Rat: What other creative and/or political projects have you been involved with?
Keith: All art and artists are (hopefully) political and (hopefully) creative. Being an artist is being an activist. And, there is no such thing as a gay Conservative – they are simply living in denial.
Rat: Of the themes in The Rat King, which do you feel a strong connection to?
Keith: I have several ‘loves’ of “The Rat King”. The writing is beautiful. The music and lyrics are beautiful. This is perhaps one of the kindest and most generous group of people I have worked with in a long time. This ensemble just seems to lack ego’s which is truly rare and wonderful – I have work with ensembles where NO ONE would give an inch – quite the opposite with this ‘Rat King’ bunch.
The theme that grabs me the most is the patriarchy – straight, white, rich, men really gross me out – I like it when those lose power for a second, a minute, an hour, a day, an afternoon or…..It kind of is a sexual turn on for me.
I also love the fact that I have a love interest which is supposed to be the girl but turns out to be the man – and what a man! Perfect casting (Maggie & Stephanie)