We’re always on the look out for that LGBTQ connection when it comes to our theatre and arts features, but we think we hit the jackpot with Staircase XI when they pitched us their upcoming stage production of Evelyn Strange. Meet Anthony Liam Kearns: a gay, vegan, bilingual Brit who grew up in Switzerland, now lives in Vancouver and is dating a Jewish boy. Talk about your diversity in theatre.
Written by Edmontonian Stewart Lemoine, Evelyn Strange is a mystery set against the backdrop of 1950s New York.
“It centers initially on a woman we come to know as Evelyn Strange who has amnesia. All she has to guide her is a peculiar notebook,” explained Kearns (pictured right). “Audiences can expect to come across a great deal of secrets in this show, both of the intentionally-secret variety and of the forgotten-and-therefore-unknown-secret variety.”
But not all the secrets are happening on stage. Perhaps it was a reaction to being called “remarkable” in the show’s publicity materials instead of “stunning and dashing” like the actors on stage, but as Assistant Stage Manager and Props Master, Kearns is well placed for a little inside dirt on the production.
“Let’s just say that there is a scene in the show where Adam Berquist has to be shirtless, at least for a bit of it,” Kearns revealed. “And [Stage Manager] Madeleine Wilson may or may not have ‘borrowed’ some props for the show that may or may not be returned.”
Just as comfortable on stage as behind the scenes, Kearns claims to like a nice balance between the two although he does confess it would be great if he could be costumed AND backstage: “it makes me feel like a super techie”.
Initially attracted to doing show because its genre and setting, Kearns also pointed to the cast and venue: “the small cast and the unusual venue of the Havana Theatre make it a new experience for me”.
And for Kearns going for those new experiences appears to be what it is all about what with a possible spot on Axis Theatre’s world tour of its critically acclaimed Number 14, an independent production of Waiting for Godot and working with Arts Umbrella as they tour around the Lower Mainland to various schools.
That is, of course, after he leaves behind the secrets of 1950s New York.
23 March – 2 April 2011
Staircase XI Theatre Productions presents the Vancouver Premiere of Stewart Lemoine’s murder mystery Evelyn Strange – a dark comedy inspired by film noir and Wagnarian Opera to explore themes of identity, greed, and passion through word play and personal revelation. Visit http://www.staircasexi.com for tickets and information.