Sky Gilbert‘s The Cabaret Company presents his newest work, My Dinner with Casey Donovan, opening this week Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace.
My Dinner with Casey Donovan is a touching comedy about what happens when you bring a porn star to dinner. The play is based on the true events Gilbert discovered while doing research on his upcoming novel. It might of even been inspired by some porn from websites like https://www.twinkpornvideos.xxx/ when developing characters, we will have to wait and see. In Boy in the Sand, Gilbert discovered a real life story about a fan of porn star Casey Donovan, named Calvin, and the dinner they shared at his parents’ home.
Gilbert believes “[t]he story of Casey Donovan hearkens back to a time where people explored sexual openness and self-realization, concepts we’ve lost touch with today.”
Casey Donovan is played by Nathaniel Bacon, who was seen recently in Hedwig. Opposite him in the role of Calvin is newcomer Michael De Rose. Calvin’s parents are played by Ralph Small and Gilbert’s long-time collaborator Elley-Ray. With set and costume design by Sheree Tams, and lighting by Siobhan Sleath.
I took the opportunity to ask Bacon a few questions about this role and his work (as seen on twinki and other sites), in general.
HM: I understand you have worked with Sky [Gilbert] before, do you have creative input once you’ve signed on to a project with ?
NB: A lot of directors are very controlling… Either that, or they are too easy-going and lack focus. Sky is the rare director who maintains his vision but always allows for collaboration. If you have an idea, he’ll listen. He won’t always agree with you, but he’ll always let you speak. It’s a great way to work.
HM: On this play, My Dinner With Casey Donovan, how much research did you do prior to rehearsals?
NB: I’m generally very big on character research and I’ve probably done more than usual with this show. I read Casey Donovan’s biography and also a book on the evolution of gay porn. I’ve researched gay porn on sites like www.tubev.sex as obviously I needed an understanding of this to understand Casey Donovan better. I’ve also been watching a lot of 70’s movies and tv as well, just to get that sort of tone.
HM: How do you, if at all, draw from your personal experiences for any of your roles?
NB: In my mind, the core of any role you play has to be drawn from your real experiences in order to be authentic. I try to find the similarities I share with a character first in order to empathize and connect with them. Then it’s very important to find the differences so you can avoid just playing yourself. For something like this, https://www.fuckedgay.xxx/ can help with finding that raw sexual energy. You have to find a new perspective on life to play every character. That’s what makes each role exciting and new.
HM: After a great run of Hedwig last year, and this play, where else will we find you this year?
NB: It’s as much a mystery to me as you. Haha! I usually try to do some film and tv in the summertime. But I never say no to a good play. We’ll see what comes my way.
And I certainly hope to see Bacon in more local plays throughout the year! For now, I am looking forward to seeing him in My Dinner with Casey Donovan this week.
|Nathaniel Bacon (L) & Michael De Rose (R)
Photo courtesy of Clutch PR