Introducing Arne MacPherson and Justin Otto

Processed with MoldivAs we continue our profiles of I Dream of Diesel artists, we are delighted to present Arne Macpherson and Justin Otto. Arne plays Frank and Justin plays his son, Joe.

Arne

-How did you first get involved in theatre?

My life in the theatre really started in earnest when I moved to Winnipeg in the early ’90s.  I bought a house with Deb Patterson (his partner, writer and performer of TPM’s production of Sargent & Victor & Me last season), we started a family and felt embraced by the community.

– What is your favourite thing about being a theatre artist?

Doing theatre puts you in the moment with the other people in the room like no other experience I have had.

– What is your experience with devised theatre?

I have been involved in one other devised piece, which I co created with dancers,theatre artists and visual artists from Canada and Iceland.  We showed it in Reykjavik and Winnipeg.  It was super fun and really challenging.

– What strikes you most about the experience of working on I Dream of Diesel?

Working on I Dream of Diesel has been a utopia of creativity, collaboration, good vibes and games of Foursquare.


 

Justin

-How did you first get involved in theatre?

I first got involved with theatre in high school. I went to high school in Lac du Bonnet, a small rural town North East of Winnipeg. I was lucky enough to go to a school with a great theatre program that allowed me to be in productions of The Odd Couple and Twelve Angry Men.

– What is your favourite thing about being a theatre artist?

Being a theatre artist allows me to Play for a living…what can I ask for beyond that really.

– What is your experience with devised theatre?

I had devised a few small pieces with classmates in university but nothing to the scale of a full production such as Diesel. My impressions of devising this project has been the sheer magnitude of all the little pieces we have to create this story. Rehearsing while devising allowed the characters and the story to come through in ways I’m not always accustomed to, be it a shadow or an object being placed on stage, instead of your standard search in the text itself for who these characters are.

– What strikes you most about the experience of working on I Dream of Diesel?

Working on I Dream of Diesel I am struck by the sheer array of talents of my crew and fellow cast mates. Everyone either brings to the table a craftiness, another directorial eye, a script change here or there or a mean back hand in a game of Foursquare. This project asks a lot of everyone involved, in terms of being multidisciplinary, and those challenges have been met full on.

– Any exciting projects coming up?

As far as exciting upcoming projects I have two! As I Dream of Diesel winds down it’s run at the Rachel Brown I head into rehearsals for WJT’s Canadian Premiere of Bad Jews, following that I am touring my Fringe show The Manic Pixie Dream Girl, with my multi-talented co-creator Sydney Hayduk; to London, Montreal, Winnipeg and Calgary Fringe.

– Care to tell us more about any other job(s) you may have when you’re not creating theatre?

When not creating theatre I can be found behind the grill at Nuburger, the best burgers in Winnipeg, 472 Sherbrook.

– When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The funny – perhaps even sad – thing is, even as a kid I wanted to be an actor when I grew up. Particularly watching the way Jim Carrey made me and well EVERYONE laugh growing up inspired me to be a class clown – to the unappreciated grumbles of my teachers.

– What type of family do you have?

My family, still living in rural Manitoba, share a lot of similarities with the family in Diesel. With that in mind they are also a loving bunch of folks who motivate me to dream – much like my character Joe, the dreamer of the play.