One Paperboy, 15 Characters

The one man/woman show is considered the ultimate test for actors. Right now I am in rehearsals with Graham Daley on the play Confessions of A Paperboy, a play by Calgarian Doug Curtis about an 10 year old paperboy, circa 1977, who gets hit by a car while delivering his route but miraculously survives the collision and wakes up with a super power - God now talks to him. Aside from playing God - which we all talk about in cliché but never can really do - all of the characters Graham plays in his role as the adventurous paperboy, aptly named Christopher Columbus, are based on people from Doug Curtis’ real 1970’s SW Calgary neighbourhood and stories from his experiences as a 10 year old paperboy.

So how does a 24 year old who got their start Theatre Kelowna’s Christmas play Honk! just in 2011 get to the point of starring in a show and holding the responsibility of an award winning play on their shoulders? Well over those years Graham has worked extremely hard to develop his skills as an actor and has been in a lot of plays for me.  He has done Calendar Girls, Rebecca, A Christmas Carol, The Astonishing Adventures of Awesome Girl and Radical Boy, Five Women Wearing The Same Dress and now Confessions of A Paperboy. For Theatre Kelowna he sits on their board of directors and has been in Honk!, Perfect Wedding, Rockin’ Tale of Snow White and you will remember him as well as Prince Charming in Cinderella and The Silver Twig, penned and directed by his mom, Christine Wallace Daley, who is a wonderful artist in her own right. After this show he will be Tin Man in The Wiz, also with Theatre Kelowna. He also has a key role in the soon to be launched local film production, The Generations and had the opportunity to recently see a screening at a local movie theatre last Friday and he found it, “thrilling and terrifying, but mostly cool.” So as you can see this guy is one ambitious actor, a hard worker and obviously someone who is talented enough that he gets a lot of opportunities. That combination means that Daley will be someone to watch for some time.

This play is a big responsibility so in rehearsal we started small. Graham went back and walked through his old paper route - yes he was a paperboy for 4 years in Glenmore (funnily enough also the name of the neighbourhood in Calgary where Curtis based the play). We talked about the route - his challenges were mostly scary dogs - and what he liked about it. Graham also found images of the people he would be playing so he could see them in his mind. Then we hopped on bikes and have been rehearsing on our bikes ever since. Yes - it is Graham and I you might have seen working on Waterfront Stage on the funky bike (and boring mountain bike - mine) over the past three weeks.

So it is logical to ask Graham as he heads into less than a week until opening to tell me what the biggest challenge is to playing all of the roles in Confessions of A Paperboy.

“I would definitely have to say keeping up the character of Chris while energizing each character with their own different levels of energy has been the biggest challenge. As well bouncing back and forth between them and not getting mixed up with the wrong voices is tricky.”

At the end of rehearsals Graham is exhausted. Can you imagine what it is like to juggle not only the voices, walks and movements but more importantly the lives, loves and twists and turns of 15 different people all at once? The Devil? And God? Wow!

This is a remarkable play and incredible, mind blowing performance that we hope you will all come and see. Not only will you see Graham in action but you will marvel at the humour, adventure and sweetness of this unforgettable play. It is not for kids as there is a minor bit of swearing (10 year old boy style) but for those 12 and up, I would highly recommend it.

Confessions of A Paperboy runs outside at Waterfront Park - Sept 24 and 25 at 7pm, admission is by donation; or inside at Benvoulin Historic Church on Sept. 26 & 27 at 7pm, tickets for that show are $20 available at www.selectyourtickets.com or at the door, $25. We will be drawing a beautiful Hot Rod Vintage Bike from Cyclepath Cycle & Snow from the names of all of those who attend.

Following the Benvoulin Historic Church show on Sept. 27 you can catch our New Vintage Soap Opera, Episode #3 - Saturday Night Confessional. There you will really see 15 characters all in action revealing personal mysteries ala Agatha Christie style and will also have wine tasting. Tickets for that show are $10 and also available at www.selectyourtickets or at the door for $15.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

More Bonnie on Stage articles

About the Author

Bonnie Gratz is an actor, director, and playwright. She is the Artistic Director of Kelowna's New Vintage Theatre, and a member of the Playwright's Guild of Canada and The Literary and Dramaturges of North America. 

For more on Bonnie, check out www.bonnie-gratz.com or check out www.newvintage.ca

Contact Bonnie at:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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