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Cardinal rules

Corner Gas' Lorne Cardinal shares his tips on acting with 10 Whistler performers
How to act Lorne Cardinal will be working with Whistler actors taking part in two plays. Photo submitted

Actor Lorne Cardinal is sharing his wealth of experience by mentoring 10 Whistler actors.

Cardinal, renowned for playing Sgt. Davis Quinton in the iconic Canadian series Corner Gas, has a long history in film, theatre and television.

"I'll be making suggestions on character and staging, just to help them and give them some tools to work with," he says.

"I've had a lot of people help me out in my journey and I like to return the favour and give a hand.

"Community theatre is where I started."

The actors are performing two plays being staged as part of the Flag Stop Theatre & Arts Festival at The Point Artist-Run Centre from Aug. 11 to 13 — Art by Dennis Bolen and Womb Service by John McGie.

"I think the most important thing is to encourage the talent that is there. It takes a lot of courage just to get up on stage in the first place," Cardinal says.

"I want them to take their skills to another level."

Cardinal's workshop takes place at The Point on Thursday, July 27. He will be working with actors Adam Snow, Brandon Barrett, Susan Hutchinson, Mark Beavan, Trish Belsham and Ira Pettle from Art, and Louise Robinson, Sheila Sherkat, Dea Lloyd, Sara Marrocco and Tara Bowland from Womb Service.

Both plays are being directed by Angie Nolan and Ira Pettle.

"They will run their pieces by me and I will make suggestions on what I see, to see if it needs tweaking here or there in terms of character building or script development," Cardinal says.

Asked what the best advice he got as a young actor was, Cardinal says: "finding the truth and to not act."

He adds: "Don't bump into the furniture and say your lines."

The actors were part of the first Flag Stop Theatre mentorship program, and have been meeting since early June to work on the productions. Cardinal said he was brought in by Nolan and by Stephen Vogler, who runs The Point.

"There are a range of actors in the program, and some are definitely at an emerging professional level. The program is designed to take people beyond the level of community theatre," Vogler says.

A resident of Squamish, Cardinal has also worked with indigenous filmmakers taking part in the Aboriginal Filmmaker Fellowship at the Whistler Film Festival, going on to act in several short films made by participants.

Cardinal remains a busy actor.

He is halfway finished filming a drama called The Road Behind in Fort McMurray, Alta. He grew up several hours away in northern Alberta, at Sucker Creek First Nation.

He is also soon to play Henry VIII on stage in a production of The Last Wife by Kate Hennig in Calgary.

And in the animated version of Corner Gas beginning on CBC TV early next year, Cardinal reprises his role of Quinton.

The Flag Stop Theatre & Arts Festival also has music, performers and a lantern boat parade. Look out for more information in a future issue of Pique Newsmagazine.

Tickets are available at The Point Artist-Run Centre website at Tickets for Friday night or Saturday night with dinner are $40, while a ticket with dinner both nights is $70. Show-only tickets are $25 for each night, while tickets for 12 and under are $25 with dinner and $15 for show only.

Both plays contain adult subject matter and coarse language.