Grant Gignac, Hannah Ziss and Rose HopkinsGrant Gignac, Hannah Ziss and Rose Hopkins get professional experience on the set of a Montreal theatre production directed by drama professor Gordon McCall.

Drama graduates take the plunge into professional theatre

Recent BFA Acting graduates Grant Gignac, Rose Hopkins and Hannah Ziss were in Montreal recently to assist with a professional production of Mark Ravenhill’s play Pool (No Water), directed by UWindsor drama professor Gordon McCall under the auspices of his new company, Theatre of the Black Butterfly.

As artistic director of the Centaur Theatre from 1997 to 2007, McCall has a longstanding personal and professional connection to the city of Montreal. He invited these graduates to join him in the project to offer them a portal into the world of professional theatre.

Gignac was invited to join the equity collective as the stage manager, and Hopkins and Ziss were invited to work as directing, acting and marketing interns. However, all their roles developed into deeper and more expansive ones as the process evolved.

McCall said the three graduates became a strong, creative, and efficient team, contributing as costume designers, video editors, sound editors, scenographers, sound technicians, lighting technicians, and providing useful insight into the process and vision of the piece.

In addition to all they learned from their duties on the creative team, the three graduates had the opportunity to audition for Centaur Theatre.

“This kind of access to such a high-profile theatre would not have been possible without the mentorship of McCall,” Ziss said. “Ultimately, we will leave this experience having learned more about the professional world, met a great number of important theatre professionals, and with invaluable hands-on experience that will influence our creative and personal lives long after closing night.”

—by Hannah Ziss with Grant Gignac, Rose Hopkins and Gordon McCall