Studio 58 grad finds notable role in play tackling complex issues

Arthur MacKinnon has landed himself a substantial new role. Photo by Jake Wray

March 24, 2016


Studio 58 alumnus Arthur MacKinnon has landed a major role as a high-school bully in Touchstone Theatre‘s Late Company, a play that addresses themes of bullying, homophobia, and teen suicide.

MacKinnon said Late Company provides an opportunity for him to sink his teeth into a substantial role. He will play 17-year-old Curtis, a bully whose victim recently committed suicide.

MacKinnon said the play does a good job tackling complex themes.

“It’s coming from a really real place, and I think Jordan Tannahill, who wrote the script, I think he was really exploring some interesting subject matter,” he said.

“A lot of people don’t realize that seemingly funny acts of bullying add up over time and have a greater effect on someone than you might initially imagine.”

Morality in play is not basic

Katrina Dunn, the play’s director, said the conflict between the character Curtis and his victim’s family is not black and white.

“During the play, you probably shift allegiances a couple of times, and wonder, who is at fault? And that is kind of a question that the play asks: who is to blame? And who is at fault? And is blame really a useful thing at all?” Dunn said.

Pair has worked together before

This isn’t the first project that MacKinnon and Dunn have worked on together. In 2012, while MacKinnon was a student at Studio 58, Dunn guest-directed a Studio 58 play. She spoke highly of the experience.

“I was quite impressed with him when I worked with him at Studio 58, so it’s great to work with him again,” Dunn said.

“Going into the [acting] industry, which is a scary industry, I mean it’s tough to work and tough to survive in, so kids mature quickly as they get out there in the work force, and Arthur’s done a great job.”

Late Company runs at the Evergreen Cultural Centre from March 29 to April 2, and at the Vancity Culture Lab from April 5 to 9.

Article originally appeared in The Langara Voice