"She wants to be the star of the show": Teagan Gibson on Holy Mo & Spew Boy
Ken sat down with Teagan Gibson, who plays Bufoona in our upcoming production of Holy Mo & Spew Boy. This is a transcript of their interview—read on, or watch the video at the bottom of the page!
Ken: Hello everybody. My name is Ken Hildebrandt, Artistic Director of Gallery 7 Theatre, and we are about to open the show Holy Mo & Spew Boy. We are taking some time to talk to the individual cast members in the show, as well as the play's director, Kerri Norris. For today, we are inviting a, to our interview here, Teagan Gibson.
Welcome to the show Teagan. So tell us Teagan a little bit about the role you're playing in Holy Mo & Spew Boy.
Teagan: Okay. So I play Bufoona. If you consider kind of the trio clowns, she's the fool. She's the one that loves to have the attention on her. She wants to be the star of the show.
She's very expressive. Always kind of about to go off the rails in terms of, you know, carrying the story somewhere else, where it shouldn't be going and has to get dragged back into it. She loves to laugh, loves to make people laugh. So it's been really fun to play her. She's very comedic in that sense.
Ken: Very cool. Now I think we should probably back up, because you said your character's name is Bufoona. And I think our audiences might be wondering, what is this show actually about? Can you give us a little hint as to what Holy Mo & Spew Boy is?
Teagan: Totally. So it's three traveling clowns.
They have been on the road and they dropped their wagon down for the night and they realized there's a big crowd. So they decided to put on their show for them. And they retell the story of Holy Mo—Moses—and then Spew Boy—David— from the Bible. But it's not the traditional version that you would expect.
So there's some music, there's some creative license and all kinds of good stuff going on in between.
Ken: Right on. Okay. So this isn't your first show with Gallery 7 Theatre. Audiences may remember you from which show?
Teagan: So recently I was in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat couple of years ago and way back—I don't even know how long ago—I was in Pride and Prejudice the very first time that Gallery 7 did it. So that was fun to kind of do that in high school and then come back later and do some more shows now.
Ken: Very cool. And what did you do in between?
Teagan: Well, I went to school, so I did my theatre degree at Trinity Western and then became a teacher.
So I'm a high school teacher. I teach Drama and French Immersion and I've also just recently had a baby, so she's a lot of fun—and that's what I'm doing right now is spending a lot of time with her.
Ken: And I'm assuming that your newborn has given you permission to be in the show?
Teagan: Well, you know, she definitely likes my singing, so I think she's enjoying my practicing at home.
She's like, "Oh, okay. You know."
Ken: Speaking of practicing, so how do you rehearse for a show like this? One of the questions we get all the time is how do you memorize all those lines? So you just said that when you're at home, you're singing and all that kind of stuff, you want to talk a little bit about your, your prep for the role.
Teagan: This is probably the most lines I've ever had to memorize for show.
So I was daunted by that, but for me, I'm a visual person. So when I'm rehearsing the lines in my head, I actually picture the words on the page, which is not something I realized I didn't until recently. I also find it's really helpful to have movement that goes with it.
Once we've blocked the scene, it's easier for me to memorize because I'm like, "Oh yeah, I walk over here. And then I say this, and then I run around here and I say that." A lot of repetition and getting someone to read it with me is always really helpful.
Ken:Is that your kid?
Teagan: Oh yeah. She's seven months old and she's right on it.
Ken: So getting back to Holy Mo, is there a theme or some element of the show that you really enjoy and that you're looking forward to sharing with audiences?
Teagan: Yeah. I love this question of where is home and who are we in relation to God?
And I think what stands out to me in this play is both the clowns and the characters they play are wrestling with the question of: "God, where are you? Where is our home? I don't feel like I belong anywhere." And I think a lot of people can relate to that. So I really hope that it connects with audiences amidst the goofiness.
Ken: Right on. Now, the director, Kerri Norris, is directing her first show for Gallery 7 Theatre, but I'm having a sneaking suspicion that you've worked with her before.
Teagan: I have actually—not in a show. So this is really fun, but she was my professor at Trinity, so I took some classes with her.
Ken: Okay. So what's that like not being the student anymore, but a fellow artist and colleagues.
Teagan: Yeah, it's great. It's really fun to have connections with the people in the show already. I didn't know who was cast initially. I showed up to the first rehearsal and I knew everyone. So that was really fun.
I knew Laura Lynn and Kerri from Trinity, and I know Ruthie and Rachel through other friendships and church history and stuff like that. So I think it just makes us connect quicker and it brings the chemistry on stage more quickly. And with Kerri, it's easier for me to just know kind of what she wants from me with that history.
So it's been really fun and it's like a new level of friendship too.
Ken: So I got the sense that there's some clowning in the show and a lot of physicality and that sort of thing. Is there a specific moment in the show that you could say is your favorite part so far?
Teagan: Oh, man. I think when Bufoona gets to start experiencing being the princess. I won't say too much, but there's a lot of funny moments. She wants to be the princess and things are holding her back.
Ken: Sweet. Okay. And last question that I have for you. Why should people come see Holy Mo & Spew Boy?
Teagan: First of all, COVID has prevented us from being able to do so much live theatre. And I'm so excited that at least right now, there aren't very many restrictions around live theatre. So come even just for that.
I think it's a show that is a very fun family show, lots of like singing and goofiness.
So kids hopefully will enjoy it as well as adults. It's that really perfect blend of humor and some really powerful themes and truths. I think we just need that right now in our world. So come for those reasons and come to laugh hopefully.
Ken: Awesome. Thanks very much for that Teagan. Teagan Gibson, who is playing Bufoona in our production of Holy Mo & Spew Boy, check it out!