Alberni actor gets technical

David McGarry stars as a butler in The Importance of Being Earnest

Portal Players Dramatic Society will present The Importance of Being Earnest as their entry in the North Island Zone Drama Festival in town in May. The News continues its feature on the actors behind the play with David McGarry.

Portal Players Dramatic Society will present The Importance of Being Earnest as their entry in the North Island Zone Drama Festival later this spring—an event that will take place this year at the Capitol Theatre here in Port Alberni.

David McGarry is a realist who keeps his day job, but still makes ample time to nurture the love affair he has had burning with theatre since he was a young boy.

Stepping into the Capitol Theatre’s spotlight in early May as Lane, Oscar Wilde’s consequential butler in The Importance of Being Earnest, McGarry will be fulfilling a schoolboy’s dream.

“I love being on stage,” McGarry says. “I enjoy the stage very much but was a realist and knew that going to college and being an actor, no matter how much I loved it, would never pay the bills.”

McGarry is Capitol Theatre’s technical director, a position that he is good at. As technical director, McGarry is responsible for rentals, lighting, and mechanical organization.

McGarry ended up learning how to operate theatre lights and sound in Port Alberni when he was still in high school, solidifying a basic knowledge before pursuing post-secondary education to learn about the finer nuances of theatre. Although he did take one course on acting (his passion) at Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University), he concentrated the bulk of his academic load on the technical end of theatre.

“I was being practical,” he admits of the decision. “But I do love it – being on stage. Anytime I can get on stage, the better. And any role that they want me to play, I will play it.”

When not volunteering at Capitol Theatre, McGarry spends his time working the night shift at Walmart, stocking shelves to prepare the store for its day customers. McGarry likes his work because it is a perfect fit for theatre hours, which generally fall during the early evening, before his shifts.

“Theatre is like being a different person,” he says. “Give me a role and a script and a character, and I can improvise my way around it pretty easily and well. But, ask me to give a speech in front of even a small audience and I just can’t.”

•••

The Importance of Being Earnest opens May 5 and runs through to May 21 at Port Alberni’s Capitol Theatre on Argyle Street. It is Portal Players’ entry in the North Island Zone Drama Festival that is being held at Capitol Theatre this year.

The Importance of Being Earnest competes in the festival on May 22. For tickets, please call the box office at: (250) 723-1195.

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