Take a gander at Portal Player’s actor’s credits

Student and Safeway grocery clerk Ryan Gander plays a sly and witty game player in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Ryan Gander 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 Ryan Gander.

Like his character in the upcoming performance of The Importance of Being Earnest, Ryan Gander is much more than initially meets the eye.

Gander’s character in Portal Players’ adaptation of the Oscar Wilde classic, Algernon Moncrieff, is a sly albeit witty game-player. Moncrieff spends time dressing well and wondering about what people think of him.

And, although he outwardly conforms to high society, Moncrieff enjoys self-directed excursions, ‘Bunburying’, in which he pretends to be anything other than himself, purely for his own amusement.

Gander, a student and Safeway grocery clerk, participates in theatre because he, too, is a self-professed ‘Bunburier’.

“I’m finishing an undergrad degree in communications at SFU, I sell tuna and apples at Safeway,” Gander says. “And, I get most excited by being people other than myself, aka Bunburying.”

Gander came to Port Alberni in the fall of 2009 from Vancouver. He was wooed by the natural surroundings, the house prices, and a three-minute drive to work with no stoplights. He has settled in well, he says.

A year and a half later, he is already a veteran at the Capitol Theatre, having won the Best Actor award at the North Island Drama Festival in May 2010 for his role in The Glass Menagerie.

Gander also runs the Whose Line is It, Alberni? at the theatre, as well as volunteers at the bar and concession for shows in which he is not performing.

When it was announced that Portal Players would be putting up The Importance of Being Earnest, Gander’s attention was immediately piqued.

“I enjoy the classics in both drama and comedy,” he says. “The wit and satire in the dialogue of Oscar Wilde are a pleasure to perform.”

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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