CORNER BROOK Colin Furlong is looking forward to performing on the Grenfell Campus Theatre stage, for the first time since graduating from the university with a fine arts (theatre) degree in 2006.
Furlong and fellow Grenfell grads, Sandy Gow (’06) and Rory Lambert (’99), will be bring Parlour Song to Corner Brook audiences next week.
Grenfell theatre professor, Todd Hennessey, will be directing the dark comedy about a couple whose relationship is feeling strained.
“It’s coming full circle,” Furlong said. “The last time (Sandy and I) were that stage we were directed by Todd.”
While Furlong has worked plenty in his “second home” of Corner Brook, the thought of going back to where it all began is thrilling.
“It’s going to be really exciting for us to do a show on that stage again,” he said.
Furlong will play the role of helpful neighbour, Dale, in the play, produced by St. John’s theatre company c2c.
This performance adds to a long resume of professional theatre productions he worked on since graduating.
Furlong has worked with Gros Morne Theatre Festival in Cow Head for five seasons and with Rising Tide Theatre in Trinity, Bonavista Bay for three seasons.
He has been on tour with Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador and a long list of other theatre companies and arts groups, bringing productions to Halifax, Moncton and Toronto. But mostly, he works — and loves to work — right here in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“People often say ‘when you going to Toronto, LA or New York or whatever?’” he said. “The truth is, I don’t want to live anywhere else.”
Furlong owns a home in St. John’s and says he’s very content. If he moved to a larger centre now, he said he would be starting over.
“Instead of being employed 90 per cent of the year,” he said. “I’d be working in a bar begging someone to give me an audition.”
Living as a professional actor is sometimes tough though, Furlong admits, with a lifestyle of contract and seasonal work.
This year he is fortunate to have the summer at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival, then go on to “Parlour Song,” with another gig scheduled after that. However, work doesn’t always line up that way, he said.
“The hardest part of living as an actor is not knowing when your next gig is,” he said.
Furlong jokes his success in the industry is measured by “staying afloat’ — and it comes from stubbornness and persistence.
To land a small role on the second season of Republic of Doyle, he auditioned eight times before being offered a part. But that’s not deterring Furlong from give it his all.
“If there are auditions happening — I’m there,” he said. “Every time you audition for something you get better. (Acting) is my passion; I’m constantly trying to get better.”
“Parlour Song,” by British playwright Jez Butterworth, will be playing in St. John’s at the Barbara Barrett Theatre on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m., Sept 15 at 4 p.m. and Sept 16 at 4 p.m., and in Corner Brook Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. and 23 at 2 p.m.