Dream job

Nothing else festival employee would rather spend his summer doing

Frank Gale fgale@thewesternstar.com
Published on July 23, 2014
Brian Kenny, right, technical director with the Stephenville Theatre Festival, watches as Ben Dunphy uses a square to mark a cut line on a board in the workshop of the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre.
Frank Gale

There’s nothing else that Ben Dunphy would be doing this summer that could top what he’s doing.

The 16-year-old student of Stephenville High, who is heading into Grade 11, joined the Stephenville Theatre Festival as a production assistant in construction and technical work.

But the workload has expanded to some small acting parts and even playing guitar in the festival band for some of the shows, making it a dream job for him.

“I’d be doing this kind of thing this summer anyway, so getting paid for it is just a bonus,” the first-time festival employee said.

He said this likely won’t be his last summer with the festival, since he’s enjoying it so much.

His acting parts are in “Jack and the Cat” and “The Nobleman’s Wedding,” and he’s also in the band for the latter.

“It’s great. I get to put my guitar down, go out on stage and beat up some guy, then return back to playing guitar,” Dunphy said.

Ben is no stranger around live theatre as his dad, Don Dunphy, has been a longtime an actor and worked with the festival in the early years. Don is on stage tonight in his own show “A Night with Me and Me Brudder” as part of the festival.

Ben will be there playing guitar, something he’d rather do than eat. He been playing since he was six years old and recently bought his eighth guitar.

His favourite thing with the festival so far has been getting to play with well-known performers like Dave Panting and Pamela Morgan, as well as locals Kevin Carey, Brad Aucoin and Marigold Benoit, who are members of the festival band.

His talents also saw him doing sound for “Music from Home” which he mixed for the show, then worked the console during the performance.

Dunphy said he’s been really enjoying working with Adam Day on the technical end of things. He said Day has been great teacher.

“We (company) only have one day off and we often spend it together,” he said. “You don’t get better than that.

As for what Dunphy will do in the future, he’ll figure that out as time goes on.

“I have no clue right now on a career,” he said. “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”

Right now he is aware he’s gaining lots of skills at the festival and he sees those things looking good on his resume.