Brett Donahue is an actor and theatre artist who was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has studied theatre at both The University of Manitoba, and the University of Winnipeg. During his time in Winnipeg, Brett has appeared in numerous Winnipeg Fringe Festival productions. Next was Montreal, where for three years he studied acting at The National Theatre School of Canada. Some of the productions included Arctic Ocean (Written by Jill Connell and directed by Denise Clarke), Kadmos and The Crucible (directed by Yael Farber), as well as Romeo and Juliet at the National Arts Centre (directed by Peter Hinton). Since his graduation, Brett has moved to Toronto and has appeared in Andromache (Necessary Angel), Settlers (Birdtown and Swanville), Out the Window (The Theatre Centre) and the films The Shape of Rex, Total Recall. and the T.V. series Nikita. Along with his fellow classmates of NTS, he is one of the founding members in a theatre company called Epic and Everyday.
1) Tell us about your turn in the festival and why you’re doing it?
I am doing my turn in the festival, because a good friend of mine had to pull out. I am glad he did, because it gave me the chance to be participate in this great festival.
2) Is your number clown, bouffon, character or something else entirely?
Well, it’s a reading, so I am going to put it into the “something else entirely” catagory.
3) What is your best clown experience? Either as a performer or a spectator?
My best clown experience happened when I was studying in theatre school. We had a couple day workshop doing clown and bouffon, and one of the exercises for the day was to bring in a bunch of different outfits and create characters. Some of the characters that my classmate and myself created were outstandingly funny…… and really bad, which in fact made them even funnier. One of the best moments from that day, was a Rastafarian man named “Bigbootsfireface Bong” and a cross dressing, intensely sexual man named “James” trying to do come together in peace to record there radio commercial.
4) Your worst?
HMMM my worst would have to be when I was about 7. I was at an elderly uncle’s birthday party and someone had hired a clown to entertain. Kinda strange right? Well this guys shows up and his character was not so much a clown as he was a “Nerd”. That was his character. Everyone was confused and slightly upset by the whole thing.
5) Are there any public figures you consider to be clowns? Why?
This may not count because he is a performer, but I think Steven Colbert is a great clown. He uses his character (an extreme right winged political newscaster), to comment on the some of the ridiculousness of the politics and party he “aligns” himself with. Thinking about it now, he’s kind of the fictionalized version of Rush Limbaugh.
6) Tell us a joke.
The Rush Limbaugh show is the most listened to radio show in the United States…
Why did the cookie go to the hospital? Well, you know, he was feeling crummy.
7) Anything else…?
Thanks for all involved in Toronto Festival of Clowns for making all this possible. You guys are the good guys.