Friday, March 30, 2012

Profile: Zach Fraser of The Game of Love and Chance

Trish Lindström and Zach Fraser in
The Game of Love and Chance (photo credit:

Globetrotting on a Bicycle...
...with a Puppet 

by Amanda Siino
Halifax, London, Paris, Singapore, Montreal – these cities are all brought together by a Montreal actor, director, puppeteer, professor and family man, Zach Fraser.
The six- foot tall Fraser has been most recently involved in Centaur’s new production of Marivaux’s The Game of Love and Chance.  
“This project is a co-production with Can Stage in Toronto. So most of the actors are out of Toronto and most of the design team is French Québécois. Then there are the few of us who are neither Québécois nor from Toronto, so it’s a nice coming together,” he said while drinking his cappuccino.  
“Fraser plays Mario as a sardonic and mischievous dandy,” said audience-member Rebecca Ugolini. “He entertained with his character’s quick wit and his skilled physicality.”
We also came to Montreal because we were looking for the Canadian city with the most European feel

The Halifax native came to Montreal seven years ago in a roundabout way.  He studied at Dalhousie and then at l’École Internationale de Théâtre Philippe Gaulier in London and in Paris.  He has also toured with various productions across in the United States, Canada, and in Singapore.  
He met his future wife Arianna at school in Paris. She is from Northern Italy and they got married in her family’s small town.  Their wedding reception was a mix of his Canadian family, her Italian family and their international classmates from their theater school. 
“At the restaurant we deliberately mixed everyone up at different tables and at each one we put little French-English, Italian-Spanish dictionaries,” he said, adjusting the sunglasses atop his brown, curly hair.  
He and his wife eventually made their way to Montreal when she was accepted to the National Theater School.  
“We also came to Montreal because we were looking for the Canadian city with the most European feel, we love the mix of French and English and there is a very vibrant artistic scene,” he said.  
Both are also avid cyclists and have worked with Vélo Quebec Voyages on various bike tours around the world.  They travel in Montreal mostly by bicycle. Their last tour, however, was a little over a year ago when his wife was pregnant with their son, Julian. 
“We kind of like the idea of being overseas commuters, though we don’t do so as often because it’s expensive, and we’re trying to keep that community alive,” he said.  
They have lived near Beaudry metro for the past six of their seven years in Montreal. 
“I like the fact that down here it’s a real mixing of people. Because it’s the gay village there is also a tolerance, as a result of the history of people being marginalized, and a compassion for the homeless people who live there,” he said.
He also has a theatre company with Attila Clemon called the Gesamtkunstwerk Project. It was created for their specific show …and stockings for the ladies, a historically based one-man show. 
“It’s actually a Wagnerian term, I’m not trying to sound pretentious, but it means a total artwork and the idea behind it is that it is something that brings all the arts together,” he said.  
The nonsensical sound of the name is part of the allure for him because the meaning is all the more personal.  
“Puppetry is another passion of mine.  It’s non-verbal a lot of the time and one thing that I do like is theater where language is not the god, I love language but there is room for creation and the playwright is in a collaborative relationship,” he said. 
I'm looking forward to seeing yet another side of his creativity in his upcoming project as director of puppetry with Scapegoat Carnival at the Segal Centre,” said Eloi Savoie, Communications director at the Centaur. 
It seems that of all the different aspects of his professional and personal life, Fraser values the sense of bringing together the various parts for the collective picture.   
“I love the fact that this year I was able to do a bit of acting, a bit of directing, some puppet work, some teaching and still somehow have time for my family, and maybe it’s bit of the European influence of living in the moment.” 

See our review of The Game of Love and Chance

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