GD: Tell me about your characters in Kid Gloves.
SB: I play two characters. I play constable Fields, who is a member of the Vancouver Police force, who is not overly thrilled to be having female members joining the force. His role in the play is to illustrate to the audience what the establishment is. What the two lead characters are pushing up against coming into this male dominated world. The other character I play is a man called O’Rourke and they call him the ‘Lord of the Bawdy Houses’. He is an Irish ex-patriot in Canada who has found his way to a fairly high level of, what you might call the ‘underbelly’ of Vancouver society. He’s a saloon owner, and he runs a prostitution operation.
GD: An all-around good guy.
SB: Well, he does provide some colour, and he’s not entirely bad, but he’s not entirely good either.
GD: That must be fun, playing two characters.
SB: I always like playing more than one character in a show. It usually provided me with a few different challenges. And certainly keeps me busy.
GD: What do you do when you’re not working?
SB: (laughs) I’m pretty lucky, as an actor I work a lot. My work keeps me busy and when you’re a working actor in the theatre you’re on six days a week usually. And then you try to cram real life into that one day off. I have a family, I have three kids. My off-stage life is not that interesting. I like to watch movies with my kids, play board games, do the New York Times crossword puzzle.
GD: What’s your favourite board game?
SB: We’re into this game right now called Talisman. Everyone is racing around the board trying to find the key to the talisman that will let them into this magic area where you gain the Wand of Control, so they control all the other characters. Once you have that, you’re pretty much close to winning the game.
SB: Oh, I would rather fly. Probably the sense of freedom. I used to have recurring dreams when I was younger about flying – well not flying so much as controlled giant leaping. The exhilaration I would feel waking up from those dreams. I love it, I love flying. I always love a window seat when I’m in an airplane.
GD: What are some things people will take away from Kid Gloves?
SB: I hope they have a good time, I hope they have a couple of laughs, but I think the story of these women pioneers, is so interesting, so intriguing- quite arresting. These women became police officers before women had the vote, before women were even considered equal members of society. And these women were given law enforcement powers. I think that the world the story takes place in is really fascinating. It’s a story about Vancouver, it’s about our own history. I think there are so many levels that you can appreciate it.
Leaping image from here