Lauren Gillis is a performer and creator. Her major interests include ambiguity, unrecognizable dancing, an uncomfortable sense of tragi-comic teetering, and the spacetime two degrees away from explicitly erotic. As the Co-Artistic Director of Lester Trips (Theatre), her next work Mr. Truth is premiering at The Theatre Centre as part of the RISER Project, a collaborative producing model by Why Not Theatre. It’s about ridiculous erotic secrecy in people who think they’re really open about that stuff.
When did you first think of yourself as an artist?
It was a gradual seep from finger paint onwards. Officially, it was when I gave up neuroscience to be a pseudo-clown.
Who helped you develop your voice as an artist?
Musicians with strange voices (Katie Jane Garside); comedians that push past the Rule of 3 into the Rule of 7 and 11 (Mr. Show); theatre and dance mentors investigating what’s viscerally possible as a performer working between disciplines (Denise Fujiwara’s butoh-based embodiment practice, Fides Krucker’s emotionally integrated approach to extended range voice).
What’s something that’s inspired you this week?
Today my partner-in-crime-and-uncomfortable-comedy Alaine Hutton told me that “german.shepherds.world” started following us on instragram. Without giving too many of the surprises in our show Mr. Truth away- there’s really no way they could have known about that unless robots are listening to our rehearsals or going through our dropbox files. And what is the alternate explanation? That people with a keen and nearly-exclusive interest in German Shepherds are also interested in a show about an erotic truth-seeking demon?
What’s your favourite restaurant in the city to visit?
Honestly? It’s Mr. Sub
What do you want to see more of on Toronto stages?
Big, weird, disgusting, out-of-control, overly-ambitious shows that really try for something Out There, and just crash and burn and carve out new territory.