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Inside With: The Dance Party of Newfoundland

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSketchFest NYC wouldn't be an international festival without The Dance Party of Newfoundland, a troupe consisting of Canadians. One of said Canadians actually drove a motorcycle all the way from Toronto--in a heat wave, mind you--in order to get here. Though their SketchFest set happened already last night, it's still nice to learn about the people around us.

What's your story, Dance Party of Newfoundland?
Phil: I met Dave Sullivan and Jonny Harris in college. We all went to a theatre school together. They knew Steve from their hometown, whereas I knew Steve from a margarine commercial that I had seen on tv. It was amazing.

There was a meeting called to get a sketch group together. After a couple of meetings, there were only 5 of us who kept showing up. We wrote our first show called On the Nog. That was about 4 years ago. Since then we've performed in Dawson City, Yukon, Chicago SketchFest, SketchFestNYC 2007, toured our own province, played Second City at the Toronto SketchFest and won Best of the Fest.

How would you describe your group? What separates you from everyone else?
Jonny: Well, we always thought Kids in the Hall were really funny, being Canucks. We were also fans of the Vancouver Canucks--they're REALLY funny. We are all theatrically trained and bring that to our sketch troupe. Lots of sketch troupes go for the minimalist thing but we try to do as much with lighting, sound, and costumes as time (and our pea-sized brains) will allow.

How do your sketches go from an idea to the stage?
Phil: Usually, one guy has the idea and writes it. Then it gets sent around and we each weigh in on it. It gets "suggestions" and then re-writes. Our group is split across St. John's, Newfoundland and Toronto, Ontario, which are about 2,000 miles apart--so everything happens by email until we get together around 48 hours before we open a show. We get some beer, get together at one of our houses and put the show together. We always take the audience response into account. If they hate it, we hate each other and we change. Our material and our lives.

Who are you most excited to see this year at SketchFest?
Jonny: Everybody.

Any other projects you're working on?
Steve: I'm directing an interactive documentary about a country singer who was a contestant on Canadian Idol who is now breaking into Nashville.

Jonny: I'm going into a second season of a tv show called The Murdoch Mysteries.

Phil: I'm becoming better friends with Steve and Jonny.

Reader Comments (1)

Yo these interviews are great! I've enjoyed them all week! I don't think I'm going to be able to make it tonight, but I'm excited because A Week of Kindness will be performing with TROPHY DAD!!!!! Trophy Dad is a group of my classmates from Yale.. represent!
June 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersoce

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