The Paramount Academy for the Arts Discovery Series brings professional theatre for family audiences to the Paramount and Stateside at the Paramount. The series continues with Theatre Heroes’ Call of the Wild, playing Stateside at the Paramount on January 14 & 15. We recently sat down with celebrated Austin actor Noel Gaulin to talk about the production and what it’s like to be the only actor on stage telling this iconic and epic story.
Paramount Academy for the Arts: How did you first get involved with this production of Call of the Wild? Were you familiar with the book before joining the production?
Noel Gaulin: Jason Tremblay (director of Call of the Wild) and I have been working together for ten years. We decided to form a company (Theatre Heroes) to produce work for young audiences. This production is the first of our “Illustrated Edition” series. I’d read the story in school and always thought of it as a quintessential adventure tale. I remember reading it out loud to myself – howling in my room.
PAFTA: For our audiences not familiar with the story or Jack London’s novel, what should they know before they see the show?
NG: You don’t need to know the story or have read the book. My hope is that afterwards folks will seek out the novel.
PAFTA: What’s the best part about playing Buck, the Saint Bernard-Scotch Shepherd dog at the center of the story?
NG: Dogs have the most fun! And I get to bark. And sniff. And stick out my tongue.
PAFTA: You are a local Austin actor who has performed many different genres for all types of audiences. What is special about performing for youth and family audiences?
NG: I really enjoy performing for young audiences. Young people experience stories with their whole spirit. They are so invested in the magic created by the narrative. It always gives me goosebumps.
PAFTA: You are the only actor on stage telling this story. What is challenging and what is rewarding about performing this play?
NG: I like to imagine that the audience is onstage with me as I’m telling the story. And to perform every part of the story, every character, describe every scene all myself is very demanding. I have to use everything I’ve got: my body, my voice, my energy, even my breath to keep this adventure heartfelt and enthralling. And it’s so much fun!
Theatre Heroes production of Call of the Wild plays at Stateside at the Paramount on Saturday, January 14 at 2pm & 7pm and Sunday, January 15 at 2pm. Tickets and info at www.austintheatre.org/discovery.
This post was written by Scott Butler