Congratulations to Brian Cochrane for receiving the Saskatoon and Area Theatre Award for Outstanding Direction for Lungs – Fire in the Hole Productions presented as part of Live Five in Saskatoon.
Next up for Brian is CREEPS, an award-winning dark comedy by David E. Freeman produced by RealWheels Theatre. David E. Freeman, who lived with cerebral palsy, was one of the first writers to put his own voice – a Canadian voice – on the stage in the early 70’s. Written on a typewriter that Freeman operated with a stick held between his teeth, CREEPS tells the story of four disabled men who spend their days toiling away in a “sheltered workshop”. Tired of the way they’ve been treated, they rebel and barricade themselves in the washroom.
Brian is from Saskatoon and lives in Vancouver. He has directed many shows in the last few years, including: 52 Pick-up, Wide Awake Hearts, Speech & Debate (Twenty Something Theatre, Vancouver), Yann Martel’s Beatrice & Virgil (Last Exit Theatre, Saskatoon), Lungs, The December Man (Fire in the Hole Productions, Saskatoon), Between The Sheets (Persephone Theatre, Saskatoon), Hunter Gatherers, and The Cripple of Inishmaan (The Guild Hall, Whitehorse). He performed in & wrote the rap lyrics for Delinquent Theatre’s Stationary: a recession-era musical, and co-produced & performed in Temporary Thing & Twenty Something Theatre’s production of The Bomb-itty of Errors. Brian was Associate Artistic Producer with Twenty Something Theatre from 2012-2016 and Artistic Associate with Rumble Theatre for the 2015-2016 theatre season. He recently won the Saskatoon & Area Theatre Award for Outstanding Direction for Lungs, and has been fortunate to receive other awards and nominations for his work as a director and performer in Saskatoon and Vancouver. This fall he is directing Creeps for Realwheels Theatre in Vancouver (playing December 1 – 10 at The Cultch), and in 2017 he will bring to the stage (somewhere, somehow) his new autobiographical solo show Vampires In Barcelona, produced by his new old theatre company, Skinny Walrus Projects.
WHAT BRIAN HAS TO SAY ABOUT HIS TIME AT UBC:
My two years in the MFA Directing program at UBC were highly formative. At twenty-five I was pretty young to start an MFA program, but the experience couldn’t have come at a better time in my life.
I applied to UBC specifically because of Stephen Heatley and was fortunate enough to have him as my thesis advisor. He continues to be a great mentor and friend to this day.
Some favourite memories include: directing Caryl Churchill’s Far Away, Conor McPherson’s Rum and Vodka, and the Frayn/Chekhov hybrid Wild Honey (why do an MFA if you’re not going to do a huge thesis production?); Stephen Malloy’s lessons in text analysis; Tom Scholte’s insights into Brecht and devised theatre; John Cooper’s steadfast clarity when it comes to “story”; Stephen Heatley’s writings on “the fixed idea”; and all the great friends and collaborators I met along the way.