Meet the ROBERT Creative Team: Erin Vandenberg

AS WE GET READY FOR THE WORLD PREMIERE OF ROBERT AT THE 2018 TORONTO FRINGE FESTIVAL, WE'RE INTRODUCING THE TALENTED INDIVIDUALS OF OUR CREATIVE TEAM.

Erin is a writer, producer and co-creator of the Lark and Whimsy Theatre Collective. Her play Salt was the inaugural production for the company in 2016, and she stage-managed and co-produced Janelle Hanna’s Bad Baby Presents: Rules Control the Fun at last year’s Toronto Fringe Festival

Name: Erin Vandenberg

What are you doing on Robert? Dramaturge, Producer

Astrological Sign: Leo, though most people are surprised by that. I guess I read as shy?

Special Skills: Cat whispering.

How many Roberts do you know? Some but none of them go by Bert, which is a bit of a bummer, to be honest.

Do you play any musical instruments? I can still play Minuet in G by J.S. Bach from memory on the piano. But absolutely nothing else.

How do you feel about bagpipes? Intrigued.  Are you good at keeping secrets? I'll never tell.

 Photo supplied by Erin Vandenberg.

Photo supplied by Erin Vandenberg.

What kind of grand gesture would you want someone to do at your funeral? I'd like someone to set up a room that just has kittens in it, so if you were sad during my funeral, you could step out and play with some kittens.

What’s the best thing about working on Robert? Dramaturgin'. Getting to work with Briana in this capacity is a delight - we get to keep having great conversations about writing and share the joy of finding a particularly obscure reference point for the play. Plus we laugh a lot.

What’s your biggest challenge working on Robert? Also the dramaturgy. As a dramaturge, you are trusted with something both essential to the production and vulnerable at the production stage - the playwright's vision. And unlike the director or the actors, who bring their own interpretation to the text, your job is to plumb the depths of the playwright's intentions as she works to create a text that reaches the fullest expression of those intentions. It's a lot of responsibility, and the work takes a lot of care and thoughtfulness. I think of it as the kind of work that, done correctly, is always challenging.     

Why should people come see Robert at the Toronto Fringe? If you need to process some deep emotions with some big laughs, then come. The piece is generous and funny, and like Dolly Parton says in Steel Magnolias, laughter through tears is my favourite emotion.

For more information on Robert, please visit www.larkandwhimsytheatre.com/robert. For ticket purchases, click here.