Not Your Usual Suspect...Dylan Thomas-Bouchier
Dylan Thomas-Bouchier says he feels a bit awkward about being called inspirational, but inspirational people often do as they simply see themselves as ordinary people doing the things they love. For Thomas-Bouchier, this love is the theatre, and despite still being in high school he has already racked up an impressive list of theatrical achievements.
Thomas-Bouchier was born in Fort McMurray in 1999, and one could say theatre was part of his life from the very start given that his mother went into labour in the audience while his father was on the Keyano Theatre stage performing in a local production of Death of a Salesman.
“They called me a theatre baby,” says Thomas-Bouchier with a smile and a laugh.
His interest in theatre may have initially come from his father, but it has grown into his own passion. Thomas-Bouchier first got a taste of theatre when he worked behind the scenes as a crew member for the production of the wildly successful Hometown, the Musical. Since then he has performed in Les Miserables at Keyano Theatre and worked as an Assistant Stage Manager. He has also been active in Westwood High School’s Cheepiyak Theatre as a performer. Working as both a performer and crew member has allowed Thomas-Bouchier to develop a deeper understanding of theatre productions in a holistic sense, and fuelled his desire to learn even more.
“I like looking at all the different aspects of a production,” says Thomas-Bouchier. “Hopefully one day I will be able to direct a show. I want to explore everything because this is my craft, and I want to know everything about my craft first hand.”
The craft to which he refers is of course the vocation of theatre, a career path he intends to follow and one he has already taken steps toward achieving.
“I feel fortunate to have already worked with theatre professionals from across the province,” says Thomas-Bouchier. “I have that experience not only locally but through a yearly camp called Artstrek, through which I have gained knowledge from multiple instructors from Edmonton, Calgary and other places in Alberta. Hundreds of kids learn about theatre through the Artstrek program, which is a week-long intensive of classes taught by theatre professionals.”
Thomas-Bouchier also has a starring role in the recent local short film The Good Survivor” which was the recipient of a $10,000 STORYHIVE grant from TELUS Optik to fund the filming.
Thomas-Bouchier, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy early in his life, has not allowed this diagnosis to prevent him from exploring theatre. In fact, he believes the challenges he has encountered have deepened his experience of the world and thus he is able to bring a unique maturity to the roles he plays, despite his chronological age.
Thomas-Bouchier, a charming young man with a bright smile, an intelligent and thoughtful outlook and a passionate love of theatre, may not be your usual suspect, but he is undoubtedly a young adult to watch as he pursues his dreams and leaves his mark on both the world of theatre and our community.