Meet the cast of Mary’s Wedding | Daniel Reale as Charlie

For his first time on stage at Lighthouse Festival, Daniel Reale chose one heck of a role! After all, Mary’s Wedding is a play that will reach deep into your soul and make you think about first loves, the sacrifices of war, and the triumph of the human spirit. Previous to Lighthouse, he’s been in productions at the Bruce County Playhouse, The Hogtown Collective, and Theatre by the Bay, plus as Dr. Bradley Wilson in DOC (Sony/Fox) and as the Handsome Man in Crave/Bell Media’s MADE FOR TV. In between learning all those lines, Daniel was kind enough to chat with us about how he builds chemistry with cast members, what’s the best piece of acting advice he’s received, and what he loves about the character he’s playing in Mary’s Wedding, Charlie.

Daniel Reale as Charlie in Mary’s Wedding.

Lighthouse Festival (LF): What will the audience be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show?

Daniel Reale (DR): I think the audience will leave thinking about a few things. The absolutely stunning poetry and writing in the piece, the impacts of the First World War, the social constructs of the early 20th century- but mostly I hope they leave thinking about all those incredible sensations that come with first love. All of the joy, ease and excitement of finding a person that you can’t ever imagine living without. I love this show for giving me the opportunity to live in that world.

(LF): What do you love about the character you’re playing?

(DR): Charlie isn’t someone who holds back what he is feeling. It’s a gift to get to experience the world of the play through the innocent, hopeful and sometimes naive colours that Stephen has used to paint him with. He speaks his mind and wears his heart on his sleeve, something we can all afford to adopt from him!

(LF): How do you build chemistry with your fellow cast members?

(DR): Since it’s just Evelyn and I performing in the piece, it’s important and has luckily been really easy to build rapport and find common ground in the world of the play. It’s also hard to not become close friends while hanging in the DREAM of a town that is Port Dover. At the end of the day, we’re stuck with each other, so I think we’re very lucky we get along as well as we do. 

(LF): How do you see the role of theatre in today’s society?

(DR): Oof a tough one. Theatre is one of the oldest forms of art and I think there will always be a need for it. As we move towards a world where we are just constantly taking in different forms of media and watching Oscar award winning films on our phones an inch away from our faces… maybe that’s just me… I think it’s important that theatre remains THEATRICAL. We shouldn’t go to the theatre to get something we could watch on TV- but to get a real intimate experience. Something unique to the art form. That’s where this show really sings for me. It has beautiful, grounded realism, but it’s wrapped up in poetry and theatricality that you couldn’t get in another medium. That theatre “magic” is special, it’s the key to the heart of this work and I think the key to keeping theatre relevant for years to come. 

(LF): What’s the best piece of acting advice you’ve ever received? 

(DR): I think the best piece of acting advice I’ve ever received is “Acting is hard. If it was easy everyone would do it.” I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this industry- it’s probably the most fun I could ever imagine myself having at “work”. But it’s important to remind myself that it’s hard. There is a level of athleticism and effort you need to bring to the table when working in theatre – it’s a marathon not a sprint. And without the stamina and rigour that you put into your training, you’ll never be able to perform. The other great advice that goes in tandem with that is “Do the work- work hard, then throw it away” When it’s time to perform you can’t show the audience how hard you are working. You’ve built the framework- now it’s time to live in it.