Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rick Boland, CornerBoy

For many of us, the sound of Rick Boland's distinctive Townie drawl conjures up the early, heady days of theatre and film in Newfoundland. If Boland didn't make at least a cameo appearance on the boards or the celluloid, chances are whatever you were watching wasn't a local product.

A founding member of Rising Tide, Boland was also involved with the Newfoundland Travelling Theatre Company and the Mummer's Troupe. He and Mary Walsh developed the RCA Theatre Company, an early supporter of Canadian actors such as Walsh, Cathy Jones, Rick Mercer and Gordon Pinsent. Boland played the role of a revolutionary cabinet minister in Newfoundland's first full-length feature film, The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood, nominated for three Genie awards.

More than three decades later, Boland is still one of the prominent faces of Newfoundland theatre and cinema. He and Mary Walsh are currently involved in CornerBoys, a company that presents interactive theatre at historic sites in St. John's. Boland's poker face and impeccable timing, comic and otherwise, can be seen recent films and sitcoms such as The Breadmaker, The Bingo Robbers, Young Triffie’s Been Made Away With, The Republic of Doyle ("A Horse Divided") and Diverted, a made-for-TV movie about Gander's role in 9/11.

In 2008, Boland was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council's Hall of Honour for his distinguished lifetime contribution to the province's culture.

Watch this clip to see some of what's on offer by Walsh and Boland's CornerBoys Productions.


Listen to an excerpt from Rattling Books' unabridged audio edition of Robin McGrath's Coasting Trade, featuring the voice of Rick Boland. Coasting Trade, narrated by Boland, Robert Joy and Anita Best, is available as an MP3 download or an audio CD.