Claire Pollock talks her new play, ‘Cats or Babies’
By Angela Espinoza, Arts Editor
Every relationship requires great effort by both partners, and the unique characters of Douglas College theatre graduate Claire Pollock’s new play, Cats or Babies, are no exception. Portrayed by Pollock and Michael Kurliak (another Douglas theatre grad), Jen and Brad are the semi-ideal couple wanting to move forward in their relationship. But, as Pollock explains, moving forward may not be the best direction for the pair.
“[Cats or Babies is] a short one-act about a codependent couple,” Pollock says. “The girlfriend wants to have a baby, but the boyfriend isn’t ready, so he gets her a cat instead. Basically they’re codependent; she treats him like a baby, and he really likes that. So [when] she starts to treat the cat as a baby… he gets very jealous and possessive, and it just goes into a downward spiral.”
From there, Pollock went on to describe the formation process of her original one-act show. Pollock wrote the play in a creative writing class last year, and has since been eager to perform it for a live audience. The show itself incorporates several Douglas alumni and, somewhat fittingly, Pollock’s partner, Nickolaj Berg.
“The cast is myself and [Kurliak],” Pollock says, “and he was a year under me [in the theatre program] at Douglas. We’re performing the show at the Victoria [Theatre] Fringe Festival, but we wanted to preview it here first. Everyone’s really excited… and they’re all really talented; Jesse Greenway [is] directing it… and he’s very clever.
“I thought the program was amazing, all the teachers are really strong, and I met a lot of really cool people… I randomly networked a lot and I had no idea I was even doing it. All the people working on the show are old Douglas College graduates, so it’s pretty cool because a lot of them I wasn’t super close with in school, and now [we’ve] gotten together and decided to put on a show.
“[Berg], my boyfriend, is composing all the music for [Cats or Babies], so… we like to be as involved as we can because we want to combine the arts [theatre and music] as much as possible for the company that we’re trying to start, Bird-like Creatures.”
While Pollock and Berg are working on getting Bird-like Creatures off the ground, their big focus right now is on their first show’s upcoming debut. Pollock states what she’d like viewers to get out of what is sure to be an original and odd product formed by these creatively twisted minds.
“I hope [the audience] laughs, if nothing else. It’s supposed to be clever and witty and… an inside look at a very strange couple’s relationship. There’s definitely points where people are going to be like, “Oh my god, I do that all the time,” because [some of these things are] totally what happens behind closed doors in a relationship.
“[Cats or Babies] previews here first Thursday August 15 through Saturday August 17, and the curtains are 8 p.m. each night. It’s by donation, and it’s more to get people’s feedback before we take it to Fringe—and for anyone who doesn’t want to go all the way out to Victoria to see it.”
Cats or Babies will be performed in the Douglas Dance Studio, room 3260. If you’d like to support Pollock’s new theatre company, check out Bird-like Creatures’ Facebook page, and be sure to spread the word of the show’s Victoria performance, happening on select dates from August 22 to September 1.