Trailer Park Boys actor giving acting classes for 50-plus in Cowichan

Gary The Mall Cop from Trailer Park Boys is coming to Duncan to offer acting classes exclusively for people aged 50 and up.

Gary The Mall Cop from Trailer Park Boys is coming to Duncan to offer acting classes exclusively for people aged 50 and up.

These classes start Feb. 27 and go for six weeks at the new Sol Centre, adjacent to the Community Farm Store, off the Trans Canada Highway south of the silver bridge.

The project, entitled Encore 50+, is the brainchild of professional actor and teacher, Lex Dunn, probably most recognized as Gary The Mall Manager from the Canadian TV series, a press release said.

Over 50 himself, Dunn arrived on Vancouver Island in 2015, and saw an opening for people of his generation to have their unique voices heard, and developed these classes in response, the release said.

It’s not only fun for older folks but a great way to express themselves as well.

“Modern media and entertainment, certainly under-represent our age group, in any meaningful way,” Dunn said in the release.

“We still have interesting stories, deep with layers of experience to tell. So these classes will approach acting — drama and comedy — with an appreciation and recognition of the perspective and experience that the participants have acquired throughout their lives.”

Taking up something like acting also keeps you young, Dunn argues.

It “engages the body, mind and spirit, which science tells us is instrumental in keeping our brains sharp and healthy,” he said.

The first introductory level class will focus on characterization, developing the actor’s tool box, improvisation, and some text work. Dunn plans on keeping the class small — he’s aiming for 16 to 18 people maximum — so he can make sure everyone gets the proper amount of attention and instruction.

He plans Level 2 classes after this session ends.

Both he and the Sol Centre’s Nicolette Genier are excited to be presenting these classes through the centre, the release said.

“The space is ideal,” Dunn said, “very conducive to freeing the mind and spirit.” Genier is equally enthusiastic. “[Lex’s] acting classes, talent and enthusiasm will be an amazing addition to Duncan. We look forward to having him as part of our Sol Centre.”

He has already taught Level 1 and Level 2 classes in Qualicum Beach which received an enthusiastic response from students.

Dunn has been a professional actor for 35 years. In addition to Trailer Park Boys, he has appeared with the Shaw Festival Company, the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Factory Theatre Lab, and many other venues across Canada.

He has also appeared as a recurring character on CBC’s mini-series Snakes & Ladders, as well as on Black Harbour and Sy Fy’s Haven.

The first six week session costs $225 per person. You can learn more and sign up at http://lexdunn.wixsite.com/encore.