Rahul Gandhi is a Montréal born and based actor, director, producer, and creator. As a co-Founder and Artistic Director of Tantalus Theatre, his featured works at the Fringe include his company’s productions of ‘James and Ziggy’ and ‘Adoration’. As a performer, he’s appeared on the circuit with Infemous’ ‘The Peers’ and AlienCat Productions’ ‘Mostly Scripted’. His presence at the fest has also been expanded by his writing contributions to Montreal Theatre Hub.
“The Fringe changed me as an artist,” he begins. “Before, I was just a kid from the suburbs doing theatre, then I went to the festival for the first time (in 2016), and that became a gateway for wanting to do more and push the boundaries in my own work.”
Rahul has since gone on to wear multiple hats in the industry and accrue prominent professional stage and screen credits. With several of his projects now halted due to COVID-19, he reflects on what creation looks like at this time.
“This might be a little cliché, but I think art-making right now is really about human connection. We’re all locked down, but people are still finding ways to get together and make something in these suppressed mediums, and that’s really just a testament to how much they love the craft. That sheer will to connect and create – that’s what it’s about.”
On the through-line of boundary-pushing, we talk about what it means to be a BIPOC artist at this time. “There has been progress, but I hope there will be a day when nobody bats an eye when well-known characters are played by actors of colour. That moment can come sooner if we push harder for it.”
On the future, “I’m optimistic,” he says, “about change, about the work that’s going to come out of this afterwards, and about my own place in the industry. The Montréal theatre community is relatively small, but at the same time we’re very loud. We make noise to be seen and heard. Recovery from crisis might be slow, but there’s enough love and determination between us to rebuild. We’re in strange and dark times right now, but I’m optimistic for what I believe will be a roaring 20’s of art.”
Favourite Fringe show you’ve seen?
Productions Presents’ “The Man Behind the Curtain.”
Annual Fringe tradition?
Going to 13th Hour when I have to get up early the next day.
Most memorable moment at the Fringe?
The first festival show I was involved with was this big production and there were like 30 people at the cast party. After this party, my creative partner Adrian and I just sat and talked. We’re drinking whisky and smoking a cigar and we watch the sunrise. And that was the end of my first Fringe.