QUEER SPOTLIGHT: Arthur G. Brook (Week Four)



{IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A pink-and-orange backdrop. It is surrounded by a white frame. In bold white next at the top left are the words ‘Arthur G. Brook (He/Him).’ Below that is a quote written in white font: “Authentic representation is critically important.’ To the right is a photograph of Arthur G. Brook- a Caucasian male with wavy dark hair. He wears a black turtleneck, purple vest. On his forehead is a ‘Ace’ card.}


Meet Penny & Pound performer, Arthur G. Brook (He/Him!) Arthur has taken the Penny & Pound stage by a storm, having portrayed such roles as Laurie in LITTLE WOMEN (2021), Wadsworth in CLUE: ON STAGE (2022) and originating the role of Charles Dodgson in the new musical, CURIOUSER (2021 and 2022.)


TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF

My name is Arthur G. Brook, though a lot of my friends will know me for my middle name, Grant. I’m 23 years old, and have been acting for twelve years now. In the queer community, I fall in the asexuality spectrum (the “A” in the acronym) meaning I experience very little to no sexual or romantic attraction. I’ve been with P&P since 2020, and will be reprising my role as Charles Dodgson in Curiouser in a few short weeks!


I’m also a fan of sour watermelon gummies. I feel that may not be exactly what was expected when answering this question, but I still believe it’s relevant information.


WHEN DID YOU FIRST FALL IN LOVE WITH THE ARTS?

I fell in love with the arts at a very young age. My first speaking role was Chip in Beauty and the Beast, and it didn’t take long after that for me to foster a love for performing. I continued growing that love all throughout high school and college, and it’s never wavered once in the last twelve years. It’s want to do for the rest of my life, and I am certain I will have a theatrically involved job in some way in my future, be it on stage or behind the scenes.


AS A QUEER ARTIST, WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU’VE LEARNED?

Embrace your individuality, and know that you are not broken for how you feel (or don’t feel). I’ve lost friends who told me that I was broken when I told them I didn’t experience attraction the same way they did. You’re worthy of respect, and so much of it will need to come from within.

As well, there’s nothing wrong with experimenting with yourself or doing some self-work. In the last two years, I learned more about myself than in the last ten. Self discovery never stops, and every day you learn something new about yourself is a good day.


HOW CAN THE ARTS COMMUNITY BETTER SUPPORT AND REPRESENT THE 2SLGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY?

Get more compassionate and loving voices into positions of power to help drive change. Hate and prejudice should *never* have a place in theatre, and the easiest way to root it out is to drive change forwards.


As well, get more queer writers and queer stories greenlit. People in the community will better represent the community nine times out of ten, and authentic representation is critically important.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLAY, MUSICAL OR BOOK THAT BEST REPRESENTS THE 2SLGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY?

My true answer to this is a bit of a cop-out honestly. Most of my favourite bits of representation have come from places when it was never made explicitly clear by the creators (though there are exceptions I will list below). I find a lot of representation either gets watered down to the point where it’s insignificant, or paraded and virtue-signalled so much that the actual plot and character development falls to the wayside. I personally enjoy it when it’s just *there,* no fanfare or needed justification. In that case, books like “They Both Die In The End” by Adam Silvera and “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller are both excellent for gay representation, as is the television show “Schitt’s Creek.” In terms of Asexuality, the character Todd from the Netflix series “Bojack Horseman” is a personal favourite of mine, and was the first time I’ve really noticed asexuality done right on screen (in my opinion, of course).


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER YOUNG PERFORMERS?

Find strategies that work for you when developing your character. Put an emotion to every line and sentence you say on stage. Choose an animal that your character would be, or keep as a pet. Read your script at least once a day along with regular rehearsals in order to memorize your lines. But above all else? Have fun. Theatre can be stressful, but there should always be at least a touch of enjoyment underneath it all. If you aren’t having fun, what’s the point?


WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

Truthfully, I’m not sure. The long answer is more performances, more opportunities to learn about myself, and working every day to make the days ahead even better than the days before.

The short answer is a cold drink and a long nap. I am not a fan of the heat, and am very much looking forwards to the Autumn cool-down.



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