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Wednesday, 24 July 2013 13:57

'RiderGirl' celebates being part of Rider Nation

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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‘RiderGirl’ Colleen Sutton is bringing her rowdy, hilarious, and moving show to the Lyric Theatre stage Aug. 11, showing Swift Current audiences what it’s like to be a die-hard Rider fan — and how one fan’s love of the Rider Nation has taught her lessons in all aspects of her life.


“RiderGirl essentially tracks my journey, my life as a Rider fan,” said Sutton.
“In 1993, I really got drawn into the world of Rider fandom, and the story follows that progression until 2009. Later on in my life, I realized the things I’d learned from my time as a fan. Rider Nation isn’t like any other fan base — it doesn’t matter how the team fares, you are always a Rider fan.”
The message was an important one for Sutton, who was stuck working a job she hated just so that she could have the ‘things’ that make life worth living — a house, a car, etc. But more often than not, she found herself staring at the clock, waiting for the days to pass by.
“I started thinking, I don’t think life has to be like that,” she said. “And it’s just like being a Rider fan. It’s hard, but there’s no question — that’s what you want to be. The passion I had watching a game, feeling alive and enjoying that connection, it really felt like home. And I knew, deep down, that I wanted to be an actor, so I said that’s it and I just went for it.”
The seeds were there for Sutton to start telling her story, but as a new writer, it took her a few years to gather up the courage to begin.
However, once she started talking with people about the project and saw their positive reactions, she started to realize how many people would identify with her story.
“It’s really a very human story about just trying to make it through the world, but told through the lens of the Rider fandom,” she said. “This speaks to me so much, and it’s important to write about what you are passionate about. When I was at a game in 2009, that’s when it really hit me. I looked around me and saw the drama of it, the theatre, and I started thinking that those two worlds, theatre and football fandom, really have so much more in common than we would realize.”
The show premiered last year at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, which was a bit of a test for Sutton. With the intense rivalry between the Roughriders and the Blue Bombers, she figured if the show went over well in Winnipeg, she had something really worth sharing.
“They completely embraced me and my show, and it was incredibly warming and touching,” she admitted. “I still get emotional when I think about it. I’d never written before, and they didn’t know anything about me, but they gave me standing ovations and I kept hearing how much people loved the show. Now, it’s an even stronger, tighter show, and I am so eager to get it out there.”
Sutton has aimed to line up the performances along her tour with Rider games, to get fans pumped up for the games. She also puts on a tailgate party along with the show. However, you don’t need to be a football fan to enjoy RiderGirl — but you do need to be over the age of 12.
“It’s not all fluff, so it’s really not a family show,” Sutton explained. “There is some heavy stuff in there, and a bit of a language warning. But it comes with the territory — you can’t do a show about football without some language in there. Something’s gotta slip when an interception occurs.”
For more information or for tickets, visit www.ridergirl.com, or contact the Lyric Theatre at 306-773-6292.

Read 14590 times Last modified on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 14:03