Some fathers help their children develop new interests by taking them hunting or fishing.
Others do it by cheering them on during hockey practice.
Still others, like Tim Wartman, inspire their offspring by jumping onto the stage.
That’s what happened when the Cornwall actor performed in a play last summer at the Kings Playhouse in Georgetown.
Sitting in the audience, watching intently, his son Danny caught the acting bug.
“I thought it was pretty cool. After I saw Dad in Hickory, Dickory Dead, I was inspired to get involved in drama with him,” says the Grade 10 Bluefield High School student, who is getting his wish this week.
He’s sharing the stage with his father in the A.C.T. (A Community Theatre) production of A Night of Fairy Tales.
It opened last night at The Guild in Charlottetown and continues tonight and Saturday.
“It’s really surreal. I didn’t expect it to happen. I always pictured my dad on a different level than me. So it’s really neat to be sharing the same stage with him,” says Danny, who performs in Not So Grimm Tales, one of two shows that retell classic fairy tales in fresh ways.
“I play the Wolf, a cool guy, really full of himself but with a secret,” he says.
Seeing Danny morph into this character is exciting for Birchwood Intermediate teacher Frances Ann Squire.
“For someone who has never been on stage before, he’s extremely confident. He’s adding his own ideas and ways of doing things.
He’s also hoping to direct shows on his own down the road,” says Squire, who is co-directing the show with Marla Haines.
Watching his son follow in his footsteps is extraordinary for Tim.
“This is pretty special. I’ve always been interested in creating a bond between us, a shared interest. So, this is really nice,” says the actor who performs in Mirror Mirror, a modern take on Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.
News that father and son are sharing the same bill is receiving a lot of attention.
“We’ve got a lot of family and friends coming out,” he says.
There is also a lot of interest in the show because it continues to celebrate Tim’s return to the stage after his re-emergence last summer.
“It’s great to get back into it. I was really involved in community theatre in the early ‘90s. Then I had a family so I stopped for about 15 years,” says the elder Wartman, whose acting credits include Annekenstein, Evangeline and Gabriel, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet.
The director of Mirror Mirror is pleased to have Tim in the cast.
“He brings a lot of energy, a lot of talent. He’s got a vision of what he wants to do with his role and brings it out very well,” says Keir Malone.
Happy to be back on the boards, Tim is busy thinking about his next family project.
“I’ve got a daughter who is really interested in getting involved in theatre. I hope to bring Victoria out next time.”
AT A GLANCE
What: A Night of Fairy Tales: Mirror Mirror and Not So Grimm Tales.
Where: The Guild, Charlottetown.
When: Feb. 8, 9 at 7 p.m. There is also Feb. 9 matinee performance at 2 p.m.
Tickets: Call 368-4413.