Since 1993, Saskatchewan-born Colleen Sutton, who’s made Westboro her home, has been to 14 Grey Cups.
“I love the CFL so much I wrote about it,” says this dyed-in-the-wool Saskatchewan RoughRiders fan who is looking forward to making Ottawa her Eastern team. The Ottawa Theatre School graduate starred in the one-woman show, RiderGirl from April 25-27 at Arts Court Ottawa.
The curtain officially rose at 7:30 p.m., but the real show started, true to form, with a tailgate party at 6:30 p.m.. Sport a CFL jersey – even if it’s not in RoughRider green – and you’ll be intercepted with a five dollar discount on your ticket or a free beer at the party.
“The CFL is a great atmosphere for families, but this show isn’t for kids,” says Sutton. “I mean, who hasn’t been to a football game and let a few swears slip?”
“I love seeing these two worlds – arts and sports – come together,” says Sutton who believes that the best theatre speaks to everyone. Likening her show to a sports movie, with a hero everyone can believe in, Sutton asks, “Who doesn’t love a good sports movie? It’s like a good game. We watch because we’re inspired and the stakes are high.”
Sutton says she wrote RiderGirl, which is based on her life as a RoughRiders fan up until 2009, “because the team and its fans have inspired me to live a life that meant something. They’ve taught me to get off the sidelines and into the end zone.”
Understanding the rules of football and the code of conduct for dedicated fans allowed Sutton the courage to leave her government job and go back to school as an actor and a writer.
“One woman shows are exhilarating and exhausting,” Sutton says, noting that she’s getting a great cardio workout with every show. “You never get a break.”
Over Labour Day weekend, Sutton will bring her show to Regina where she looks forward to performing at the Labour Day Classic, the RoughRiders’ biggest football weekend of the season, when her team takes on its rivals, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.