Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alumnus Ryan Bourque ’09, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Acting program and winner of two Joseph Jefferson Awards (Chicago’s top theatrical prize) for his stage combat choreography, has staged the fight and hockey scenes for a new musical at the nationally acclaimed Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis. Titled The Abominables, the show concerns a Minnesota youth hockey player’s competition with a new rival. Bourque was recently interviewed in a Twin Cities Pioneer Press feature on the show.
“Most Minnesotans probably have a sense of how difficult it is to play hockey at a high level. Now, add to that singing and dancing and you have an idea of what’s happening in Children’s Theatre Company’s world-premiere musical, The Abominables,” the article says. “The choreographer for the show is Joe Chvala. The fight/hockey choreographer is Ryan Bourque (not the pro hockey player with the same name, incidentally). And, since neither Chvala nor Bourque is a hockey player and there’s not much precedent for putting hockey on stage, the collaborators had their work carved out for them.”
“The biggest challenge for Bourque was that he really wanted the movement on stage to look like hockey, even if there is no puck involved,” the article notes, before quoting Bourque:
“It’s been a little insane at times but when you take away the rink and the puck from hockey, all of those elements, what you’re left with is bodies moving through space,” Bourque says. “That’s what I ultimately realized: In sports, at a basketball or hockey or football practice where they’re running plays, they’re executing choreography. All of them.”