Peter : Bio

Peter as the Engineer - Miss Saigon

Peter has worked professionally as an actor in theatre, film and tv for over twenty five years. A graduate of The George Brown College Theatre School in Toronto, he also studied drama and physical education at Queen’s University in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario. Also a musician, writer and stiltwalker, Peter has performed his works in venues and at festivals near and far.

In the Beginning

Peter’s professional theatre debut was at the Tarragon Theatre in 1986, acting in Goldoni’s Mirandolina for Patricia Hamilton’s Masterclass Theatre Company. Since then, he has appeared in lead and supporting roles in plays and musicals for such companies as the Arts Club Theatre, Richmond Gateway Theatre and Western Canada Theatre, and in the east at Theatre Passe Muraille, Sudbury Theatre Centre, Thousand Islands Playhouse and Lighthouse Theatre, and many more. He has been involved in the development of many new Canadian plays, including his own, through companies such as Magnus Theatre and The New Play Centre/PTC, as well as The Betty Lamberts Playwriting Society, for which he served on the board for two years.

Local Boy makes Good

Peter’s Canadian film work includes a supporting role as singer/songwriter Dunk McBride in writer/director David King’s new feature Every Other Tuesday, coming to festivals in 2010. He has appeared in many Canadian short films, including lead and supporting roles in: InConvenience (John Penhall, VIFF, PSISFF 2005), Nightshift (Ryan Mains, VIFF 2004), Grace (Terri O’Neill), The Beast of Dulle Griet (Caroline Coutts, CFC), Soul Song (Charity West, Moondance ’06), as well as his own, Going Somewhere Slow (LA SFF, Blue Sky SFF 2002). Peter’s tv work includes supporting and principal roles in series such as Hiccups, Fringe, Blood Ties, Peacemakers, Stargate:Atlantis and Cold Squad, among others. His mainstream film work includes supporting lead roles in the bargain-bin classics Devil Winds, The Thing Below, and Universal’s Slapshot 2.

The Physical

As a stiltwalker and street performer, Peter has performed at countless festivals and events throughout BC. He was a featured stiltwalker and performed every day during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler. Peter appears as various characters annually at the Vancouver Folk Fest, Illuminares, Parade of Lost Souls, Winterruption, the Ghost and Bright Lights Trains in Stanley Park and at various children’s festivals including Vancouver, Surrey and Richmond. He also teaches stiltwalking.

Musically, Peter has played venues small and large in Ontario and BC, as well as overseas. He has had a weekly solo gig in Vancouver since 2008, and has played his originals and fine covers at many benefits, events, corporate gigs and premieres since his move to Vancouver in 1990. He has released an original CD, and has sung and played in theatrical productions, as well as with many local artists.

The Details

Peter’s life and career has had interesting twists and turns since his serious car accident in 1994. Leaving the business for a number of years in order to rehabilitate, Peter kept busy with writing and volunteer work. He became a personal care attendant for a severely brain injured man, worked with Vancouver Family Services as a child-care worker, and taught physical theatre as a self-esteem building tool for under-privileged kids. His collection of stories and songs, HeadSoar Tales, was presented at the ‘97 Vancouver Fringe and the CBC Summertime Concert Series. Peter also organized outings and events for head injury group members, and became an advocate for ‘the walking wounded’. He was asked to perform his music at The Pacific Coast Brain Injury Conference, and co-hosted the conference the following two years. From there, he was asked to co-produce an album of songs by brain injury survivors. Peter helped participants write and record their own songs, and the result was the CD, Songs of Survival. He is developing a script based on his experiences in the head injury world.

In 2000, Peter and his partner, actress Jennifer-Juniper Angeli, loaded up their camper van and took a 3-month, 10,000 mile road trip across North America. On their return, they wrote and developed a short film based on a scene from Peter’s award-winning stage play, Going Somewhere Slow. The result was the 35 mm short film of the same name. It was directed by acclaimed cinematographer Robert New, and premiered at the Los Angeles International Short Film Fest in 2002. Peter then produced and starred in the play’s premiere at the Vancouver Fringe Festival (“Peter Graham-Gaudreau proves himself a capable actor as well as a playwright….a funny, moving and sharply observed tale”, Chris Dafoe, The Vancouver Sun). Peter has since adapted the play into a feature length screenplay with the help of his mentor, screenwriter Broderick Miller.

After extensive travels in Europe and Southeast Asia from 2002-2004, Peter returned to performing full-time. He played The Engineer in Miss Saigon for Kelowna’s Viva Musica (“Peter Graham-Gaudreau is brilliant as the charismatic Engineer”, Capital News), Eddie Lawrence for 5 months in the hit play Shear Madness at the Arts Club Theatre and on tour, and Johnny in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, for the MFA Directing program at the University of British Columbia. He also directed and wrote a documentary he shot in Southern Thailand following the Dec. 2004 tsunami. After producing and hosting a concert to raise money for tsunami survivors, specifically Chao Lay fishing communities in Southern Thailand he had visited in 2004, Peter and videographer Ronnie Novak traveled to Thailand to distribute the money, lend a hand and film the experience. They also filmed a half-hour travel promo film, Ko Lanta OK, which Peter wrote and hosted, to benefit the businesses on Ko Lanta.

And now ...

Peter has produced, hosted and performed at many benefits over the years, including, with his partner Jennifer-Juniper Angeli, an annual fundraiser for the WISH Center for Women. He is or has been active as a volunteer with many community projects and organizations including Oxfam, Project Accompaniment, Big Brothers, Theatre Cares, False Creek Society, Walk for Aids, and Quest Outreach Society to name a few.

Peter will publish his first book, Buy Less, Be Happy: How to Stop Buying Junk, Save for What You Really Want AND Save the Planet, in 2010. This short how-to book is based on a system Peter came up with and has personally used since 1998, which teaches people of all ages how to reduce personal consumption, and how to channel that saved money to make a real difference in their own lives and the lives of others and the planet. He has also recently written an eco-play for youth based on the writings and ideas of Dr. David Suzuki, with Dr. Suzuki’s blessing, which he plans to get produced with a zero footprint. Future projects include his next CD, I Will Not Despair, and a feature comedy script he is developing.

Favourite lifetime experiences for Peter include bicycling from England to Egypt, lollygagging on a slow boat down the Mekong River in Laos, and playing one of his songs to introduce David Suzuki at the premiere of Tony Papa's fine film, 'Suzuki Speaks'.