I'm going to be honest here. Two years ago, I was severely disappointed by the Magnetic North Theatre Festival when it was in Ottawa. I had bought a full-festival Cultural Industry pass thinking I was going to be seeing the best of the best in English Canadian Theatre and attending fabulous workshops and events. Well, not so much. Of the 8 shows presented, I loved one, liked two, was a bit meh about two more and would have liked my money back for the other three. As for the Industry events, so many panels & discussions were taking place at the same time that I had trouble figuring out what to attend, got bored with some and gave up altogether... happy that, at the very least, Fringe was around the corner to show me a good time.
But this year? Well, a lot can change in two years. We met up again like exes who run into each other at a friend's wedding. Yichud charmed the pants off of me and I was pretty much done in after that.
This year: Six plays instead of eight - which makes it possible to still have a life and prepare for my Fringe show instead of exhausting myself watching plays; for me, it's been three shows I've loved and two that didn't leave me indifferent - one more to see tonight.
A nicely streamlined Industry Series with events that actually interest me - high points for me included the talk with MacIvor and the Rabbits, a talk on performer arts training called Missing Links, as well as the Speed Dating Pitch event. Last time, there was only one pitch opportunity and I wasn't available to watch it, which was disappointing. This year there were two opportunities, as well as the Speed Dating. And how nice is it that all these local groups have been able to pitch shows to a national and international audience this year?
Oh don't even get me started on the social media campaign! Regular blog updates, a Foursquare contest (which I am totally going to win), and a TWITTER WALL! Gosh, you know how I love seeing my name up on walls...
So, I guess what I'm saying, Mag North, is that, if you're up to it, I'd like to give this relationship of ours another go. What do you say?