I go and see a lot of plays. I need to. It's part of my job. I also read the program front to back (though a lot of times only after the show, as you will soon see). I check out names and past projects. After all, with directors and designers, I start to see a certain style. For example, one of my favorite shows at the Canadian Stage was Studies in Motion, directed by Kim Collier. It was one of the most visually appealing and stunning productions I had seen in years (the link I provided does include a promo video of the show, but it really doesn't do the play justice). Then I went to see Red. A few hours later, I was raving about CanStage to a friend, talking about how they have such visually appealing shows, like Studies in Motion and Red, without sacrificing story like some other theatre companies I know. My friend kindly pointed out that it made sense since they were directed by the same person and I, uh, then read my program... Without realizing it, it seems I have gained a pretty substantial arts crush on Kim Collier, which is great because now I know that I really want to work with her. I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't gone out to the theatre.
And if you are an actor you should be going to. There is so much happening in Toronto
right now all the time that it's really hard to keep up with everything. I've already talked about Next Stage (and will again some more this week as I check out more shows), but I also wanted to let you know about another production that might be flying below your theatre-going radar.
The play is called Four Dogs and a Bone by John Patrick Shanley. It opens tomorrow (January 10th) night and runs until January 21st.
Four Dogs and a Bone is a comedy... scratch a little deeper and it's a tragedy. After John Patrick Shanley had his first taste of Hollywood with Moonstruck and Joe Vs. The Volcano he exposed the film industry for all its insanity, greed and dirty madness. There are four dogs and only one bone. Two ferocious actresses, a sleazy over-the-edge producer and a naive screenwriter from off-off Broadway all fight for control of a film. A sharp satirical tragic comedy that holds no prisoners in this dog-eat-dog world.
I love this play. I love most of Shanley's work, but I really love this play in particular. And if you are in anyway involved in the performing arts, you will love this play too. It's produced by some brilliant artists who really embody what it means to be an actor - if you want to work, don't just wait for someone to hand it to you, go out there and do it yourself. I highly encourage you to check them out.
See you at the theatre!