My stamina is seriously being tested, folks. I realized today that it's been at least two years since my last active participation in a theatre festival (i.e. not just going to see shows) and I'm not as young as I used to be. But, like any good muscle, this is just prep work for the marathon summer to come. The Magnetic North Theatre Festival Industry series officially started on Monday with a delicious brunch, followed by a lovely discussion group reminiscent of the GCTC backyard BBQs. Then we saw three shows (whose length make them more like 6 in Fringe terms), had a networking dinner and throughout all this I rushed to get materials printed & ready for the Marketplace the next day.
The shows themselves were incredible. War of 1812 was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. The best description I can come up with is a live-action Punch & Judy show with Canadian History. A Brimful of Asha was incredibly fun and filled with so much heart, humour and samosas. And The God That Comes... I used to be a pretty big Hawksley Workman fan. I don't typically go to concerts, but I've seen him live on three separate occasions. But that was a long time ago in what feels like another life. At the time, I was in a serious relationship and when we broke up, so did my love affair with that music (As a friend so succinctly put it: doesn't it suck when you have to break up with an album?) So here I was, excited but apprehensive. By the end of the night though, I was feeling all the feelings and hoping that those old albums would take me back. That man is a stellar performer who, with the help of 2b theatre, turned a Greek Tragedy into one of the must-see shows of this festival.
Yesterday was another big day with the Marketplace, a smorgasbord of theatre from across the country set up in the National Arts Centre 4th Stage. I was one of 30 companies with a table to pitch my company/shows to producers, presenters, peers, students. I was pretty proud of my display and even happier with the connections that were made. And the floor at the 4th Stage was just perfect for roller skates.
It was a long afternoon followed by another delicious networking dinner. Since I had already seen For the Pleasure of Seeing her Again, at this point I got my first break in the last two days. Just enough time to finish some day-job work before heading out to see Winners and Losers. I don't really know what to say about that show. I'm definitely glad I saw it, I'm still thinking about it today and it led to some amazing conversations later on, which are all very positive things, but my thoughts on it could fill a blog post of its own and I'm already running long as it is.
Now, it's 8 a.m. the next day and I'm glad my current roommate decided to make chili last night so I have something ready to eat before another big day. There's going to be pitch sessions and panels, a quick pause for some Ottawa Fringe work, and the opening of SubDevision.
Magnetic North, you're trying to kill me... in the best possible way.