Canadian Stage Company

Throwing You A Bone

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!

Hello God, It's Me, Nancy

I've been ignoring you, dear blog.  I recently realized that when things are not going super well, I avoid talking about it here, because frankly, who likes a whiner?  Nothing's been really wrong.  In fact, lots of great things have been going on.  I saw some absolutely incredible theatre in Toronto  - The Silicone Diaries at Buddies in Bad Times and Studies in Motion at CanStage, in collaboration with Vancouver's Electric Company.  For both show, I managed to catch a post-show talkback, which I always find incredibly illuminating.  In the case for Diaries, I was moved to tears.  Seriously, I tried to congratulate the performer of this one-person show on my way out and all that came out was a bunch of garbled "so great/thank you *sniffle* *choke* kthxbai!" And then, my little theatre company - Evolution Theatre - (maybe you've heard of them?) - turned five FIVE years old. Can you believe it?  I have trouble keeping a relationship going for that long and yet, somehow, my little partnership with the Bedberts has outlasted them all.  I believe that Christopher & Linda Bedford and I have known each other for almost ten years now.  Just incredible.  We celebrated with cake and a special reading of the first show ever produced by the company, Dario Fo's We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!

But wait! There's more!

At the birthday party, we had a few announcements.  First up, Evolution Theatre was named one of three resident companies of the Ottawa Arts Court Foundation.  This means that starting in September of 2011, we now have a permanent performance home until 2013 and we will be producing two shows a year in the Arts Court spaces.

And if that wasn't enough, we also announced our 2010/2011 season.

Up first is an original translation of Dominick Parenteau-Lebeuf's La petite scrape. It was translated by local Evolution collaborator, Mishka Lavigne, with the assistance of Canadian dramaturgy heavyweight Maureen Labonté.  This is a show that has been in the works since 2008 and we are thrilled to be bringing it to the Arts Court Studio from February 9 to 19, 2011.

The production, now titled Little Martyrs, will be directed by Christopher Bedford and features the amazing local talents of Jody Haucke, Brad Long, Margo MacDonald, Matt Miwa, and, you know, yours truly.  Rehearsals have just recently started and I am incredibly excited to be a part of this project.  More details will be up on my blog and the company website soon.

The second show is an original script by local playwright Lawrence Aronovitch and is entitled The Lavender Railroad.  It will be directed by l'incroyable Joël Beddows (whose Swimming in the Shallows was probably one of my favorite productions in Ottawa this year).  As both Lawrence and Joël were out of town for the party, we received a message from our former Professor Beddows which I would like to share with you, as I got a little misty-eyed when I first read it:

I was a young professor when I first met this trio.  They were all opinionated, argumentative and ambitious.  Our rapport was not always harmonious: this often happens among people too similar to one another. They seemed determined to question any and all statements I made. History would state that they were correct to do so.

They graduated and started making theatre.

I was intrigued; then I was impressed; suddenly, I could not “not” see their work.

For awhile, I was proud; then I was fascinated; today, I am trying to keep up!

Working with Evolution Theatre this coming season represents many things to me; first and foremost, the opportunity to work with a creative team that has and will continue to make a mark on practice in Ottawa and someday soon, beyond.

Joël Beddows

Wow. Details are still being finalized for this production, I'll let you know additional information as it comes up.

I've also had two great auditions in Ottawa and Montreal during this time, but even after all that, I still felt... sad. Though I miss my friends and my routines, I keep trying to remind myself that there is a reason I'm doing all of this; there's a reason I'm working so hard.  Because I have a dream.  And fuck it! I'm going to see it through.

Now back to our regularly blogging schedule.