Ryan Gladstone

Ready or Not


I was hoping my next post would be about all my new projects coming up in 2015, but for the past two weeks I have been absolutely swamped with rehearsals for Monster Theatre's adaptation of The Little Prince, a family show that we will be touring in schools and communities across Alberta and British Columbia. It's been a quick learning curve. My days are spent at rehearsals, my nights are filled with learning lines and songs. Even my day off was taken up with a costume/props shopping trip. As it's been months since I last performed on a regular basis, I feel out of shape doing such a physically demanding show - you try running around a gym 6 or 7 times with a bushel of birds. And I still feel shaky with the text.

Trust me, I'm not complaining. I am thrilled to be working with such amazing people on a fun show that will make people happy. But I simply cannot believe that we are already previewing the show tomorrow and opening the next day.

I find myself falling into that silly "if only" trap that I am sure many theatre practitioners fall into: If only I had one more week to rehearse. If only I had one more day. If on I had a few more hours!

Well, no point in worrying about that, I guess. We are professionals. We will make it work.

Are you ready for this?

This show is going to be beautiful. It's incredibly tech heavy with lots of projections and music. My partner Tara Travis is an absolute gem and I love working with Ryan Gladstone as a director because he has such a strong vision for what he wants to see onstage. It's all going to fall into place. It always does.

Now to get used to those early morning school shows...

The Little Prince


I'm not a fan of winter. Scratch that. I'm not a fan of cold. I'm the kind of person who will grab her hair dryer and blast it under the covers to warm up the blankets before going to bed. In July. Though I got to work on some fun projects last winter in Ottawa (like Lucy in You're a Dead Man, Charlie Brown! and an alien in Pop Fiction), they did not make up for the bitter bitter cold. I'm the one with the head on the right. Admit it. I look pretty badass.

So when the opportunity to head out to Vancouver for an entire winter doing children's theatre presented itself, I jumped at the chance. And the fact that I would get to work with some of my favourite Fringe folk was just icing on the cake.

At the end of this month, I fly off to the aptly named Terminal City to start rehearsals and a tour of a new adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince with the fabulously funny folks at Monster Theatre.

Do blondes have more fun?

I'm very excited for a variety of reasons. For one, Monster Shows are always a ton of fun and I look forward to getting an inside look at their creation process with Ryan Gladstone at the helm as our director. For another, it will be nice to do a show where I actually get to talk to someone else on stage. And what a someone else! I will be playing the Little Prince and the incredible Tara Travis will be playing everyone else. I remember the first time I saw Tara on stage, a few years ago, at the Toronto Fringe in The Shakespeare Show. I was just blown away by her ability to transition seamlessly from character to character. Now I get the best seat in the house to see how it's done! And if that wasn't enough, our touring duo is actually going to be a touring trio with Fringe veteran Jon Paterson as our stage manager. This is going to be such a good time! Oh and I've been told that I will actually get to stay true to my own roots, as well as the book's by doing some of the show in French. If you're a long time reader of this blog, you know how important that is to me.

But it's not all stars and roses (see what I did there?) The company wants to up the production values and build some new puppets for the show and they can't do that without your help.

Click on the widget to watch the video - see how I totally beat out an old lady for the role of the Little Prince - and find out how you can help. If you haven't finished your Holiday shopping (and I know you haven't), your donation could leave you with some pretty cool gifts to give away, like a custom puppet video for your loved ones.

In the meantime, check out this up-to-date tour schedule to see if we're coming to a community near you.

Nancy's MUST SEE List at the 2011 Ottawa Fringe

Every year, I put out a list of shows that I really want to see at various Fringes across Canada and every year it always becomes my most popular blog post of the year. So, without further ado, back by popular demand (I think), here's Nancy's MUST SEE List at the 2011 Ottawa Fringe.

Well, first up, hands down, you need to see my show: Roller Derby Saved My Soul. Once you've done that, you may then come back to this post and find out what else I'll be checking out.


Did you go see my show yet? Ok. You may now read on.

STUFF I'VE SEEN Being the theatre traveller that I am, there are many things coming to town that I may have already caught at another festival. The following shows are a guaranteed good-time:

Fruitcake This is Rob Gee's first time at the Ottawa Fringe, but I've seen this show twice already. Yes, twice. Once in Winnipeg and once in Toronto. It's sold out every time. And since he's in the small space that is the Arts Court Library, you can expect more of the same here too.

Canuck Cabaret Ottawa audiences will remember Paul Hutcheson from On Second Thought and Sharon Nowlan from Burlesque Unzipped. They've pooled their considerable talents together for one of the best variety shows I've ever seen. I caught a version at London's Big Comedy Go-To that only included the two of them. This time around, expect a few Fringe favorites (including yours truly!) to pop by and showcase some additional mad skillz.

Fucking Stephen Harper: How I Sexually Assaulted the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada and Saved Democracy I wonder if Rob Salerno would still be presenting this show if the Conservative Government hadn't won the election? I saw one of the very first workshop performances of this piece back when it was just called Fucking Stephen Harper at the, once again, Big Comedy Go-To (where all funny things are born). It was a great little story then and I can't wait to see how it's changed in the past three years. Ottawa audiences will remember Rob from the Best in Venue winning Balls, a funny and touching story about two friends coping with testicular cancer.

Peter n Chris Save the World Since they are two of the funniest guys in the world, it makes sense that they should be the ones to save it. Caught this one at the Toronto Sketch Fest last November. If you saw the Peter N Chris Show at last year's Fringe, you will be pleased to know that the satin jackets once again make an appearance.

PEOPLE I KNOW WHO DO COOL SHIT The following shows I have not seen, but they involve really incredible and talented people I know so I really want to check them out!

Live from the Belly of a Whale Countries Shaped Like Stars broke my fucking heart and then put it back together with glitter and cookie dough. There's no way in hell I'm missing this show.

Complex Numbers I love all things adorkable and Nadine Thornhill. Now I hear she's forgone pants for the duration of the festival. Icky icky pants. If you do not see this show SHE WILL PUT THEM BACK ON! I am pretty sure none of you want that. However, if that's not enough for you, she's the plywright behind past Ottawa Fringe hits Oreo and The Wedding Night. I once called her Norm Foster meets Gilmore Girls. Directed by the wonderful Ken Godmere, good times are pretty much guaranteed.

Curriculum Vitae Oh Jimmy Hogg! The guy is so fucking charming and falls into the category of "People I would watch read the phone book." Fortunately, I'm pretty sure he's bringing a real show to town, because where the heck do you find a phone book in this day and age? Ottawa Fringe audiences will remember him from his Best Comedy Award for Like A Virgin.

Every Story Ever Told Anything Monster Theatre touches is pure genius. They have not been back to Ottawa since 2002 with THE CANADA SHOW: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF CANADA IN ONE HOUR. It was incredible. This time, Ryan Gladstone is flying solo and tries to tell every story ever told... By jove, I think he'll do it!

Dying Hard Don't let the fact that it's a drama pull you away. Mikaela Dyke is one of the brightest and most talented women I know working in Canadian theatre today. She wowed me in Winnipeg with her dramatic performance in Reflections on Giving Birth to a Squid and then turned everything upside down with her incredible comedic chops at the Big Comedy Go-To. My bet? This is going to be the sleeper hit of the Ottawa Fringe.

Pick Your Path Matt Domville wrote my very favorite show ever at the Ottawa Fringe. It was so good I can't remember the name right now, but it basically brought in the funny when Hercules, Robin Hood and Sherlock Holmes walk into a bar... I saw it twice. This show includes Amanda Klaman, who is funny as tits, and is a choose your own adventure type show. Like the books I used to read as a kid, there better be a way for me to cheat and see the ending before I pick it...

The Search for a Reason for Murder Remember last year's Dale Beaner and the Turtle Boy? I do! That's these guys! And they're funny!

Vagabond One of my biggest surprises at the Ottawa Fringe was Tribulations of a Failed Vigilante. I think I caught it because it was short and ended up laughing more than I had in a long time. Well, Dunk a Sok is back and it's in a funky site specific place.

Ok, Ok, I really wanted to make this 10, but I got 12 not counting my own... And there's a bunch more stuff I still want to check out!

There's French stuff, like Le rire de la mer. I'm not normally a fan of Improv, but you've got the Set T-Rex guys (more gems I've discovered at the Big Comedy Go-To) with Callaghan!, Crush Improv with Spotlight On... (and man, I would pay good money to see Cari Leslie make shit up) and the gang from Insensitivity Training who kind of sold me with this trailer for Something with Virgin and Chainsaws.


And and and I've heard interesting things about When Harry Met Harry and The Walk has strong local pedigree and and and...


This list is no where near complete. Just get out there will ya? And let me know what you see!