Third Wall Theatre

Why Twitter?

I often forget that there are a lot of people out there who don't use Twitter or other forms of social media. Some people just don't want to learn, but many simply don't see the use in it. It's for those latter people that I write this post. Here are the top 5 reasons I use Twitter:

Customer Service Thanks to a program like Tweetdeck, I track specific keywords related to my business and my day job. Thanks to this tracking system, I caught a conversation where someone said they used to be subscribers to the Great Canadian Theatre Company but hadn't been in years because they saw a "terrible Joni Mitchell play" that made them lose interest. This play was produced almost 8 years ago and a lot has changed at the theatre since then, including a move to our new location on Wellington Street.

I immediately got in touch with this person to offer them free tickets to opening night of our next production (which at the time was blood.claat: one ooman story). He was shocked that someone would actually take the time to listen to a complaint, gladly accepted my offer and had a wonderful time at the theatre with his fiancé.

Twitter made it possible for me to discover that such a complaint existed and do something about it.

First Hand News Coverage Though the information can at times be incorrect (see for example "Gordon Lightfoot is dead" hoax), for the most part Twitter has been a great place for me to get first hand, breaking news on a variety of topics. For instance, it was on Twitter that I first learned about Charles McFarland stepping down as Artistic Associate with Third Wall Theatre (I was also the first to Tweet it back) and how I found out about the City of Ottawa's Arts & Heritage Cultural Advisory Meeting, a discovery that has led to some very interesting research at work. Lots of events will also live tweet what's going on for those who cannot be there. That's how I knew all about the National Arts Centre's French and English Theatre season launches.

New Connections Twitter has served as an introduction to many theatre practitioners in Canada and across the world. Thanks to this introduction, whenever I've found myself in a different city like Montreal or Toronto, I've had the opportunity to meet these people and make new business connections. I've also been able to meet some great people in Ottawa as well. People like @suzemuse, @cherylgain & @snobiwan among others.

Stay Connected Many of my "real life" friends are on Twitter. This gives me an opportunity to stay connected and see what they are currently doing. This has led to easy spontaneous meetings for coffee or drinks. If you're not following them already, you should say hello to @patgauthier, @HMsurfacing, @nadinethornhill, @SterlingLynch, @evanthornton, @catrionaleger among many many many others. Oh and @krisjoseph is always good for a laugh, but you probably knew that already.

Contests There is always someone having some sort of contest on Twitter and sometimes a quick reply is all it takes. So far I've won movie & theatre tickets, Easter Brunch @CanadasNAC & free passes to @ottawafolk. and those are the only things I can think of right now off the top of my head.

Again, these are my own personal reasons for using Twitter. What are some of yours?

Rideau Awards Nominations

From the Official Press Release: NOMINEES ANNOUNCED FOR THE THIRD ANNUAL RIDEAU AWARDS Peer-assessed awards celebrate Ottawa-Gatineauʼs professional theatre in both official languages

The votes have been tallied and it's time to announce the nominees for the third annual Rideau Awards, which celebrate achievement in professional theatre in the region of Ottawa-Gatineau. This year for the first time, Les Prix Rideau Awards will be fully bilingual, with a full slate of awards to be presented for both English and French-language productions. The awards will be handed out during a celebration to take place on Sunday, April 18, 2010, at De La Salle High School. Tickets go on sale March 15 at La Nouvelle Scène.

The nominees for English-language productions are: Outstanding Performance – Female Mary Ellis, Doubt Patricia Fagan, The Syringa Tree Teri Rata Loretto, Shirley Valentine Margo MacDonald, A Midwinterʼs Dream Tale Emily Pearlman, Countries Shaped Like Stars

Outstanding Performance – Male Pierre Brault, Portrait of an Unidentified Man David Fox, The Net Kris Joseph, Doubt Andy Massingham, Peer Gynt Paul Rainville, The Drawer Boy

Outstanding Lighting Design Martin Conboy, Portrait of an Unidentified Man Martin Conboy, The Drawer Boy Rebecca Miller, Henry V David Mcgladry, A Midwinterʼs Dream Tale Jock Munro, The Children's Republic Jock Munro, The Syringa Tree

Outstanding Set Design Robin Fisher, The Drawer Boy Robin Fisher, The Syringa Tree Ivo Valentik, A Midwinterʼs Dream Tale Ivo Valentik, The Final Twist Sarah Waghorn, Old Times

Outstanding Costume Design Louise Hayden, A Midwinterʼs Dream Tale Louise Hayden, The Girl Who Was Eaten by the Dark Jennifer Triemstra & Karen Rodd, A Guy Named Joe Sarah Waghorn, Henry V Sarah Waghorn, Old Times

Outstanding Stage Management / Technical Award Donna Bourgeault, A View from the Bridge Sean Green & Tina Goralski, Noises Off Louisa Hache, The Children's Republic Samira Rose, The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Outstanding Fringe Production Countries Shaped Like Stars, Mi Casa The Girl Who Was Eaten by the Dark, Ottawa Stilt Union Inclement Weather, Mi Casa Squatter Heart, ReduxDelux We Never Clothed, People with Principles

Outstanding Director AL Connors, A Midwinterʼs Dream Tale Todd Duckworth, The Drawer Boy Janet Irwin, The Children's Republic Lise Ann Johnson, The Syringa Tree Brian Quirt, Portrait of an Unidentified Man

Emerging Artist Award Simon Bradshaw, Actor, The Rideau Project Nicolas Di Gaetano, Creator/Actor, Countries Shaped Like Stars Patrick Gauthier, Director, Countries Shaped Like Stars Brad Long, Actor, The Pillowman Emily Pearlman, Creator/Actor/Writer, Countries Shaped Like Stars

Outstanding Adaptation A Midwinterʼs Dream Tale, A Company of Fools Much Ado About Nothing, A Company of Fools The Net, Great Canadian Theatre Company Pirate Jennyʼs Circus, Counterpoint Players The Radio Show, Gladstone Productions Outstanding New Creation The Children's Republic, Great Canadian Theatre Company/Ottawa School of Speech and Drama Countries Shaped Like Stars, Mi Casa The Girl Who Was Eaten by the Dark, Ottawa Stilt Union Inclement Weather, Mi Casa The Rideau Project, Théâtre la Catapulte

Outstanding Production Countries Shaped Like Stars, Mi Casa The Drawer Boy, Great Canadian Theatre Company A Midwinterʼs Dream Tale, A Company of Fools Portrait of an Unidentified Man, Sleeping Dog Theatre The Syringa Tree, Great Canadian Theatre Company

The nominees for French-language productions are:

Interprétation féminine de l'année Nathaly Charrette, (RAGE) Larissa Corriveau, (L'Illusion comique) Geneviève Couture, (L'honnête homme/ une one woman show) Magali Lemèle, (Le Bout du monde) Emmanuelle Lussier, Martinez (Le Bout du monde) Interprétation masculine de l'année Benjamin Gaillard, (Projet Rideau) Richard Léger, (Et si on tuait l'ennui?) Gilles Provost, (Mardis avec Morrie) Pierre Antoine, Lafon Simard (L'Illusion comique) Victor Trelles, (RAGE)

Conception de l'année Marcel Aymar, (Le Bout du monde), env. sonore Josée Bergeron-Proulx, (Le Bout du monde), décor Diane Bouchard, (L'effet réel des polluants sur les animaux imaginaries), marionnettes Julie Giroux, (Les sept jours de Simon Labrosse), décor Guillaume Houët- Brisebois, (L'honnête homme/ une one woman show), éclairage

Artiste en émergence Josée Bergeron-Proulx, (Le Bout du monde) Emmanuelle Lussier Martinez , interprète, (Le Bout du monde) Pierre Antoine Lafon Simard, interprète, (L'Illusion comique)

Prix technique / de la regie Tina Goralski, (L'Illusion comique) Guillaume Houët- Brisebois, (L'honnête homme/ une one woman show) Benoît Roy, (Le Bout du monde) Lindsay Tremblay, (Le Projet Rideau)

Mise en scène de l'année Joël Beddows (RAGE) Dominique Lafon (L'Illusion comique) Marc Lemyre (L'honnête homme/ une one woman show) Pier Rodier (Cyrano Tag) Anne-Marie White (Le Bout du monde)

Adaptation de l'année Le Bout du monde, Le Théâtre du Trillium Cyrano Tag, Vox Théâtre

Nouvelle création de l'année Cyrano Tag, Vox Théâtre L'effet réel des polluants sur les animaux imaginaires, GESTES théâtre Et si on tuait l'ennui?, Théâtre Dérives Urbaines L'honnête homme/ une one woman show, poésie électrique Le Projet Rideau, Théâtre la Catapulte

Production de l'année Le Bout du monde, Théâtre du Trillium Et si on tuait l'ennui?, Théâtre Dérives Urbaines L'honnête homme/ une one woman show, poésie électrique Le Projet Rideau, Théâtre la Catapulte RAGE, Théâtre la Catapulte

40 English and 11 French professional theatre productions were juried by two teams of local arts professionals (14 English and 10 French) during the 2009 calendar year. Nominations were submitted by secret ballot and tallied by local accountants, Chong Pelot and Marcil-Lavallée. Complete details on award definitions, terms and criteria are available at

Les Prix Rideau Awards initiative was undertaken in late 2006 as a result of discussion at an open meeting of the regional Canadian Actorsʼ Equity Association. The program aims to raise the profile of locally-produced professional theatre by celebrating its successes.

Enjoying Theatre on a Budget

It bothers me when actors tell me they don't go to the theatre. Excuse me? What? How can you not go to the theatre? How can you consider yourself an actor in this town and not know what the local companies are producing? Or who the key people involved are? Or who your competition might be? Often actors and crew go for drinks post-show, which then becomes a valuable opportunity to network, socialize and find out what the next big project coming to town might be.

"But Nancy, going to the theatre is expensive!" I hear you clamour. "Ah! But it does not have to be," is my reply.

As many of you know, I see almost every bit of theatre that comes to Ottawa. Out of 45 professional productions juried by Les Prix Rideau Awards in 2009, I've seen 40. that's not including the community theatre, Fringe, Magnetic North and student productions I've seen. I think last year I probably saw over 100 theatre performances. That averages out to 2 a week, which sounds about right.

This may come as a shock to you, but I am not the type to sit around in my tub with my bath pillow eating bonbons and drinking wine as I use my laptop to peruse the "next big theatrical event" I will be attending (though that's probably because using your laptop in a tub is just asking for trouble). Nor do I have an ample supply of disposable income which I use on $20 to $40 theatre tickets. No. I am a poor broke artist who just wanted to know everything there was to know about my local theatre community and I figured out the cheapest way to do it.

So, dear friends, this is how you too can enjoy your theatre on a budget.

Are you a student? TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT! Both the National Arts Centre, the Great Canadian Theatre Company and Third Wall Theatre in Ottawa have rush tickets for students that go for something like $10 or $11 a piece if you purchase your tickets the day of the performance. Not ideal if it's a show like The Drowsy Chaperone, which sold out rather quickly, but trust me, there are a lot of performances in town that do not sell out and you would be more than happy to see your smiling face walking to the door for your rush ticket.

Of course, the tricky thing here is that most of these companies do not clearly advertise their rush ticket availabilities, which I can understand to a point. So how can you find out about them? Well, you could just call and ask. Then again, why would you do that when you have me?

I almost never took advantage of my student status when I had a valid student card and it still bothers me to this day. Think of all the great shows I missed... As an added bonus, the GCTC also has ADULT Rush Tickets for $20. No i.d. necessary, just show up after noon on any show day to get your discounted ticket.

Are You An Artist? Well, since this blog is loosely geared towards actors and other artists, I'm going to go with yes, you probably are. A lot of companies like the NAC, GCTC, Third Wall, Evolution Theatre offer artist rates. How do you prove you're an artist? Usually with your union card. That said, if you are not in any performers union, I believe they will all accept two contrasting monologues at the box office... but don't quote me on that.

Volunteer! Every theatre company in town needs volunteers and it does come with benefits. In most cases, volunteers actually get to see the show on the night of their shift. I know this is the case for Evolution Theatre and it sometimes works out for other companies like The Gladstone and A Company of Fools (unless they happen to need all their volunteers for a secret ice cream experiment...) I wanted to see the amazing Inclement Weather/Countries Shaped Like Stars again when it was presented at the GCTC, but couldn't afford the $20. I offered my services on opening night and boom! I got to fall in love all over again.

The added bonus of volunteering means you get to know the people involved with the production. Today's front of house volunteer may be tomorrow's performer... or at least that's what I keep telling myself.

Join Mailing Lists, Facebook Groups and watch Twitter Feeds How else will you know what shows are playing in town? (Other than the brilliantly up-to-date What’s On – À l’affiche listing by the Ottawa Theatre Network) Lots of theatre companies (perhaps taking a page from my book) run online contests and special promotions for their members. Vision Theatre, Evolution Theatre and Third Wall Theatre have all been known to do this. The Ottawa Fringe Festival ran a brilliant Friday Trivia contest on Twitter where you could win free tickets and other gift certificates. A Company of Fools also sends out a very informed newsletter every once in a while, so you probably want to sign up for that one too.

Pay Attention to Pay-What-You-Can! Every single company in town has a Pay-What-You-Can performance at some point in their run (and if they don't, they probably should). For instance, when I did Shining City with SevenThirty Productions, we had a PWYC matinee on the first Saturday in the run. During the summer, the Fools shows are by Pass The Hat donations. PWYC/PTH means whatever you can afford. Really, you have absolutely no excuse not to go. And how do you find out about the PWYC? See the point above this one.

Previews and Dress Rehearsals These shows are often free or cheap and take place before the official opening night. Sure you might not be getting a final polished performance, but when is a performance ever final? Besides, you're doing the theatre company a great service by being part of the test audience.

Know Somebody Finally, if not a single one of these suggestions works for you, call someone you know who might be involved with the production. (See, this is where all the networking you've been doing after attending performances is going to pay off.) Let whomever know that you can't afford to see their show but you really want to. Perhaps they will be able to offer you a comp or a discounted ticket. That said, only use this method if you really can't make it to the show otherwise. You do not want to abuse of this privilege! It's just not nice.

Or be friends with someone who happens to get a lot of invitations to shows (you know, like me). Typically these people get two free tickets to a performance and they might not have anyone to go with that night (because they happen to be single and can't meet anyone new because they spend all their time attending the theatre by themselves... ahem) I'm sure I they would be happy to have some company with which to discuss the performance post-show. Just make sure you buy me them a drink after. It's only fair.


What? This still isn't working for you? Alright. Fine. Here's my final solution: start your own theatre company, build it from the ground up over at least five years, somewhere in there start a blog, become a valued and indispensable part of your city's theatre scene, and watch the invitations pour in. It worked for me, but it's a lot of work. You might just want to pay the $10 instead.

I'll be seeing you at the theatre!

The Popular Vote

It's a regular blogapalooza week here at So You Want To Be An Actor (Redux). For some reason I've been blogging almost every day. I guess there's just a lot going on, including the following on how you can help the Ottawa Theatre Network. I know that this is very much a popularity contest for money. That said, with funding being so difficult to get in the first place, I don't really like passing up any opportunity that might help support my theatre community.


Be a Part of Ottawa’s Renaissance: Vote Now, Vote Daily, Tell A Friend

Do you care about Ottawa professional theatre?

Do you want to help the Ottawa Theatre Network and the Great Canadian Theatre Company make a lasting contribution to Ottawa professional theatre?

Here’s you chance! It will only take a few minutes of your time. We promise.

To find out more, click here:

Remember, you don't even have to live in Ottawa to vote and you can do so daily!

A direct link to our proposal itself can be found here:

In addition, Third Wall Theatre is also looking for support for their Shakespeare Ensemble Project. Since you can vote for multiple proposals, I suggest you also check them out here:


After the rush of theatre viewing that was June and July, it's felt weird to not be seeing shows on a regular basis in the last couple of months. Well, all that's over now! There is currently a veritable smorgasbord of theatre currently available to us in the Ottawa region. A few weeks ago I saw Noises Off at The Gladstone. It's a pretty funny British farce that is still going strong for another couple of weeks.

The Great Canadian Theatre Company has the one-woman tour de force that is The Syringa Tree, which I'm really looking forward to seeing.

Tonight, you've got the opening of Third Wall's take on the Harold Pinter classic, Old Times.

And tomorrow there's another opening night with Vision Theatre's version of The Pillowman. I love Martin McDonagh's work and I've purposely gone against the grain and haven't read much about the production in order to be fully surprised and enthralled.

I'm going to have a busy time trying to squeeze in all these performances before I leave town next week, but I can't wait!