Showing posts from October, 2011

Cowardly Kiss Theatre Presents Night Time - No Cowards Here!

I took some time to chat via email with Andrea Beca about Cowardly Kiss Productions, Night Time and what is on the horizon for this company in Edmonton. I am always excited when people commit to what they believe in and take risks while enriching Edmonton's theatrical community so the announcement about an entire season from this company was welcome news for me. Andrea, you are the Artistic Director of Cowardly Kiss Productions. I have seen a few of your shows at Fringes and last year's Bunburying in the regular theatre season. Can you give us a bit of background on yourself and the company and what you have done in the past? Sure! I've been writing my whole life, from my own "radio" show when I was in grade 1 ( my mum still has the tapes I recorded - good lord!) to novels in elementary school. I started writing plays seriously when I was around 16, which was also the first year I got involved with Nextfest at Theatre Network. Everything sort of snowballed from

The Snow Globe Festival - Filling the need for Quality Children's Theatre in Edmonton in the Winter Months

Recently I noticed a lot of buzz on Twitter and Facebook about a new theatre festival for children happening this winter. The Festival was called The Snow Globe Festival and was running the week prior to the Christmas holidays in the Avenue Theatre. As a mother of 2 elementary school aged children I have long wished for more theatre programming throughout the year. I get my kids out to the Fringe and have occasionally been able to take them to productions at FTA, The Citadel and Concrete Theatre, but have always wanted more choices for them. And, as they age, I have discovered that I need more variety and options for them. This Snow Globe Festival seemed right up our alley. I took a little time to ask the festival's creator, Ellen Chorley, some questions. W hat is the Snow Globe Festival? Who does is serve and why did you think it would be a good idea for Edmonton and the 118th Avenue area? T he Snow Globe Festival of Children’s Theatre is a new Edmonton Festival created

A Great Opportunity for Edmonton Playwrights of All Levels...

Alberta Playwrights’ Network is proud to announce the start of the: Edmonton Playwrights’ Gym Want a creative workout? Want to kick-start for a new project? Or maybe you’d like to take a chance and try some new approaches to your writing process? Playwrights’ Gym is unique opportunity for playwrights to exercise their crafts via a series of in-class and take-home writing exercises, weekly discussions and sessions with senior Canadian playwrights and dramaturgs. Topics and writing assignments will give participants creative workouts in crafting dialogue, building characters, using structure, driving dramatic action, unlocking intuition and editing. There will be homework each week, sharing, and timed exercises in each class. Playwrights are encouraged to work on a new short piece or use the class to enhance something they are already working on, but this is not necessary. Playwrights at all levels as invited to participate. Classes will be convened by Director/ Dramaturg Heather Ingli

Busy Week - then I get serious about writing!!!!

This Friday I will be onstage for the Drama 483 scene I am in. I am enjoying the people I am working with and my director is positive and organized. We run too much, but that's my knees talking. Oliver has an additional basketball practice tonight to help get the team in better shape before Saturday's game. I have dress rehearsal for my midterm Drama 257 presentation tomorrow and I have to get a handle on it. I am doing it okay, but I want to be far more 'in' than I feel. I also have this tiny monologue that is kicking my butt for some bizarre reason. Once this week is over I shall have some breathing room. Hopefully I will no longer be sick (it's hanging on - grrr) and I will get to writing. At least that's the plan. In the view of my lack of focus recently I am trying to figure out where I want to go. If I am honest with myself it is the writing. However, I do enjoy the acting and directing, as well, and feel that those things enrich my writing, but the time t

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

The last few weeks have felt very strange to me. I have been sick, that hasn't helped, but I have also been in a weird kind of funk about what my focus is right now. Because the last two years I had a purpose and artistic vision through Walterdale, now that my term as AD is complete I am realizing I need to find that same kind of purpose for my own life, but I am not sure how. I know I need to really focus on my writing, but I am not spending the time I should on that. There are other personal things I need to be doing with regards to my health, but I am not spending the time I should on that, either ( being sick has not helped there ). I feel stretched thin with my kids - trying to encourage them and help them and get them to practices and the like, but I feel like I am not doing that well. I must admit a bit of regret for the basketball because its irregularity upsets my sense of planning and scheduling, but I see it's potential for good things for both my boys. I do regret t

Theatre as Writing Workshop

Tonight I took in Michel and Ti-Jean at Theatre Network. It was a very well-executed production of George Rideout's play with a gorgeous set, pitch-perfect soundscape and phenomenal acting. The script itself doesn't follow a traditional arc - it's an imaginary meeting between Michel Tremblay and Jack Kerouac - but instead becomes a very cool formula for a lesson in storytelling. I have to recommend this for any writer. I have to. It still has my brain buzzing with ideas about storytelling and character. There's more to it than that. The analysis of Les Belles Souers is the absolute best and should be required viewing for anyone taking a Canadian theatre course. Brian Dooley as Kerouac and Vincent Hoss-Demarais as Tremblay are exceptional actors and have true chemistry together onstage. I feel lucky to live in this city. I have seen so much good theatre this season and it is only the second week of October!

Thinking about the Ugly in people...

Last night I went to the Opening Night of Reasons to be Pretty by Neil LaBute at Walterdale Theatre. Overall the show was done as you should do any LaBute show - out there, unapologetic and not hiding the ugly side of human nature, but this is not a review. This is more a discussion of the content of the play and other works by LaBute. This is the second LaBute show I have seen - the other one was a poorly directed, but generally well-acted production of The Shape of Things that I saw a few years ago. I really have a hard time with his work. I know there are people who love his stuff. They love delving into the more despicable aspects of human nature. I just have a hard time with it all. I always leave thinking 'are people really like that? ' I hope not. I know there are people out there who have baser, more selfish, and more superficial reasons for doing what they do, but I guess I have a hard time going through life thinking about people that way. I try to be positive and h

Making Connections...

One of the things that I loved about being the AD at Walterdale was that I often got requests from people to help them find someone for their project. Walterdale has a diverse membership and often has people of ages and demographics that are useful. I liked searching through the membership and connecting the right people to the right opportunity. Sometimes this took a bit of time, but usually if someone explained what they needed I could think of a few people to suggest to them. Despite no longer having that position, I was pleased this week to be able to continue with that and I think I might have connected a very talented person that I met through Walterdale with a fabulous opportunity (maybe even two opportunities). This is exciting for me. I like getting talented people to the right places. It was a good thing. I hope I can continue to do things like this! In other connections news, today I met with the Playwright and Dramaturge that I will be working with for New Works at the Uni