Showing posts from April, 2012

I Made This! Or Rather, I am Making This!

The past 8-9 weeks I have been involved in APN's Edmonton Playwright's Circle working on a piece called Little Monsters .  The Circle experience has been great. Led by facilitator Conni Massing and filled with 8 playwrights of various stages in their writing career, we supported each other and helped everyone to write the best play they could. The most important thing for me is that it gave me deadlines and those are so much easier to write towards than a blank future.  Accountability is so important for a writer.  It would be wonderful to think that we could motivate ourselves, but for me, it is the deadline.  Anyhow, I started this piece at Playworks Ink in November during a workshop with Daniel MacIvor.  Prior to the workshop I did not even know it was a play.  I was about halfway done a first draft by mid-December, but I stalled until I joined the circle.  I stuck it in my life in a time I thought was pretty free (that was thrown off by Gibson being in Titanic) but I made

Midsummer Night's Dream: Watching with Oliver...

Last night I took my 10 year old son, Oliver, to see A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Citadel Theatre. He's almost 11 and is getting more mature and I felt that he was at a good age to expose him to Shakespeare.  I knew that he wasn't going to 'get it all' but hopefully he would 'get' some of it and from what I heard about this production it would be a great first exposure.  The show was lovely, the actors were quite comfortable in dealing with the language and Tom Wood's production wisely approaches the play in a very physical way.  Everything looks beautiful and there is a bit of real magic evoked with the fairies.  Oliver loved Puck (Jonathan Purvis) for his leaping and tumbling and flying around the space.  He also loved the gorgeous swing that Titania and Bottom sail over the audience on. With the lovers in the woods, Oliver was a little bored by the kissing and arguing, however he was totally invested in the fight scene (which was excellently

Those Darn Cute Kids! Sound of Music at The Citadel...

Last night I saw a Preview performance of The Sound of Music at the Citadel.  I saw the show the last time they did it and loved it.  I have to admit, I am a bit of a fan of the show - having watched the movie over 30 times I am sure. I restrained myself, and although I mouthed the words to the well-known songs, I did not make any sound.  They really should do a sing-a-long night though... Anyhow, I digress... The show was lovely.  There are two things you have to do well to get Sound of Music right - get the iconography correct and get all the 'kid-stuff' right.  This production does well on both those fronts.  With such a well-known show, the fans demand certain standards for the stage production.  They do not want a re-invention of it.  It's historical and since so many are familiar with the movie, they do not want shows to steer too far from what they already know.  This production wisely included I Have Confidence and Something Good (two songs not in the


The 2012 Alberta Provincial Election is on Monday, April 23 and I still don't know who I am voting for. My beliefs are a mish-mash of the parties on the roster. I think if most people actually knew the the actual policies they would find the same applies to them. There are some people who fit neatly into a party, but really I think most people vote based on what they think a party stands for without really understanding anything about what that party says they will do or what those policies would actually do in practice. As always during an election, I am saddened by the vitriol of the various factions. It comes worse from my friends on the left than the ones on the right - not sure why that is, but it does. Truth be told, I don't think many of us in Alberta will notice a dramatic change in our lives no matter who wins. We are pretty spoiled and we always forget this. There are some (a small percentage) who have it rough in this province, in this country, but not many. I hope I

A Week of Late Nights - Auditions for Nine!

Last weekend were the official auditions for Nine (playing at Walterdale in July). On the roster were over 65 people which made me very happy. A large turn-out meant that we would have a lot to choose from to make the best possible cast. Well, not only were there many, but there a lot of really strong auditioners! This meant that we had 2-6 possibilities for each of the roles we were calling back and a large group of people from which to construct the cast. I had to say NO to a lot of strong people - we looked at all three areas (singing, acting and dancing) as determiners, as well as scheduling (always a challenge with busy, talented people). After all was said and done we got a cast that I am thrilled to work with. The hardest part for me is the NOs. There are people I do not have that were absolutely brilliant. There are some that are newer and less experienced and therefore a little less polished in their audition and hopefully they come back and I will get to work with them in th

Love and Whispers...

Hard to believe, but after spending so much time this week in a theatre shepherding my son, I still managed to see two more shows this weekend. I was tired, but glad to catch more of the fabulous theatre we are fortunate to have in Edmonton. Friday night I worked coffee bar at Walterdale for their current production The Love of the Nightingale directed by Alex Hawkins. The play is a dramatization of the story of sisters Procne and Philomele. I enjoyed reading the script and it was interesting seeing it brought to life onstage. The production is carefully directed and the subtle sound design by Erin Foster-O'Riordan gives it momentum in it's silences. The costumes by Geri Dittrich are wonderful and lush and bare skin abounds! Rachel Kent, as Philomele, is luminous and in the first act my favorite scenes are between her and the doomed ship's captain, Kevin Oulette. In the second act, however, it is the fiery Procne, played by Marsha Amanova, who pulled me in. Justin Deveau a

And We Go Sailing...

Titanic came and went quickly. Three shows over two days in the gorgeous Winspear Centre. Gibson did well for a 7 1/2 year old dealing with late nights and early mornings. He was a bit of a handful backstage but onstage he did what was asked of him and (in my humble opinion) was one of the most skilled wavers on the stage! Although I saw the show primarily from the little window in the Stage Right ASM room, I can certainly say it was a wonderful in-concert performance. So many strong voices and with the addition of the Orchestra and Choir it was glorious in the space. Staging was wisely kept simple so as to not detract from the music and the story. Gibson learned a lot ( we did a list on the way home of what he learned, but much of it was very silly due to his sleep-deprived state of being ) and as a theatre-mother I was very pleased with his experience. The cast and crew were great with him, especially Cole Chapelsky and Joy Quilala who played his on-stage parents. I liked that his ex

The Deep Blue Sea...

This week will be all about Titanic. I have been to about 2/3 of the rehearsals (whenever Gibson is called) and have enjoyed seeing this show come together. It's a hybrid In-Concert production with costumes and some blocking. There will not be an actual ship on stage ( Gibson was wondering about that ). It's been a great experience as a mother to see him integrate with the cast and the show experience and since he is the only kid it has been so good to see the cast welcome him and engage with him. I thought I would share some of my favourite moments of the show ( outside the moments when my child is in scenes as those obviously are my absolute favourites! ). These favourites shift from run to run, but overall, these are the ones that stand out. #1 - Kyle Thulien singing No Moon - His voice is lovely and so suited to this mood-filled song. Every time he starts singing it I have to stop what I am doing and watch. I love the whole song as it leads into the scenes of other p