Showing posts from June, 2013

My First Sterlings!

This Monday night I attended the 26th Annual Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards which celebrate professional theatre in Edmonton.  I have never gone before, but have known many who do and who have been nominated but I never quite felt that it was something I would feel at home at.  Boy, was I wrong! I was delighted to know at least half of the people in the room, if not more, and to regard those people as friends. That was a delightful surprise.  So why go this year? I went this year because I have seen so many shows this year that I actually felt invested in them. Doesn't that sound weird?  But it's true, having sat in those audiences watching those performances and seeing those effects and production elements, I wanted to celebrate the nominees and the winners. Everyone looked fabulous.  I am not just saying that.  Edmonton's theatre community is phenomenally good looking.  It is hard to pick a best dressed, but there were some amazingly gorgeous women there.  I wish I ha

When the Boys are Away... The Mom plans her Calendar!

My kids have gone fishing with their Grandpa this weekend up North at Grist Lake.  As a result the house is very quiet.  It feels weird.  I realized that when the kids are home I am always "on" and with them being gone I feel this void of intent.  It was weird this afternoon when I realized that I didn't have to get home at any particular time and I kind of lost focus.  I dream of having time to myself but there I was, with time to myself, and I hadn't planned to do anything so I was just wandering aimlessly... Ha ha ha... If I hadn't been so busy leading up to them going today I might have planned to do some of the things I want to do, like write... It was a lost opportunity but it was also very interesting to see where my brain went without the overriding focus of the kids to power it. Anyhow, I took the time to map out the calendar for my upcoming theatre and other things. It's all on my iPad but it needs to be transferred to the Big Calendar.  I have Fre

Checking in with the Girls at Full Monty...

Yesterday was a grumpy day for me.  Some emails turned a lovely day into a really annoying one.  I mastered the delete button and tried to keep it at bay, but the 'issue' was literally something that would have been solved in less than 5 minutes by anyone in the building ( that's how long it took me to do it after I drove across the city ). Anyhow, now I am getting myself worked up again. It's a lump in the oatmeal... I'll survive! Anyhow, after that I attended a fabulous meeting of the Fringe Artist's Relations Committee .  I am excited for this year's festival and the team has some great energy and ideas that I think will be great for both artists and audiences!  Best new thing - a Fringe iphone App! Look it up - Edm Fringe.  A lot of the information is forthcoming as schedules are not finalized, but you can already tell how awesome this is going to be in application! Play in a Day is also returning - yay! I really liked the energy in the room as we

Date Night with Martin Dubé, oh, and my husband...

This past Monday, we received tickets from our Investor's Group Rep to go see Martin Dubé, an Impersonator.  Mark and I had seen Mr. Dubé perform in Fort McMurray years ago at one of the Keyano Galas and we remembered him as being quite entertaining so we did a bit of transportation juggling so that we could catch the show.  It was in the beautiful Winspear Centre and we got exceptional seats ( 4th row centre! ) so we sat back and enjoyed the show.  Now, for those of you who know me, an Impersonator is not my usual cup of tea.  Many years the Investor's Group show is a Stand-Up Comedian and I usually pass on those ( Mark still went but he would bring a friend instead of me ), but because I remembered the show being fun from before and because mark and I haven't had a chance to go out much together lately I made it happen. Anyhow, about the show... It was very good and tight. I watch this kind of a show the way you would a Cirque du Soleil show.  It is not about the charac

Do You Like Improv?

So when I was in Toronto, my sister took me to an Improv Show at the Soul Pepper Theatre.  The performers were from The National Theatre of the World and I had a great time.  I forgot how fun Improv can be.  You see, I get so busy with my theatre and play-going, that I haven't gone to Improv for a long time.  Which I know is sad, considering I live in the same city as Rapid Fire Theatre.  Now that the kids are getting a little older, I am going to try and make it out to some! So, for those of you who like Improv, or for those of you who have never gone, I encourage you to check out Improvaganza put on by Rapid Fire Theatre which starts tomorrow and runs until the 29th of June. That's 10 DAYS of Improv! Every year at Improvaganza , Rapid Fire Theatre hosts improvisers from across Canada, North America and beyond. Rapid Fire Theatre hosts the best comedy acts they can find, plus Theatresports matches, radio shows, workshops with amazing artists, and tons of social events t

New Projects - Death Comes to Auntie Norma and Proof!

The other evening we had our first real rehearsal for the Fringe show I am directing, Death Comes to Auntie Norma .  As I inherited the majority of the cast from a previous production it was also a bit of a meet and greet for me.  I love beginning a new project and it was fun to read it through with the cast and hear their voices in the roles.  I wrote notes in my script and ticked off places where I got ideas and generally it got me charged up about it which is a very good thing! I have to admit that with the completion of my last two projects and then my trip out East I kind of shut off my drive so the read was just what I needed to get myself geared up. After the read through - we started working.  I used the system that my friend AM taught me that she learned from her time at Seacoast Studios with Scott Swann.  It is always fun to start this process with people who have never tried it before.  There is a look of fear at the beginning and then by the end of the rehearsal everyone

This Simplifying Stuff Takes A Lot of Time!

Since returning from my trip I started work on a project that has been a long time coming - purging the garage!  It's a complete mess as it has become the repository for any stuff we just need to move out of the house.  It's also complicated by the fact that someone in our house likes to buy stuff that they think they might need someday and that person also has a philosophy of if one thing is good, three must be better .  Let's just say they are wrong on that.  So, periodically, to counter-act the accumulation of stuff I do some culling.  It has been far too long, however, since the last cull and the accumulation is troubling.  However, I did some good work this week.  I took a bunch of things to Goodwill and threw out a bunch of other things and actually managed to clear some shelf space (yay!). There is a lot more to do.  I think when I have done my culls in the past I have primarily focused on my own things to reduce, and this has been an error as I wasn't really th

A Lovely Trip to the East! And Stratford!

I got back yesterday from my trip to Toronto to visit my sister.  It was a lovely visit, although damp, and it was much needed.  It was great to see a few friends from the way back as well as my sister and her husband.  One of the highlights of the trip was a short road trip to the Stratford Festival where we caught Tommy and Fiddler on the Roof .  I have been to Stratford before, but hadn't realized how close to Toronto it was.  The 2 hour drives there and back were great opportunities for more visiting with my sis and we made the most of it. The Shows: We saw Tommy on Friday evening after driving up and checking into our cute bed and breakfast, The Artful Lodger. I was really geared up to see this show because Robert Markus was playing Tommy and as you probably know from my reviews of Next to Normal (Citadel)  and The Rocky Horror Show (Citadel) I am a definite fan.  He and the show did not disappoint!  From the first chord of the show you knew you were seeing somethi

Just a quick post from the road!

Made it safely to Toronto last night after an uneventful plane ride, which my brother-in-law assured me are the best kinds of plane rides! A nice supper and commencement of the visiting with my sister started immediately! It is wet here - raining a lot - and I discovered that I packed optimistically with only one pair of long pants.  Everything else is capris or skirts.  So I will head out to Yonge-Eglinton Centre tomorrow to look for warmer clothes and more socks. I fully intended to be in sandals the whole time! Ha ha ha! Anyhow, I had a great pedicure this morning while Annemarie was at work and then we met up with friends for supper.  I connected with my university roommate Jackie and met Annemarie's friend Sarah and Sarah's mother Jan.  It was a great, if quick, visit with Jackie who looks as though she has not aged a day since university. She is an actress and has just started rehearsing for her upcoming Fringe show, Mo and Jess Kill Susie .  I wish I were here in July

Two Kids With P.A.T.'s - I stress...

So, I have kids who are three grade levels apart.  What that means is that every three years they will both be writing P.A.T.s (Provincial Achievement Tests).  As a former grade nine teacher I am all too familiar with these.  For me as a teacher, it was always about trying to figure out from the results how I could teach my kids better. For me as a parent, it becomes something completely different.  I have written before that I have been very frustrated by the Elementary School reporting system.  I find it useless to me in terms of evaluating my children at least as a communication tool.  I have my own observations of my kids, and I want to be able to help them achieve and learn better, but the evaluations seemed more based on "Goal Setting Booklets" that I have to fill out with my kid or whether or not I sign off on their reading than on actually evaluating what they can and cannot do.   My kingdom for a Rubric or a list of acquired Curriculum Objectives! Anyhow, the idiocy

Closing Night... and On to the Next Thing... But First... A Wee Break!

We closed the show last night.  It was a great show with a fabulous audience and like most closing nights it had that feeling in the air of something extra special.  Overall, it was a great experience for me as a director.  I had a couple issues with actors not trusting my vision, but it all came together. I think when people have been allowed to do whatever they feel like in the past, they have a hard time cultivating discipline when asked to.  Sometimes it takes longer for people to trust the Director and you do what you can to earn it, but you can't always compel it to happen.  All I can do is work hard and work in excellence and let my work speak for my skills. I know that the show was very good and underneath the laughter causing moments there was a real truth, so that made me very happy, and it made many people cry. An added bonus was meeting new wonderful people who I will hopefully get to work with again and working with some favorites from the past.  It's always good