Back in February I decided it was time to take on a new project, working in an area I had not worked before: Production Management. It’s an area I’d been wanting to try out for a bit, so when Theatre Terrific offered me the opportunity I jumped on it. And oh man, I have learned a lot during this process.
My job began with the job of finding us a location to do the show. The parameters I was given were: it had to be a Vancouver city park, it had to be wheelchair accessible, it had to have accessible washrooms, it had to be available on Canada Day and it had to have some sort of water feature (a pond, a river, a marsh, something). So I got to hunting. I started online with the Vancouver Parks website which has search capabilities and I searched for parks with washrooms. Did you know that out of the 215 parks in the city of Vancouver only 71 of them have washroom facilities? Then I removed the parks that I knew were unavailable on Canada Day because of existing activities or that really clearly had no water features. The list was still around 40 which was too many to drive around and check out to see if they had good water features. Because, as great as the Parks website is, it can be really hard to tell if a given park has certain features. To save time and gas, I turned to google maps, plotting in the addresses of each park and looking at them via google maps satellite images to see if I could spot water features. Using this method I narrowed the list down to 12. 12 seemed a much more manageable number to explore, so I grabbed a car2go and drove around the city checking out the various parks. Some of them didn’t have real water features. Others I couldn’t find the washrooms in. And some just weren’t conducive to making theatre. So I narrowed the list down to three. Three parks with very different personalities that could each become the home of this not-yet-created play. But the one I was most excited – and that we ultimately ended up using – was Andy Livingstone Park. It is an absolutely beautiful space that I had no idea even existed prior to this project and even better it fulfilled all of our show criteria and fired up the creative imaginations of the writer/director/co-director/composer.
That was early March. Now here we are at the end of June and we have a 14 actor piece featuring music, a giant puppet, greek gods, environmentalists, and fishermen. The forecast for today is rain, but we are heading to the park anyways to do our 2pm performance.
By the way, the whole thing is by donation, so if you’re looking for something today at 2pm today, tomorrow or Sunday you should come down and check it out.
I’ll be there every afternoon this weekend overseeing the volunteers and keeping an eye on all the technical elements.