Tag Archive: New Years Resolutions

In Anticipation: 2013 Resolutions

Wanted: As much fun in 2013 as I had in 2012

Wanted: As much fun in 2013 as I had in 2012

1. I resolve to focus more fully on the people I am physically with, putting aside my phone and the digital world so that I can really connect.

2. I resolve to buy a condo in the first half of the year and to have the money saved from my tour to pay for any renovations I want to do.

3. I resolve to focus more on the amazing and positive things that are happening than complaining about the negative.

4. I resolve to finally visit New York.

5. I resolve to be able to say “This was the best year yet” at the end of the year.


2012: Looking Forward

My resolution for 2012 is quite simple (and I know Barney Stinson would approve):


What does that look like?

It looks like writing a biography that includes the phrase “… is Ms. Dawson’s European stage management debut.”

It looks like producing my own theatre with friends.

It looks like taking a number of free online MIT graduate level management and leadership classes.

It looks like blogging more frequently.

It looks like continuing to have the best group of incredibly talented girl friends in Vancouver and Toronto and elsewhere.

It looks like wide open space to go on new adventures.

It looks like making brand new mistakes.

It looks like me.

2010 in Review: Shows I Saw

Catalyst Theatre's Frankenstein.

Two years ago I resolved to see more theatre. In 2009 I saw 76 shows (average of 6/month). For 2010 I knew I still wanted to see a lot of theatre, but I was planning to scale back a bit. I ended up seeing 84 plays in 2010 (average of 7/month). Clearly the scaling back didn’t work out.

The shows I saw varied. I saw shows across Canada – Victoria, Chemainus, Vancouver, Whistler, Abbotsford, Langley, Kamloops, Edmonton & Toronto. I attended theatres of all sizes, from CanStage, The Citadel, The Playhouse & The Arts Club to a movie rental store after hours, an isometric dome, the Havana, and a bicycle built for four. There was Shakespeare, opera, world premieres, musicals, dance pieces, puppet shows, british farce, TYA, fairy tales and theatre that merged technology like never before. I saw my friends take their work to new places and observed first hand as children were drawn into new worlds for the first time. I saw shows from all level of performers – from students honing their craft to community theatre full of kids & adults alike to the fringe festival to some of the finest professional artists in the country. I saw plays that inspired me, angered me, amused me, annoyed me, entertained me, bored me, challenged me, preached to me, confused me, haunted me, and re-energized me. I sat in my seat at the end of the show, unable to clap because of the power of what I had just seen. I walked out of the theatre at intermission because I couldn’t imagine sitting through another hour of torture. I was taken to worlds that I had only previously seen in my imagination.

There are shows I missed and regret missing. Topping that list are Catalyst Theatre’s Nevermore and Robert LePage’s Blue Dragon. Hamlet at the

Mi Casa Theatre's Countries Shaped Like Stars

Havana. All of Main St. Theatre Co’s productions. Leaky Heaven’s Streetcar Named Desire. Disnye’s Lion King. The Drowning Girls at the Gateway.

As I look forward to another year of theatre in 2011, my resolution is simple and twofold. First of all, I need to find some balance. To see 84 shows while working full time as a stage manager for 46 weeks of the year means that I did very little else. I need to take the time to revisit some of my other hobbies and relationships that are not connected to theatre (a theme I am hearing from others in the theatre world as we head into 2011). The second part is no regrets, and I mean that specifically in relation to the shows I see. When 2012 rolls around I don’t want to regret having missed any shows that I’ve heard were amazing, but that I made some excuse not to see at the time.

Here is the official list of plays I saw in 2010 (in what is very close to chronological order):
1.Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Blackbird Theatre)
2.Forbidden Broadway (Fighting Chance Productions)
3.Debt: The Musical (Firehall Arts Centre)
4.Scorched (Theatre Inconnteau & Itsazoo)
5. Nix (The Only Animal)
6.You Are Here (Project X Theatre)
7.The Show Must Go On (PuSh/Brel)
8.Passion Project (PT)
9.Dance Marathon (Bluemouth inc & Boca Del Lupo)
10.Ivanov (United Players)
11.The Canada Show (Monster Theatre)
12.Where the Blood Mixes (Playhouse/Belfry/Firehall)
13. Hive 3
1.Tour (Universal Limited)
2.The Interview (Boca Del Lupo)
14.Matt & Ben (Fighting Chance Productions)
15.Paradise Garden (Arts Club Theatre)
16.Nixon in China (Vancouver Opera)
17.Donald & Lenore (Felix Culpa)
18. Mexico City & The Russian Play (2b/Ruby Slippers)
19.The Love List (Vancouver Playhouse)
20.Queen Lear (Presentation House)
21.As You Like It (Trinity Western University)
22.Billy Bishop Goes to War (Arts Club)

Vancouver Opera's Nixon in China

23.Breath of Life (United Players)
24.Refuge of Lies (Pacific Theatre)
25.A Year with Frog & Toad (Carousel Theatre)
27.Ali & Ali 7: Hey Brother (Or Sister) Can You Spare Some Hope & Change? (Neworld Theatre)
28.SPINE (Realwheels & UofA)
29.Comment Devenir Parfait En Trois Jours (How to become perfect in 3 days) (Theatre la Sezieme)
30.Bat Boy: The Musical (Patrick Street Productions)
31.Prodigals (20-Something Theatre)
32.Frankenstein (Catalyst/CanStage)
33.Death & The Maiden
34.If We Were Birds (Tarragon Theatre)
35.Canuck Cabaret (Paul Hutchinson)
36.David Ives’ Shorts (Stones Throw)
37.The Sunshine Boys (Chemainus Theatre Festival)
38.The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Arts Club)
39.Much Ado About Nothing (Bard on the Beach)
40.12th Night (What You Will Equity Co-op)
41.Munsch Ado About Nothing (Chemainus Theatre Festival)
42.Countries Shaped Like Stars (Mi Casa & Neanderthal Arts Festival)
43.The Remarkable Emily Carr (Chemainus Theatre Festival)

Fringe Festival
44. Bildungsroman (Itsazoo)
45.The Exquisite Hour (Relephant Productions)
46.Titania (Frances Kitson)
47.Lust of the Swamp Witch (Mad, Bad & Dangerous Theater)
48.Every Job I’ve Ever Had (Barry Smith Presents)
49.Oh The Humanity! (Staircase Xi Productions)
50.Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (Relephant Productions)
51.When Harry Met Harry (Flaming Locomotive)
52.Deadley (And Why Not Productions)
53.Racoonery! (Morgan Brayton)
54.Peter N’ Chris Save the World (Peter N’ Chris)
55.Value Village (Boca Del Lupo)
56.52 Pick Up (WE Productions)
57.Happily Ever After? (Polema Productions)

Arts Club/Electric Company's Tear The Curtain!

58.No Sex Please, We’re British (Royal City Theatre Company)
59.The Busy World is Hushed (One2 Theatre)
60.Tear the Curtain! (Arts Club/Electric Company)
61.Don Quixote (Arts Club/Axis Theatre)
62.Miracle in Rwanda (Little i Productions)
63.The Park (Studio 58)
64.The Fantasticks (Vancouver Playhouse)
65.The Trespassers (Belfry)
66.Wingfield’s Progress (Chemainus Theatre Festival)
67.The Skin of Our Teeth (Trinity Western University)
68.Oh, Susanna: The Halloween Edition (Varscona Theatre)
69.Studies in Motion (Electric Company/Citadel)
70.’Night, Mother (The Good Company Collective)
71. Dr. Egg and the Man with No Ear (The Cultch)
72.Playland (Pacific Theatre)
73.The Madonna Painter (Theatre at UBC)
74.What About Luv? (Downstage Right Productions)
75.IRL: In Real Life (Shadows & Dreams)
76.Mimi: A Poisoner’s Comedy (Touchstone Theatre/Firehall Arts Centre)
77.The 39 Steps (Arts Club Theatre)
78.The Secret in the Wings (Studio 58)
79.Peter Pan (Gallery 7)
80.It’s a Wonderful Life (Arts Club)
81.Lucia D’Lammamour (Vancouver Opera)
82.Christmas on the Air (Midnight Theatre Collective/Pacific Theatre)
83.Brief Encounter (Vancouver Playhouse)
84.Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: The Musical (Arts Club)

2009 In Review: Shows I Saw

Fringe!One of my New Year’s resolutions last year was to start seeing more theatre.  I had decided that if I was really passionate about this, I probably needed to see more than 2 shows a month.  I settled on 3 per month, figuring that to be a fairly easy place to start.  I did, of course, surpass those numbers, seeing 76 plays in 2009.  That averages out to just over 6 shows per month.  Double my original goal.  Below you will see my list of shows, in nearly chronological order (some are out by a little bit, but its very close).

The shows I have seen vary. I saw plays in Canada & the USA. I saw plays at the largest local theatres (Playhouse, Arts Club, Bard),  at the smallest (Little Mountain Studios) and everything in between.  I saw kids doing Shakespeare in the park in Kamloops, I saw my first show at Vancouver Opera, I saw my first ballet in years.  I saw musicals, comedies, dramas, & horrors.  I saw mask pieces, movement pieces, character pieces, plays that were all about the set, or costumes, or script, or directing.   I saw almost everything I wanted to see (there were a few shows I missed, which I think is inevitable when one works in theatre and only has maybe 2 days a week in which to attempt to see plays).

You may wonder, how do I afford to see 6 plays a month on a stage manager’s income? I volunteer. A lot. Probably two-thirds of the shows on this list I have been able to see for free because I volunteer as an usher, bartender, a poster-puter-uper, a money counter, or whatever else the company needed.  I also have a lot of friends in theatre, so sometimes I can get free tickets for opening nights or days that they are running slow.  Probably only 20% of the shows were paid for, and half of those were at a reduced rate as an “artist” or “friend of cast” or “2-for1” or “rush ticket” promotion.

Seeing theatre doesn’t have to be expensive.  It can be a very affordable way to spend a night out.  And, for those within the theatre community, what better way to open your next cover letter than with genuine praise for the work of the company you are applying to.

As I look forward to next year, I will probably scale back a bit.  I will probably aim for four shows per month (in the middle between 2008’s two and 2009’s six).  I saw a lot of theatre this year, but I did it at the exclusion of other things & now it is time to be pickier about my theatre and make time again for the other things I love to do.

Here is the official list of plays I saw in 2009:

1.Miss Julie: Freedom Summer (Vancouver Playhouse)
2.Skydive (Arts Club /Reelwheels/ Push)
3.5 Days in March (PuSh/Cheltfish)
4.There Came A Gypsy Riding (United Players)
5.Whale Riding Weather (Zee Zee Productions)
6.20 minute musicals (Rumble/ Push)
1. Distant Second: The Steve Fonyo Story
2. Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata
7.Bye Bye Birdie (Studio 58)
8.Medea (UBC)
9.The Be(A)st of Taylor Mac (Club Push)
10.Coriolanus (Coriolanus Equity Co-op {Mad Duck Collective})
11.Shocker’s Delight (Squidamisu)
12.Beggars at the House of Plenty (Evolving Arts Collective)
13.East of Berlin (Tarragon/Touchstone/Firehall)
14.Rigoletto (Vancouver Opera)
15.Under The Hawthorne Tree (The Two Marys)
16.Munsch Alley (Carousel theatre)
17.The Idiots Karamazov (UBC)
18.Death of a Clown (ITSAZOO)
19.The Real Thing (Arts Club)
20.Where The River Meets The Sea (Presentation House)
21.LifeSavers (Ruby Slippers)
22.Earnestine Shushwap Gets Her trout (Firehall Arts Centre)
23.John & Beatrice (Pi Theatre)
24.Secret World of Og (Carousel Theatre)
25.36 Views (Tempus Theatre)
26.Antigone Undone (Leaky Heaven Circus)
27.Fat Pig (Mitch & Murray Equity Co-op)
28.Les Miserables (Arts Club)
29.Top Girls (Vancouver Playhouse)
30.Palace of the End (Felix Culpa, Touchstone Theatre, & Horseshoes & Hand Grenades)
31.Othello (Bard on the Beach)
32.The Tempest (2-bite Bard)
33.SchoolHouseRock Live (Small Nest Productions @ Edmonton Fringe)
34.Rent (Fighting Chance Productions)
35.Macbeth (Limbo Circus Theatre)
36.Orestes (Cambiare Productions)
37.Unidentified Human Remains; or, the True Nature of Love (20 Something Theatre)
38.Alls Well That Ends Well (Bard on the Beach)
39.Dog Sees God (Fighting Chance Productions)
40.Kicked (Project X)
41.The Saddest Girl in the World
42.Circus x2 (Cabbage Under Heavy Fire)
43.Nggrfg (Small Brown Package)
44.Drinks with Friends (Whirlwind Productions)
45.Lavignia: A Modern Fairy Tale of Gigantic Proportions (Sticky Fingers Production)
46.Some Reckless Abandon (Over the Moon Productions)
47.Cabaret of Bullshit (Vancouver Fringe)
48.Caberlesque! (BSide Productions)
49.AfterLife (Sunset Gun Productions)
50.murder, hope (Infinity Live Productions)
51.The Veil (Presentation House & OneLight Theatre)
52.Midsummer (The Cultch & Traverse Theatre Company)
53.The House of Kosa (TigerMilk Collective)
54.Gift of Screws
55.The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Pacific Theatre)
56.Any Night (Touchstone, DualMinds & The Cultch)
57.Lot’s Wife (Studio 58)
58.Love You Forever & More Munch (Carousel Theatre)
59.Becky’s New Car (Artists Repertory Theatre – Portland)
60.Evil Dead: The Musical (Downstage Right Productions)
61.Anatomy of Gray (TWU Theatre)
62.Master Builder (UBC)
63.Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour DreamCoat (Footlights Theatre Company)
64.The Big League (Carousel Theatre)
65.The Project (Solo Collective)
66.Moulin Rouge: the Ballet (Royal Canadian Ballet)
67.These Walls Are Paper Thin (Critical Mask & Mind of a Snail)
68.The Vertical Hour (United Players)
69.King Arthurs Kitchen (Axis Theatre)
70.Demon Voice (Touchstone Theatre)
71.After The Quake (Pi Theatre/Rumble Productions)
72.Wired (Green Thumb Theatre)
73.A Winter’s Tale (Studio 58)
74.Robin Hood (Carousel Theatre)
75.A Beautiful View (Ruby Slippers Theatre)
76.Anne (Chemainus Theatre Festival)

Previously: 2009 in Review: Work