Tag Archive: Solo Collective

Play with Monsters

Andrew McNee and Hiro Kanagawa in Play with Monsters. Photo by Itai Erdal

 

After two weeks in the rehearsal hall, I’m delighted that we’re opening Play with Monsters tonight. If you’re thinking about coming, I highly recommend coming this weekend. Last year’s show, After Jerusalem, sold out it’s final three performances and we ended up turning people away. Plus this weekend all tickets are $15!

Zombie Bill Dow in Play with Monsters. Photo by Itai Erdal

 

What happens when your parents turn into zombies? Or when your girlfriend’s father is actually a ninja? In Play with Monsters, we meet Drew- a charming, tattooed 40-something who uses his imagination to deal with memories of his less-than-perfect parental relationships. His parents continue to haunt him, but while on a father-son wine-tasting trip to France, Drew discovers that he does have the ability to fight his personal monsters and live the life he chooses. Hope, forgiveness and love abound in this incredibly warm-hearted story about the parental issues that haunt every grown child.

Play with Monsters is directed by Jessie-Award winner Rachel Peake and features some of BC’s most accomplished actors: Bill Dow, Karin Konoval, Hiro Kanagawa, Andrew McNee, and newcomer Josette Jorge.

The creative team includes Itai Erdal, Drew Facey, Shizuka Kai, Malcolm Dow, and Lois Dawson.

Bill Dow & Karin Konoval in Play with Monsters. Photo by Itai Erdal.

 

And seriously, if you want to see me before I leave town in NINE days, the best way to see me is to see the play. I’ll be there every night and I would be delighted to be grabbing drinks with friends every night after the show.

Back in the Hall

It is really good to be back in the rehearsal hall. As I told a friend today, it feels like it is constantly speaking to me to say, “Here. Here is where you belong.” I’m busy and happy. I’m making good art with good people. I’m excited to get out of bed in the morning and I want to keep working on it and talking about it after the day is done.

Here’s the stage management eye view of the hall, with a sneak peek at the set for Play with Monsters (in as much as you can tell from the tape lines on the floor).

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2011 in Review: Hard Work

I am so blessed to make a living doing what I love with fantastic people all around me. 2011 was no exception.  I worked hard, and the hard work paid off. It was a year full of highlights, especially the world premiere of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades’ Re:Union by Sean Devine.  It was the most challenging piece I have ever worked on in pretty much every way: technically, thematically, and working in a time crunch. But we did it. And we did it without compromising the artistic vision that made the show what it was. The video below gives a small hint at what we pulled off, magically, in 2.5 weeks of rehearsal.

If the video doesn’t display properly, please click here to watch it on vimeo.

In chronological order my year was as follows:

1. Stage Manager - The Pillowman - Wild Geese Equity Co-op

Ashley O'Connell, Mike Wasko & Aaron Hursh in The Pillowman. Photo by Michael Sider

2. Sound Technician - Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train - Glass City Theatre

Rob Olguin as Angel Cruz. Photo by Itai Erdal.

 

3. BYOV Coordinator & Onsite Facilitator – Vancouver International Fringe Festival

Photoshoot for Melissa Aston's Duck Off as part of the Onsite program. Photo by Lois Dawson.

4. Box Office Manager – Prodigals - 20-Something Theatre

Brandyn Eddy, Timothy Johnston & Jameson Parker in Prodigals. Image provided.

5. Sound Designer – The Verona Project - Stones Throw Productions

Susie Coodin as Juliet and Maryanne Renzetti as the Nurse. Photo provided.

 

6. Stage Manager – Homegrown - A staged reading in support of SummerWorks

If the video doesn’t work, you can watch it HERE.

7. Stage Manager – ReUnion - Horseshoes and Hand Grenades & Pacific Theatre

Evan Frayne in ReUnion. Photo by Emily Cooper.

8. Stage Manager – After Jerusalem – Solo Collective

Andrew McNee and Deb Williams in After Jerusalem. Photo by Itai Erdal.

 
For additional Year in Review posts see:
Shows I Saw.

What People Are Saying: After Jerusalem

Deb Williams and Andrew McNee. Photo by Aaron Bushkowsky. Used with permission.

“Do you want to see some artists having a really good time? After Jerusalem is a banquet of pleasure. Playwright Aaron Bushkowsky and actors Deborah Williams and Andrew McNee don’t just chow down on the material, they roll around in it.” - Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

Andrew McNee as Vlad. Photo by Itai Erdal. Used with permission.

“What a lovely, funny and touching show!  If you want an early Christmas treasure we have here an engaging story, dynamic actors and stunning production design that stirs your heart, makes you laugh and gives you hope.” – David C. Jones, OutTV

Andrew McNee and Deb Williams. Photo by Itai Erdal. Used with permission.

“With many surprises and bright shiny moments all wrapped within two beautiful performances, give yourself an early Christmas present and un-wrap After Jerusalem for yourself.” – Mark Robins, GayVancouver.net

Andrew McNee and Deb Williams. Photo by Itai Erdal. Used with permission.

“Aaron Bushkowsky weaves a neat plot that will make you laugh most of the time, and maybe cry at the end, but will have you think throughout. How do you find love in a war-torn country? How do you retain your morality in the constant threat of terrorist attacks? How can imagination save us from cynicism and loneliness? These are all questions that are addressed in the play.” – Anabelle, annabellebf.com

Andrew McNee and Deb Williams. Photo by Itai Erdal. Used with permission.

“Actors Deb Williams and Andrew McNee are so perfect as Carol and Vladimir in After Jerusalem, it’s hard to imagine Vancouver playwright Aaron Bushkowsky writing the play without them in mind. Under Rachel Peake’s excellent direction, Williams nails middle-aged, never-married, Regina schoolteacher Carol so precisely: shy, nervous, awkward, excited and funny when she’s hustled by handsome, much younger Vladimir. And McNee’s Vladimir (with a thick Russian accent and Slavic syntax) is passionate and charming when he turns those big, soulful eyes on Carol and, in one of many direct addresses to the audience, on us.” – Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier

Current Project: After Jerusalem

Re:Union hadn’t even closed yet when I started rehearsals for my next project – another new play, but this time a comedic holiday romance.  It’s just what I needed, but that’s a whole other blog post.  I encourage you to come out and see the show.  We only have 10 performances, including the preview one week from tonight! It’s short (about 70 minutes), sweet, and I promise that it will make you laugh.  I mean, with a cast of Andrew McNee and Deb Williams there’s no way it wouldn’t make you laugh!

AFTER JERUSALEM

by Aaron Bushkowsky

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1 – SUNDAY DECEMBER 11  at 8pm
at Performance Works on Granville Island

A Different Kind of Christmas Story

Written by Aaron Bushkowsky
Directed by Rachel Peake
Featuring Deborah Williams and Andrew McNee
Lighting and Set Design by Itai Erdal
Sound Design by Malcolm Dow
Stage Managed by Lois Dawson

A middle-aged woman travels to Israel at Christmastime to find love and adventure, only to get tangled up with an ambitious Israeli soldier with big dreams. From the playwright who penned the dark comedies “My Chernobyl” and “The Project”, this poignant comedy plays homage to old movies and new flames.

If you’re looking for ways to see the show, but are feeling a little bit cramped in the money department we’ve thought of that too:

Pay-what-you-can Preview!  November 30

2-for-1 Tuesday! December 6

For tickets go towww.vancouvertix.com or call 604-629-VTIX
Tickets $25/$18
www.solocollective.ca

What I Saw :: November

November.  Not only did I open The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe at PT & then spend an additional week prepping the understudies and opening their version of the show for school matinees. I also managed to see 10 shows.

Here’s the list:

  1. Master Builder (UBC)
  2. Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour DreamCoat (Footlights Theatre Company)
  3. The Big League (Carousel Theatre)
  4. The Project (Solo Collective)
  5. Moulin Rouge: the Ballet (Royal Canadian Ballet)
  6. These Walls Are Paper Thin (Critical Mask & Mind of a Snail)
  7. The Vertical Hour (United Players)
  8. King Arthurs Kitchen (Axis Theatre)
  9. Demon Voice (Touchstone Theatre)
  10. After The Quake (Pi Theatre/Rumble Productions)

The only ones that are still playing are After the Quake  (which is unfortunately for all of you sold out for the rest of its run.  I hope you all have caught it as it is one of the best things I’ve seen all year!) & The Vertical Hour at United Players which is a really enjoyable evening of theatre.

Lois’ November Theatre Picks

It’s nearly the end of November, and only now am I finding time to sit down and write out my theatrical picks for the month.  Sadly some great shows have already closed (ie: The Project presented by Solo Collective), but there are still lots of shows playing now or opening in the next week that are worth checking out.

Here’s my list of shows to see in November:

lww postcardThe Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe at Pacific Theatre.
Yes, I’m stage managing this show (and its the reason that this list is so late coming!), but it is quite honestly one of the funnest shows I’ve worked on in a while.  And there’s nothing like a little Narnian magic to kick off the holiday season.

Demon Voice at Touchstone Theatre
It opened tonight, but I’ve been hearing nothing but great things about the performances from friends who attended previews earlier this week.  Written by Shawn MacDonald who also penned Prodigal Son, this show is on my personal “must see” list.

After the Quake presented by Rumble Productions & Pi Theatre
With one giant  frog, a stellar cast & design team, After the Quake is a show I have been looking forward to with months. It is based on the noval after the quake by Haruki Murakami.

The Wrecking Ball Cabaret
Vancouver held its first Wrecking Ball last fall in response to the federal government’s treatment of the arts, and now its back!  Highly political, very funny, & featuring some of Vancouver’s most talented artists, it’s a great night of solidarity for the arts & theatre communities.

Also, if you have never seen a production of The Laramie Project, don’t miss the production at UBC right now.