Tag Archive: Victoria

Lois’ Grand Adventure – Day 37 (Paris, London, Vancouver, Victoria)

I’ve been awake for 21 hours now, and travelling for 19 of them. Yes, it has been a long day. On the 10 hour flight from London to Vancouver I watched five movies: Hugo, Little Women, Arthur Christmas, White Christmas,  and  The Grinch.

In the course of my travel only two things broke and both of them were things I bought for myself, not gifts for other people. So yay I guess?

Honestly, I am so tired that the world is spinning right now, so I’m going to go to sleep and we can catch up on the end of the trip when I’m more awake. Deal?

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)
26.The Tooth Fairy (OLD TROUT PUPPET WORKSHOP)
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)

Headset Duckie Needs a Name

I was wandering around downtown Victoria today and happened into Zydeco Gifts.   According to their website they sell 250 kinds of rubber duckies.  I probably couldn’t list off 250 if I tried…and I’ve looked at their selection.  Anyways, in a corner tub that looked like none had ever been taken out (nestled between Business Duck & Hi-Tech Duck) was the questioningly labeled “Headset Duck? Stockbroker?”  Anyways, as soon as I saw it I knew I needed a stage management duckie to take on my adventures with me.  He comes complete with headset, pen & clipboard.  But what s/he does NOT have yet is a name.  I am going to crowd-source a name for the ducky.  You have until Sunday night (Oct 24th) to suggest names in the comments.  I will then pick my top 5 and create a poll.  So suggest away!

Death of a Clown Opens Today!

I don’t know how many of you are in Victoria or have the ability to get to Victoria, but here are the details about Death of a Clown which opens TONIGHT at the Phoenix Theatres @ UVIC at 8pm.

It runs Tuesday – Saturday until the 23rd at 8pm with a 2pm matinee on the 23rd.
For tickets, 250-721-8000.  Prices range from $12 – $22.
Written by Sebastien Archibald & directed by Chelsea Haberlin.

We had a photographer in for our dress rehearsal on Sunday and here are a couple of the photos:

Roy (Sebastien Archibald) & Anna (Lesli Brownlee). Photography by Jon Faulknor. www.jonfaulknor.com

Photo of Sebastien Archibald, Lesli Brownlee, Cameron Anderson & Chris Wilson by Jon Faulknor. www.jonfaulknor.com

And, because this is a blog primarily focused on backstage/the booth:  Check out the prompt script for the show.  More photos of the prompt script to come!

The Death of a Clown prompt Script

Literary Expansion

This is my shelf of plays, sorted alphabetically by playwright.

Last week I was re-reading Travis Bedard‘s post over at www.2amtheatre.com about the books that every theatre student should read and was surprised at how few of them I had actually read.   I went to university and read an awful look of books about theatre, but somehow many of these had not made the cut.  This lead to an examination of my theatre bookshelf and the realization that it was time for it to grow.

Fast forward. This morning I was wandering around downtown Victoria and was struck by the number of used bookstores around.  It seems like every half a block there is another one and many of them fill more than one storefront.  While I didn’t have time to pop into any of them today (I was on a mission!), I’m already planning to go back many times over the next couple of weeks and while I’m sure I’ll pick up some novels & cook books, I think the goal will be to grow my theatre library.

Here’s the challenge though: What do I look for and buy? Certainly everything that has been suggested over on Travis’ post and also the

The technical book shelf - mostly stage management books!

ones on this list as well.

Two years ago the world theatre day meme was “Standing on Books” and we all took photos of ourselves standing on the books that have taken us to where we are now.  And its true – the books that we have read inform the art that we make and the way we approach the world.  And I want to expand my knowledge in that area.  I want to have more books to stand on next time we take a photo like that.

But could you all make some suggestions for me? Scripts, books on writing, directing, technical, theory, history, whatever you think a well rounded theatre artist should have read.

I’d Rather Be Busy

“I’d rather be busy than bored.”

It’s become a familiar refrain to my friends – something I say without thinking whenever someone comments on how insane my schedule appears to be. But this past week I’ve been reminded just how much I love the insanity of jumping from contract to contract – the sheer adrenaline rush of closing a show Saturday night and starting rehearsals again Monday morning (which means that the entire week before I’d be doing prep for the new show by day and doing performances of the old show at night).

I haven’t had a really crazy time in a number of months now. My four months in Chemainus were busy in their own way, but it was only ever with one show, and everything was so well organized that it never felt nuts. In fact, I spent more time in Chemainus sitting on the beach, star gazing, or hanging out with the cast & crew than I spent working. And since I’ve been back in Vancouver I’ve been rehearsing four nights a week for my latest project, Death of a Clown, which we are touring to Victoria. (I leave this Thursday for 2.5 weeks in BC’s capital city and couldn’t be more excited about getting to both spend time in Victoria, and have what will be essentially a working vacation.) And yet, the four nights a week is not enough to make me feel busy. In fact, my days feel empty.

I can’t remember how it was that I managed to stand being unemployed for an entire summer one year. I’m sure at that point it felt fun – I was fresh out of school – but I think that if I had three months without work at this point in my life I would be going crazy. Heck, three weeks has been enough to make me a little mental. And that’s with having seen 21 shows (everything from the Fringe to Tear The Curtain! to The Park at Studio – and there really was everything in between), volunteering, spending lots of time with friends, watching 22 movies and baking five kinds of cupcakes. It’s a little bit ridiculous that despite all of that my days still feel empty.

I guess there is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment in seeing a show have life breathed into it by the actors, director & designers and being able to facilitate that process. Here’s looking forward to the tour to Victoria and then a busy winter! (I hope!)

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For more information on the show in Victoria, click on over to the UVIC theatre page. Tickets range from $6 – $22 and can be booked by calling the Phoenix Theatre box office at 250-721-8000.

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For a smart commentary on Tear the Curtain! check out this blog post over at Irresistible Theatre.