Through the month of March, I’ll have the great pleasure in taking part in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s LEAP Playwrighting Intensive, facilitated by the amazing Shawn Macdonald. Through LEAP (Learning Early About Playwrighting), 3 groups of high school and early post-secondary students have the opportunity to workshop their original plays under Shawn’s guidance, culminating in a public reading on an Arts Club stage with a cast of professional actors. I am very excited to be joining Bob Frazer, Dawn Petten, Aslam Husain, Dmitry Chepovetsky and Meghan Gardiner for the reading series.
At this stage in LEAP, each student gets a chance to have their script read and to receive feedback from the acting company, Shawn, and Shawn’s fabulous assistant Stacey Sherlock. They have the opportunity to do one last edit based on that feedback before the public reading, where their works are presented in a staged reading. It’s been an absolute joy so far – the young writers are extraordinary thinkers and passionate artists, and it’s inspiring to be around such talent! With one reading down, we’ve covered the beginning of time, holographic human beings, a cafe in a desert and much more. The next two readings promise more excellence – the Level Two reading on March 11 features excerpts from 5 excellent one-acts, and the Level Three on March 25 will see us read a full-length play titled The Hunger Room, written by my dear friend Scott Button. These readings are absolutely FREE and there is food after. What could be better? I urge you to come out and support these amazing budding writers – I promise an inspiring and entertaining night at the theatre!
The LEAP Playwriting Intensive for Young Writers Reading Series
Sunday, March 11 and Sunday, March 25
7 pm at the Revue Stage
Tonight is opening night of my lastest project, Bridge Mix! Just a few short weeks ago I received an email from the amazing Chelsea Haberlin from Itsazoo Productions inviting my company Delinquent Theatre to be part of Bridge Mix, an interactive site specific evening of theatre presented by Itsazoo and Enlightenment Theatre. I had heard amazing things about last year’s Bridge Mix and was eager to get started on something creative right out of school, so I jumped on the opportunity.
My dear colleague Mishelle Cuttler and I, with help from cast members Ira Cooper, Brian Cochrane, Alexander Keurvorst, Britt MacLeod and Meaghan Chenosky created a 10 minute musical titled Parked: An Indie Rock Musical with Novelty Instruments as our contribution. Delinquent Theatre is one of 9 indie theatre companies with an entry in Bridge Mix, and they are all fantastic! I hope you will consider coming out. For more details, head over to Delinquent Theatre’s website. It’s been a blast, and I’d love to see you there!
After a fun and playful rehearsal period, a blissfully easy tech and a great preview run, Wild Honey opened last night. Wild Honey is a Chekhovian farce – the play is Michael Frayne’s adaptation of a Chekhov manuscript discovered from his earliest works. Originally Wild Honey was six hours in length, a sprawling epic with too many characters and stories. Frayne took the meat of it and trimmed it down to a funny and poignant farce. Rehearsing this show and then opening it up to an audience has probably presented the greatest change I’ve ever experienced on a show from dress to preview. In true Chekhov style, the stakes are high, the drama is tense, and characters spout lines like “is this ruin, or is this happiness?” And then Frayne takes over – doors slam, identities are mistaken, and the show runs at breakneck speed! Now with an audience, the moment when they’re laughing the hardest is usually the moment when someone’s life just got ruined. It takes a lot of focus and control to negotiate emotional honesty and comic timing all at once, but our company is more than up to it. I’m so proud of my castmates, and I know it’s gonna be a great run.
Did I mention we love our director, Brian Cochrane? Here’s an outtake from our photo shoot with Tim Matheson.
So, are you sold yet? Please come see Wild Honey! Tickets and details can be found here.
It’s January 4th and I’m deep in the throes of the new years resolution thing. I am somewhat of a goal setter no matter what, but this year I’m in it with a vengeance. There’s a few reasons: Firstly, it’s just natural to feel the need for change after the over indulgence of the holiday season. As well, 2010 was good to me and I’m hoping to keep the ball rolling, strike while the iron is hot, hit the ground running and all of those cliches.
Of course, the main reason for this sudden rush of self-improvement is the fact that I will graduate from theatre school this May. I’ve dreamed of the day “when I graduate from theatre school” since I was 13 years old, with visions of national tours dancing through my head. The reality is a much sweatier, queasier kind of future, but that’s okay. Despite feeling like I might abruptly vomit whenever I remember my time as a student is coming to an end, I’m feeling excited and optimistic. And I feel like blogging about it.
Back when I was a little younger, I used to love all those clichés and romanticized images of the theatre, and one of my favorite phrases was “life upon the wicked stage”. I chose this for the name of my blog because of its other meaning to me: I’m about to enter that wicked stage of life, fresh out of the nurturing womb of theatre school and hoping to make my mark in the big bad ‘real world’. Exciting times and disappointment both await, and while rough at times, I bet it will be wonderful too. So here I am, surviving that wicked stage.