Witnessing the stats of my blog post growing the past few days and seeing the unbelievable amount of shares on FaceBook, is confirming. Montague needed a match to light the smoldering embers of hope gone.
Thank you to all who boldly shared my words. It has created a renewed energy that will hopefully continue.
I haven’t written in here for awhile. A long while. Over a year. And, it’s been quite a period of time.
Starting with the death of my best friend, my Dad, May of 2015, looking after my Mom, doing my one woman show (Dusty Shoes) because I had promised my Dad I would, my thirteen year relationship ending, creating a new Christmas ritual as things were VERY different, giving myself a Puerto Rican vacation break, more back and forth between my two “homes” PEI and Vancouver (which is where my hat is truly hung) and MORE!
Red.. the name of the play I saw a few days ago. Red… the colour of love, of anger, of strawberries, of blood, of carnations, of rosy cheeks, of cooked lobster, of cheeky lipstick, of eyes that have cried too much. The list goes on. Red.
Red by John Logan, produced by First Impressions Theatre of Deep Cove, directed by Jim Hebb and performed by Cameron McDonald (Mark Rothko) and Mike Bodzanowski (Ken), is brilliant. Thoughtfully written (I kept wanting to write down quotes in my dark theatre seat), this production takes the words off the page and splashes them around with no false notes. I want to go back.
In fact, it is Visions Ouest’s 20th anniversary of producing Les Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois et Francophone de Vancouver (RendezVous French Film Festival). It has been a pioneering journey to arrive at this point. Founder Régis Painchaud started by showing two French films in the beginning.
Over 50 productions from Quebec and other Francophone countries are being passionately shown, right now, in Vancouver: fifty films from shorts to medium length to full features and documentaries. And, many have English subtitles giving the Anglophone world a chance to see some alternative culture.
If you missed “La Maison du Pecheur” seek it out in other ways. Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of watching director Alain Chartrand’s film and subsequently stood beside him on the stage to translate, interpret answers to the many questions from the almost sold out audience.
You still have time to see many more films with English subtitles as the Festival goes until February 16th.
“L’enfant d’en Haut” takes place in the Swiss Mountains and features Gillian Anderson performing in her second language, French. She is best known for her role on the TV series X-Files. “L’Enfant d’en Haut” plays Friday, Feb. 14th at 8pm at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts – SFU Woodward’s, 149 W Hastings.
“Gare du Nord” is an intriguing mix of genres, taking place in the deep layers of the subways of Paris complete with the layers of many characters’ stories. Also subtitled, Gare du Nord plays on Saturday evening, February 15th at 8pm at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts – SFU Woodward’s, 149 W Hastings.
“Triptyque” by Robert LePage, Rendezvous’ grand finale, will certainly attract a large audience of both English and French. LePage is well known for his international work, and his unique creative ways. Don’t miss this one and book early! Playing February 16th at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts – SFU Woodward’s, 149 W Hastings.
Today… look around you as you walk the street, stop at red lights, sit in your cafe, ride your bus, stand in line for groceries or at the bank, as you sit on a bench resting outside, at a hospital where you might be visiting or needing service, at the airport at arrivals or departures, at your community center, at the pool, or wherever you are.
Today… consider life as theatre.
Today… imagine the stories hidden behind the faces you witness. Give yourself permission to daydream into people’s lives.
By doing that, you will celebrate what theatre represents. People and their stories.
And, maybe, just maybe, you’ll take in a play? Go for it…
Every Thursday morning at 7:00 I start my day with a rollicking, yet professional meeting with the Think Referrals Business Network. We have our breakfast, present our 60 second updates, maybe watch a presentation and/or discuss some of our business challenges. And, we have fun.
Some of the challenges that emerged today related to sales.
Sales. A scary word that conjures up plaid jacketed, smoking, slick used car salesmen and buyer’s remorse. EEK… But, this word is what we all do, all the time. Ask Daniel H. Pink! His newly released book “To Sell Is Human:The Surprising Truth About Moving Others” addresses this very issue. I love Dan Pink’s books (“A Whole New Mind” “Drive”) and this one is another goody. I recommend reading all three.
Pink discusses how we all work in sales, “whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, entrepreneurs enticing funders to invest, or parents and teachers cajoling children to study, we spend our days trying to move others.”
Or a homeless person asking for help.
When I left the meeting this morning, I was almost to my car when a rough, albeit gentle, thin looking man approached me and started talking.
The earth is shifting, the skies are swirling with devastating energy, and the seas are mounting. The last few days, and as I write, storms are landing in the Eastern States and Canada, and here in BC we just had a large earth tremor. Thankfully no major damage nor injury. It seems like a good moment to boldly post a poem that has been sitting in my desk drawer for years. Shall I? I shall.
A bridge, a grassy knoll, a big pond, trees, stumps with blankets, odd bits and pieces not normally found in this context, a curiosity, and a sense of mystery all added up to a rehearsal I witnessed two days prior to the opening of site specific show “Relapse” by And The Other Leg Theatreof Vancouver.
It is one of many onsite shows inspired by all the nooks and crannies of Granville Island, mentored by Kendra Fanconi, the Producing Artistic Director of the Only Animal, and the Fringe’s Executive Director, David Jordan. In 2011, the Only Animal began its exploration of onsite creations and for this year’s Fringe has collaborated with 14 companies to produce the onsite line-up. Each company began their journey into the unknown by attending workshops April.
It’s now opening time, and so far we are blessed with the promise of good weather. After seeing photographer/actor/creator Chara Berk and clown/actor/creator Kaeridwyn Newman’s gritty piece the other evening, I will pray for warm weather until closing night. And, that’s all I’m saying! See it…
Years ago, I recall the mysterious, titillating, almost religious sensation after I rose at 4:00 a.m. to drive to Two Jack Lake near Banff, Alberta to see the site specific piece “Princess of the Stars”. It was 1985 and I was working at the Banff Centre in costumes. People shook their heads at this “crazy” outdoor project based on Native myths that would commence with the dawn.
Well… it was a beautifully haunting experience that has remained with me: musical instruments and voices singing from across the lake, the respectful silence as we were ushered in the dark to our spots on the grass, winged creatures being canoed through the mist, and the big wolf.
The “crazy” idea was met with mixed feelings, but I can attest that being on location while creations simultaneously unfold can be very exciting. How will nature and man interfere and create an extra dimension. What gems may appear? The expected unexpected will occur keeping us on our toes.
Knowing that, I encourage you to take in some of the Fringe Onsite, and maybe even the same show more than once. Challenge yourself to see what will happen to you. What reactions you might have.
I took it on as a mission today to make sure that a whole bunch of people would become enlightened by a simple gesture. I made my sign. Put on my runners and a smile. Then hit the streets with no fanfare.
It worked! One person CAN make a difference.
I had conversations about theatre, plays, musicals, husbands who won’t go, time that doesn’t allow, people who loved theatre in Europe, good memories, the politics (especially recently) and I even made some play suggestions that were received positively. I We all laughed. I felt happy as I brought smiles to people….(isn’t that sort of live theatre?) Some cars honked and the drivers gave me the thumbs up.
Now, back at home I feel good that I stirred up a little bit in my quiet community. The dry cleaning man said, “Why isn’t there a parade?” Well… maybe next year, I’ll instigate a parade!
Here are some people I met who didn’t know about WTD (except one…guess who?)
I dedicate this World Theatre Day to those who continue to make theatre despite the trials & tribulations, and this world of high technology. Vive Le Theatre… Nous allons continuer!
(did you guess the one person who knew about World Theatre Day?)