ONE….

When you look up to the sky and see a shooting star, what is your reaction? One of elation? Of excitement? Thrill – because you have the privilege of a pending wish coming true?

Or… knife cutting terror because you think a new war has started?

Two evenings ago, sitting in a dark theatre, watching “One”, my perspective on that mysteriously beautiful strike of moving light so high in the sky altered. Continue reading “ONE….”

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Fringe addicted! “Geek Life & Underneath The Lintel”

Putting these two Fringe plays in the same article seems odd. I know. But, if you’ve seen both you will understand.

I accidently saw Geek Life last week, and was pleasantly surprised at Aji (“Ahh gee”) Slater’s warm presence, and deceivably profound autobiographical story. Love, choosing an unorthodox career route, and embracing his geekiness.

aji-inshow

According to Slater, being a Geek just means you are obsessively passionate about something. He even asked if… Continue reading “Fringe addicted! “Geek Life & Underneath The Lintel””

Fringing last week… My High Heeled Life & La Cravate Bleue…

Heels and ties… hmm… two items we wear that identify a higher status position in life. Heels, literally, boost us up, giving us more confidence (to some) and ties present a symbol of professionalism, giving an air of trust (mostly).

La Cravate Bleue (the blue tie) is a French play written and performed by Jean-Francois Plante-Tan from Montreal. With his first time Fringe play, Plante-Tan explores the age old dilemma of choosing the risky arts over a secure day job. He does this through song, some dance, and lots of enthusiasm. Bien sur, the blue tie represents the corporate world where his frustration mounts, until he does something else. cravate1

Most of us, especially in the theatre world, can relate. Continue reading “Fringing last week… My High Heeled Life & La Cravate Bleue…”

Fringe Beginnings

As some of you know, I have a soft spot for the world of bouffon, bouffonerie, buffoonery, so my first Fringe choice on the advice of my friends in the know was “Little Lady” by Sandrine Lafond. Ohhhh…. sweet bliss. She is lovely, tormented, sugary, ugly, bumpy, ritualistic, and absolutely compelling to spy on.

Little Lady

Lafond, who comes from a background of Cirque Du Soleil and dancing for Celine Dion, has produced a dark piece that amongst other observations of life loves to mock our obsession with looks. Her mix of clown and bouffon was divinely scrumptious, and very edible. As Lafond squirms and worms her way around in a trapped space, she isolates her feet, her hands, her legs, her toes, and her shoulders making me reexamine my own feet that night in bed. Her feet seemed to have a brain their own.

To read the rest of the article go HERE… thank you!

Fringe Onsite…. Vancouver International Fringe Festival

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.

The Site of “Relapse”…. Fringe Onsite show

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 mean, isn’t that why we go to theatre?

Break legENDS everyone at the Vancouver International Fringe Festival from September 6-16. See you out there!

Vive le theatre!

(Also writing for Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance)

Blogging for Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance

I’m BACK! Good grief… I have never had such a busy start to a year. But, I’m not complaining! It’s all been very creative. Buffoonery workshops, a conference, teaching, scene study, a film shoot (more on that), and writing, but, alas, not here.

At the end of 2011, I accepted to become an official blogger for the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance and amidst all the yummy creative chaos of January I managed to see some theatre and also do some writing. I’d like to share my recent posts with you here, if you would like to read them.

Vive Le Bouffon

It’s the love scene in “All’s Well That Ends Well” by Shakespeare. I’m playing the boy. My partner is playing the girl. And, we’re both bouffons. The production is en Francais and we’re having a ball mocking this scene, as bouffons do. Ce n’est qu’un plaisir!

I come off stage for my next change, back into a “normal” character and realize how free I feel. I also realize that my devilish inner voice that taunts me, tells me I’m not good enough, has been flushed into the outer world. Nowhere near me.

Read the rest of the article on GVPTA’s blog

On The Topic of Rehearsing

Last Saturday evening I went to witness the current VanArts (formerly the William Davis Centre) acting students’ presentation of their “rehearsal project” taught by Dave Mott and Daniel Martin. Since I had also taught this group, I wanted to support their first public appearance. The 10 students were guided through the play “The Hologram Theory” by Jessica Goldberg. The goal of this class is to teach the students how to rehearse effectively.

Effectively – just what is that?

Read the rest of the article on GVPTA’s blog

Traces… Their Truth?

Brush strokes, tattoos, video testimonials, life scars, legacies….. These are a few of the traces I pondered after watching Théâtre la Seizième’s original production “Traces”, directed (& created by) Craig Holzschuh and Anita Rochon, with collaboration by Gilles Poulin-Denis, (stage manager, Noa Anatot; set design: Julie Marten; lighting: Jeremy Baxter; music, Steve Charles; video, Corwin Ferguson) recently on at Studio 16 in Vancouver.

Coming from a family of artists – father, painter & potter – mother, fibre artist, I was always aware of the marks they were leaving in the world. I was in admiration of their visual contribution that will remain long after they are gone. It made me wonder about my contribution.

Read the rest of the article on GVPTA’s blog

The EveryDay as Drama: “El Pasado Es Un Animal Grotesco”

This January has been unusually busy. Therefore, I didn’t get to see as many shows during the PuSH Festival as I had dreamed of doing, but I was fortunate to witness “El Pasado..” by Mariano Pensotti. Ironically, unbeknownst to me, the only show I saw last year at the PuSH was by the same author, “La Marea” on the street in Gastown. In hindsight, I can certainly see a similar energy, style and observation of everyday life.

Everyday life – something we don’t necessarily see as dramatic, theatrical fodder to present. In the filmmaking world, Alfred Hitchcock quoted: “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out”. When I hear that, I suspect the “dull bits” are what occurs in the everyday, the quotidian, that aren’t featured in dramatic story telling. How many scenes do you see people scratching off their to-do list, changing the toilet paper, clearing the fog off the mirror after a shower, washing their coffee pot, ironing, writing a note, humping a pillow…..

Read the rest…. well, you get it now! HERE

Feel free to share any of your thoughts…. Would love to hear them.

“Art by Actors”… World Theatre Day continues…

Years ago I found a book called “Actors as Artists” by Jim McMullan & Dick Gautier, and gave it to my father who’s a painter. Filled with well-known actors who also paint, I thought the gift appropriate coming from his “actor-daughter”. The book revealed exciting artistic layers of those actors.

A similar opportunity presents itself with Art By Actors, an exhibition/auction at The Stanley Theatre by the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance for World Theatre Day.

Read the rest of my article at the World Theatre Day Blog…..