It’s still the official day where I currently am. Toronto. I haven’t seen any theatre. Any official theatre.
I’ve been part of a lot of real live theatre. I’ve been traveling, trying to get to Eastern Canada. And, there has just been a monster storm, making it very challenging to reach my little Prince Edward Island.
Did I mention I was in Toronto? Yup. In a hotel, graciously given to us by West Jet for the night, along with food vouchers (we really are fortunate in this wintery country).
So. No plays. No theatre. No musicals. No live performances.
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.
Today marks World Theatre Day, and it also marks exactly one year since I started this blog. Despite being here a year, I still feel like a newbie who desires to write more frequently, and explore more (hopefully that feeling will last forever).
In the meantime, I would like to wish you all a very Happy World Theatre Day. I wish this day had the same buzz as the Olympics, but, unfortunately we live in a world where sport accomplishments seem to rise to the top, long before artistic ones. I guess it’s a number game.
However, I didn’t show up to my blog today to rant. I came here to celebrate theatre, and honour the spectacle, the liveness, the unexpected, the truth, the mistakes, the improvisation, the courage of the story, of the actors, and of the support behind the scenes.
Theatre has been in my life since I was 17 when I first got involved with costumes at the Charlottetown Festival in Prince Edward Island. I eventually became a dresser and the joke was always that “one of the performers had fallen” and “Trilby had to go on”. In my imagination, I would burst out of my dowdy pinafore and conveniently have a sequined outfit underneath. I was READY!
That scenario didn’t happen, but I did end up taking the place of one of the clowns in the children’s clown show where I was also doing the lights and audio. And, I loved it. The performing seed was planted.
Since graduation (many moons ago), I have played with lots of actors, told lots of stories in both languages, had funny things happen (remember your mustache drifting off your face, Dan?), had scary moments (oh..it’s awful to have a blank on opening night!), and had a lot of fun.
Earlier this year I was fortunate to have directed “The Memory of Water” by Shelagh Stephenson and I truly enjoyed the creative adventure. This evening, appropriately, the cast and crew are celebrating our journey together.
So, today, I dedicate World Theatre Day to them, our experience, and to all those who continue to dare to write plays, mount plays, act in plays, tour with plays, renovate old theatres, and to the audiences who continue to appreciate witnessing live theatre.
Merci, et, célébrons… keep celebrating theatre! Vive Le Théâtre!
At the Backroom Theatre Club in New Westminster, British Columbia, for World Theatre Day, we had a nice gathering of local people to listen to new writings by Dane McFadhen, Elizabeth Elwood, & Jemma Downes; to a staged reading of a scene from Talley’s Folly with Dan Weber, & Trilby Jeeves; to two wonderful stories of nature by poet Ariadne Sawyer (World Poet Society) and First Nations storyteller, Godwin Barton. Thanks to the organizers, Jemma Downes, Heidi Mueller, and Paul at The Heritage Grill who hosted the event.
Well, it’s official! It’s here… Happy World Theatre Day! How wonderful that we have a day that we can pronounce proudly to all and celebrate in the name of the arts.
Thursday was a World Theatre Day preview in my world with my morning class of Bouffons honouring the World Theatre Day International Speech by Augusto Boal (see post), in their bouffon way.
Thursday evening consisted of an intimate gathering of people at The Heritage Grill BackRoom Theatre Club for story telling, legend reading, scene reading, and of course the International Speech, which I was lucky to read to the group. The response to Augusto Boal’s words was full & spontaneous. “Theatre is not just an event; it is a way of life!”
My secret pleasure also last night was reading with my favourite thespian, Dan Weber, a scene from Talley’s Folly by Landford Wilson. This was the first play I had ever performed in my life so my nostalgia was flared up – in a good way! We had fun!
My new blog is not just a “theatre blog” unlike some of the esteemed people in my online circle, so I would like to acknowledge those who might feel “theatre” is not for them. Well, as Augusto Boal has stated in his speech, “All human societies are “spectacular” in their daily life and produce “spectacles” at special moments.” To you, the one who may not consider your life theatrical… you are!
Have a great day, and keep an eye out for those diamond moments today in your life that carry their own little performance and setting. Enjoy!
(and don’t forget to peek at some other theatrical adventures around the world on the World Theatre Day Blog )
Today, March 23rd, begins a full theatre week in Vancouver, Canada, culminating with World Theatre Day Celebrations of all sorts on Friday, March 27. This year is becoming truly global as the Internet is enabling many theatre people to connect, and mutually plan & share. To learn more please visit the global blog: http://www.worldtheatreday.org and The Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance online: http://www.gvpta.ca .
Today also marks a day that I would like to acknowledge – the final farewell to Natasha Richardson.
Ms. Richardson was part of the most incredible thespian families stemming from Sir Michael Redgrave & his wife Rachel Kempson, to their offspring, Vanessa Redgrave, the mother of Natasha Richardson, Lynn Redgrave, and Corin Redgrave. The line continues into the grandchildren. Natasha Richardson was also the wife of Liam Neeson who we know as a stellar actor, the mother of Michael and Daniel, and the sister of Joely Richardson.
I have the incredible pleasure to have worked with Lynn Redgrave in Canada, and pass time with her as a friend in New York. At that time I also had the pleasure to meet more members of her family, and also Liam Neeson. It is because of that special time I feel the need and desire to honour their loss, and express my condolences.
I would like to dedicate, in my humble manner, World Theatre Day to both sides of the family. May you find peace.