Behind the Curtain: Alyson Grant (Progress!)

October 28, 2015

Behind the Curtain: Alyson Grant (Progress!)

Alyson Grant

Playwright

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QDF: What is the play about? And why did you want to tell this story?

Alyson: Progress! is an absurdist comedy that moves between comedy and sadness pretty quickly. It is trying to come to terms with the changing function of the hospitals, the Royal Vic in particular in Montreal since so many of us have very powerful memories associated with the space.

Many Montrealers were born here, were sick here, were healed here or watched a loved one die here. These buildings, these walls, hold these memories, especially for those of us who have lost somebody here; we probably associate that person with this space as it functioned as a hospital. Its changing functions have jolted those memories, churned them up. That is the main impulse behind the play: to mark the change.

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Behind the Curtain: Amy Blackmore, holly Greco & Patrick Lloyd Brennan (Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show)

October 26th, 2015

Behind the Curtain: Amy Blackmore, holly Greco & Patrick Lloyd Brennan (Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show)

Amy Blackmore

Executive and Artistic Director, Mainline Theatre

Director and Co-Choreographer Rocky Horror Show

Patrick Lloyd Brennan

Co-Choreographer

holly Greco

Assistant Director and Co-Choreographer

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QDF: In terms of process, what is your way into a play?

Amy: My favorite way in, is the table read. We all come from a contemporary dance background, which I think I think is unique in theatre, in terms of being a Director.  So I don’t really see things taking shape until that first read through.  That is really the entrance for me to what is really going on. I can have my own idea of what it is going to look and sound like, and what the intentions are going to be, but the beautiful thing about a script is that it is words, and it is through the read, that we get to discover what is under those words, where can we go with it and how much flexibility is there.

Patrick: For me, in this process in particular, it was really the first rehearsal. That first rehearsal was really exploring and testing things out. For the performers, it might have seemed planned, but for me, it was really just about getting to know their bodies, how they moved and how they looked together and starting to envision a vocabulary and relationships that exist physically between them.

holly: For me, especially in the last year, I have been taking on roles that that I am not usually in. I stage managed a formal play, I wrote a show, and now I am Assistant Directing with Amy, which is all new to me. The first thing I do is connect with the team I am working with, and sit down with them and ask; “What do you need from me? What do you think you will be bringing? What are your expectations of me? How can I help you? Before the cast comes in, I need to figure out what my role is, because it all depends on the people you are working with. I try to identify the process of the team I am working with and then help fill the holes where I can.

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Behind The Curtain: Christopher Moore (Compleat Female Stage Beauty)

October 21, 2015

Behind the Curtain: Christopher Moore (Compleat Female Stage Beauty)

Today, we talk to the artistic director of Persephone Productions who will be wearing multiple hats in his upcoming production of Compleat Female Stage Beauty . He is the co-director and an actor in the show as he maintains his role of AD during the year. We discuss his show that runs until October 25, 2015. The play is about Ned Kynaston who is celebrated for his portrayal of female roles in 1661. As a boy player, he has trained from a young age to do so. With King Charles II’s restoration comes a new law stating that women are now legally allowed to act upon the English stage. Enter Margaret Hughes, the first woman to legally perform in English theatre. As her stardom rises, Kynaston must find a new voice in order to keep his own from fading.

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Behind the Curtain: Stacey Christodoulou (Province)

October 14th, 2014

Behind the Curtain: Stacey Christodoulou (Province)

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As we continue our quest to extend the conversation on theatre, QDF had a chance to talk to the director, Stacey Christodoulou, of Centaur Theatre’s Brave New Looks’ show, Province. It is a co-production between Talisman Theatre and The Other Theatre, the latter which Christodoulou is the Artistic Director. Province takes the audience on a wild ride, full of potent questions and uneasy answers. Set in the deep forest of Quebec, this darkly comic play is part of a rich tradition of dystopian art, exploring humanity’s indifference to environmental destruction and its commitment to individualism at any cost. A poetic, whimsical fable, steeped in organic rural textures, Province revolves around a gallery of colourful characters who must face off against mutant animals—suddenly rebellious and determined to destroy their human masters. Despite the ecological malaise, the people of Province continue their pre-apocalypse lives with as much gusto as before, playing Wii, making home videos, obsessing over their looks and material possessions. Will they react before it is too late or will they be swallowed up by the ever-encroaching greenery of the Province?

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Behind the Curtains: Warona Setshwaelo (State of Denial)

October 7th, 2015

Behind the Curtains: Warona Setshwaelo (State of Denial)

State of Denial rehearsal - W. Setshwaelo, J. Blais, M. Di Cesare

Next week, opening at the Segal Centre Studio is Teesri Duniya Theatre’s production of State of Denial, written by Rahul Varma. The play links the Turkish-denied Armenian genocide of 1915 with the 1955 genocide in Rwanda, connecting them through the Canadian diaspora experience. I got a chance to speak Warona Setshwaelo, who plays Odette in the play, and we discussed the importance of the subject and the themes that are brought up in the play.

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Behind the Curtains: Tamara Brown (The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God)

September 28th, 2015

Behind the curtains: Tamara Brown (The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God)

Tamara Brown

Actor/Director/Writer

Tamara Brown plays Martha/Ancestor/Performer in The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God, under the direction of Djanet Sears, running at the Centaur through October 18, 2015.

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Behind the Curtains: Julia Mackey (Jake’s Gift)

September 16th, 2015

Behind the Curtains: Julia Mackey (Jake’s Gift)

For our first Behind the scene segment, I got the opportunity to talk to an amazing touring performer and writer, Julia Mackey, who will be presenting Jake’s Gift at Hudson Village Theatre this week from September 16th – 20th. The show has been presented in over 200 communities across Canada including international stops in the US, UK and Normandy (France), for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.

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