Behind the Curtain: Ira Sokolov (Bites of Life)

November 20th, 2015

Behind the Curtain: Ira Sokolov (Bites of Life)

Ira Sokolov

Director, Writer and Actress in Bites of Life

Bites of Life - Customer Service

QDF: Why did you decide to do it in a hair salon?

Ira: Actually that is connected to my individuality. I like unconventional spots along with conventional because MainLine Theatre was in its first year of productions when I started doing productions here. It is my favorite theatre because the opportunity to do three or four sides view theatre pieces was not popular at all ten years ago. Even then, I was always looking for something that was not regular, something that is more edgy, and something that will provoke people that is my interest in general. I want to provoke. I provoke myself actually because when looking for unconventionality it challenges me. That is very important for me. I am a generous person and I am very selfish towards me on that point because that is my life. If I start to not challenge myself, I get into a routine and I hate routines. And I think art should not be allowed to become routine.

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Behind the Curtain: Jane Gilchrist (An Agnes of God)

November 14th, 2015

Behind the Curtain: Jane Gilchrist (An Agnes of God)

Jane Gilchrist



QDF: First, tell us about the play?

Jane: An extraordinary play. The story of two women who are differently connected to a younger woman who has killed her baby. Mother Superior likes to think of the young woman as an unconscious innocent not responsible for anything that happened or for the fact that the baby was killed. There is the possibility that Agnes could be insane. Therefore a psychiatrist comes in to rule on her sanity. It’s a struggle between Mother Superior and the doctor; each of whom wants to save this young woman and do what is best for her.


QDF: Why did you choose to do this play, what specifically attracted you?

Jane: Went to the audition, loved the part. It was intriguing and interesting. It’s a play about something. The action is the characters and the characters are the action. The story coming closer and closer to an ending, but still leaves us in a state of intrigue

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Behind the Curtain: Martin Law and Isaac Robinson (An Iliad)

November 14th, 2015

Behind the Curtain: Martin Law and Isaac Robinson (An Iliad)

Martin Law

Actor and Co-Founder of Chocolate Moose Theatre Company

Isaac Robinson

Director and Co-Founder of Moose & Moa

An Iliad 2

QDF: We all know The Iliad, but what is An Iliad about?

Martin: It is taking The Iliad, the classic, and making one poet’s story. You can see the poet as like a Homer figure if you like. It’s about making it personal to one storyteller, returning it to its tradition where it would be told orally, in person and making it somebody who has actually seen and who is trying to relate it to an audience. It’s kind of making a classic poem into a dramatic work. And of course, condensing The Iliad by a lot, it is now down to 100 minutes, which would normally take days to recite.

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Behind the Curtain: Evita Karasek (Butcher)

November 3, 2015

Behind the Curtain: Evita Karasek (Butcher)

Evita Karasek

Set and Costume Designer

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QDF: How was your experience while working on Butcher?

Evita: It is such an interesting script to work with as a designer because nothing is, as it seems. It was so much fun to be able to work with that theme and that feeling that starts somewhere modest and ends up somewhere really profound. And that is really a privilege for me, as a scenographer.

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Behind the Curtain: Alyson Grant (Progress!)

October 28, 2015

Behind the Curtain: Alyson Grant (Progress!)

Alyson Grant


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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


holly Greco

Assistant Director and Co-Choreographer


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)


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


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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