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What’s On – October 4 – 11

What’s On

One-Act Play Festival – Concordia University


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Five programs of short plays. A wide spectrum of theatrical styles, from dystopic fantasy to absurdism to mask comedy to post-dramatic performance. Themes ranging from romantic love to politics to virginity to monsters.  Dozens of student and professional theatre artists. Countless vivid moments.

The Shows

Mistero Buffo, written by Dario Fo, directed by Cristina Iovita

V-Cards, written by Jesse Stong and Step Taylor, directed by Dean Patrick Fleming
Underbelly, by the Erlangen exchange
Constellations, written by Nick Payne, directed by Harry Standjofski
Plays by Don Nigro, written by Don Nigro, directed by Liz Valdez

November 9, 2016 – November 13, 2016, 7 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

To reserve tickets, please send an email to: tickets.finearts@concordia.ca. For more information please click here.

Bites of Life, Episode 1 – Gleams Theatre


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Gleams Theater opens their season of series with Bites of Life, Episode 1. The show is comprised of three short plays, performed in a cosy salon in NDG.

We interviewed Ira S of Gleams Theatre and she took us through the ten years she’s been working with short plays, and plays in non-traditional theatre spaces. 

***THIS WEEKEND ONLY 50% off ticket price for QDF Members!***

Episode 1 runs every Friday from September 15 to November 13 at Salon 3. For more information and for tickets, click here.

Playing with Fire: The Theo Fleury Story – Centaur Theatre presents a Persephone Theatre Production


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First up at Centaur Theatre this season is The Theo Fleury Story, and as one of our QDF staff is a born and raised, do or die Calgary Flames fan, this is one to keep your eye on as a lengendary and heart-breaking story. Is it a hockey story or a human story?

Playing with Fire: The Theo Fleury Story runs from October 3 – 29 at the Centaur Theatre. For more information and for tickets, please click here.

FRINGE Encore – MainLine Theatre


See three gems of the St Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival! Kicking things off on October 4 are Burcu Emeç and the crew from Goddamn Bear with their shows, tldr;smh and Precinct: An Improvised Cop Comedy respectively.

tldr;smh won this year’s MainLine Creativity Award and garnered a lot of #fringebuzz for Emeç’s vivid and inventive style as she explores feminist fighter identity in Kurdistan. Click here for tickets.

Precinct is a hilarious long-form improv romp through the mean streets of Montreal’s Mile-End featuring a couple of tough talking beat cops solving crimes. Click here for tickets.

For one night only on October 7 Captain Aurora is back! If you missed out on both FRINGE runs, this is your chance! Click here for tickets.

Spring Awakening – Dawson College


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The Dawson College students are presenting this classic controversial coming of age play that’s got everything to make all the parents of freshmen totally freak out! So go have a look at all the teenage stuff you wish you were doing at that age (am I just a square projecting onto this show? OK I might be projecting).

Spring Awakening runs from Wednesday October 4th to Saturday October 7th at 8pm. For more information and for tickets click here.

 

 

Sunday Night Improv | Les Lundis D’impro | Art Machine – Theatre Sainte-Catherine


At Theatre Sainte-Catherine, the weekend runs Sunday – Tuesday! They’ve got three regular shows to entertain and delight!

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Sunday Night Improv is both workshop and performance! Stop in from 5-7 for a free workshop with improvisers of all skill levels and hone your craft, then stick around for the show at 8 PM (tickets $7).

Presented by Le Nouvau International

For more information, click here.
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Les Lundis D’impro is the same deal as Sunday, but this time for the Francophones!

Presented by Le Nouvau International.

For more information, click here.

 

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Here’s TSC’s cabaret style Art Machine, where you can see great Francophone standup, sketch, live music, clown – it’s a variety show so the best thing to do is head down and check it out. Tuesdays at 7:30 PM, tickets are only $5!

For more information, click here.

 


What’s On is a weekly events-at-a-glance post with an overview of QDF Member shows. If you have an event that you’d like to see listed here please contact marketing@quebecdrama.org

What’s On – September 27 – October 4

What’s On

QDF Annual General Meeting and Fall 2017 Calendar Launch


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The History of Sexuality by Dane Stewart


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Presented by Talking Dog Productions.

Five students take a graduate seminar studying the work of revolutionary French philosopher Michel Foucault. As they argue over issues of sexuality, gender, oppression and free will, these theories begin to rupture and spill out into their own lives. The characters expose the complexities of sexuality as it collides with kink, BDSM, disability, gender, and sex work.

Sept 21-23, 27-30 @ 8pm
Sept 23 & 30 @ 2pm

Bites of Life, Episode 1 – Gleams Theatre


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Gleams Theater opens their season of series with Bites of Life, Episode 1. The show is comprised of three short plays, performed in a cosy salon in NDG.

We interviewed Ira S of Gleams Theatre and she took us through the ten years she’s been working with short plays, and plays in non-traditional theatre spaces. 

Episode 1 runs every Friday from September 15 to November 13 at Salon 3. For more information and for tickets, click here.

Playing with Fire: The Theo Fleury Story – Centaur Theatre presents a Persephone Theatre Production


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First up at Centaur Theatre this season is The Theo Fleury Story, and as one of our QDF staff is a born and raised, do or die Calgary Flames fan, this is one to keep your eye on as a lengendary and heart-breaking story. Is it a hockey story or a human story?

Playing with Fire: The Theo Fleury Story runs from October 3 – 29 at the Centaur Theatre. For more information and for tickets, please click here.

FRINGE Encore – MainLine Theatre


See three gems of the St Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival! Kicking things off on October 4 are Burcu Emeç and the crew from Goddamn Bear with their shows, tldr;smh and Precinct: An Improvised Cop Comedy respectively.

tldr;smh won this year’s MainLine Creativity Award and garnered a lot of #fringebuzz for Emeç’s vivid and inventive style as she explores feminist fighter identity in Kurdistan. Click here for tickets.

Precinct is a hilarious long-form improv romp through the mean streets of Montreal’s Mile-End featuring a couple of tough talking beat cops solving crimes. Click here for tickets.

For one night only on October 7 Captain Aurora is back! If you missed out on both FRINGE runs, this is your chance! Click here for tickets.

Spring Awakening – Dawson College


spring_awakening-414x640

The Dawson College students are presenting this classic controversial coming of age play that’s got everything to make all the parents of freshmen totally freak out! So go have a look at all the teenage stuff you wish you were doing at that age (am I just a square projecting onto this show? OK I might be projecting).

Spring Awakening runs from Wednesday October 4th to Saturday October 7th at 8pm. For more information and for tickets click here.

Sunday Night Improv | Les Lundis D’impro | Art Machine – Theatre Sainte-Catherine


At Theatre Sainte-Catherine, the weekend runs Sunday – Tuesday! They’ve got three regular shows to entertain and delight!

sni-logo-white-on-black-270x168.jpg

Sunday Night Improv is both workshop and performance! Stop in from 5-7 for a free workshop with improvisers of all skill levels and hone your craft, then stick around for the show at 8 PM (tickets $7).

Presented by Le Nouvau International

For more information, click here.
lundis_logo_web

Les Lundis D’impro is the same deal as Sunday, but this time for the Francophones!

Presented by Le Nouvau International.

For more information, click here.

ArtMachine-logo-600x789

Here’s TSC’s cabaret style Art Machine, where you can see great Francophone standup, sketch, live music, clown – it’s a variety show so the best thing to do is head down and check it out. Tuesdays at 7:30 PM, tickets are only $5!

For more information, click here.


What’s On is a weekly events-at-a-glance post with an overview of QDF Member shows. If you have an event that you’d like to see listed here please contact marketing@quebecdrama.org

Theatre News: July 9 – July 15

Local News

If you’ve been thinking about stopping by our new offices, here’s another reason to visist! One block away, Rue St Denis has been shut down for Montreal Complètement Cirque, part of We’re Acting Out, Montreal’s monster street theatre festival. There are so many free events to choose from – go see some street theatre with an acrobatic twist and come say hello to QDF at 2060 Ave Joly!

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The Just for Laughs Comedy Festival kicked off last week! There’s SO many shows, and there’s lots to read about to prepare: CultMTL talks to Robert Kelly of The Nasty Show, The Gazette has an interview with Mike Birbiliga, and CBC has the JFL Awards scoop.

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In other JFL news, QDF Members MainLine Theatre and the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts have shows in the festival! If you’re missing FRINGE, check out the Best of FRINGE Cabaret as part of ZooFest and Off-JFL. If you’re looking for comedy of the sitdown (as opposed to standup) variety, JFL and the Segal Centre have you covered with What’s In a Name?

National News

Concrete Theatre in Edmonton is connecting theatre to their community with their summer drama camp for Syrian refugees. The camp is taught by a Syrian drama instructor brought in by Concrete’s Mieko Ouchi to help refugees new to Canada start building a community and exploring their stories through art, in particular, theatre. (via CBC)

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J Kelly Nestruck over at the Globe and Mail delivers another great read. This week he’s checking in on gender parity and summer Shakespeare shows across the country, from Halifax’s Shakespeare by the Sea to Bard on the Beach in Vancouver. This year, only Saskatoon’s Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan was able to make parity, with exactly half female actors in their production. Nestruck provides a very balanced view of this issue, as usual, while asking the questions that need to be asked. (via Globe and Mail) Do you think theatre still skews male or has the work already been done to achieve gender equality in theatre? Let us know on Twitter!

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Toronto Masque Theatre announced its upcoming 13th season will be the company’s last. Go see some great classical and contemporary masque shows while you can! (via Stage Door)

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Adrienne Wong over at SpiderWebShow asks us to take a hard look at the self, theatre, and shared digital spaces. The most significant difference between theatre and film is the live performance aspect, and so people who want to experience a live performance gather together in the same room to experience it, and this was generally the divide until the Internet Age: When Things Took a Turn. Now we can have live performance experienced in real time, but we suddenly don’t have to all be in the same room. How can theatre practitioners use this new advent to improve on the form? What do you think? Send us a tweet!

International News

David Mamet is making headlines in the UK after it was reported he included a blanket ban on post-show talk backs at his plays as one of the conditions of getting the rights to perform his plays. The price of violating this clause is pretty steep at $25k. Theatre goers and practioners alike have been coming down on either side of the debate. On the one hand, open discussion gives the audience a voice to interact more deeply with a piece, and many productions use talkbacks as a tool for fostering community engagement. Mamet disagrees, perhaps as this article suggests, because the art should speak for itself. For my part, I agree with Mamet, though a $25k fine crosses the line. However, I think experiences should be experienced, meaning they occur in real time, and can’t be duplicated or honestly revisited, recreated, rehashed. Talk backs don’t matter much to me, because I believe the play is the experience. Am I wrong? Yell at me on Twitter! (via The Guardian)

 

posted by Caleigh Crow

Theatre News: July 2 – July 8

Local News

Big news for fans of Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil! Cirque du Soleil as acquired Blue Man Productions, hoping to bring the show to a wider audience in places like Germany. These are two physical performance powerhouses! Look forward to seeing what kind of work they do together. (via Global News)

National News

A bold opinion and inside perspective by J. Kelly Nestruck about the Dora Awards which took place last week in Toronto. There have been some problems with the Doras in the past, and a programming overhaul a few years ago hasn’t quite done the trick. Kelly wonders why with the quality of theatre in Toronto the Dora Awards don’t garner much buzz, and posits it might be the confusing categories. How much stake do you place in theatre awards? If a company has a “Best Production” banner slapped on it, are you more likely to go see it? Have your say on Twitter! (via Globe and Mail)

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Is Rick Mercer Ruining Everything? A great read about Canadian comedy and American politics. There’s lots of Canadian humor out there patting ourselves on the back for perceived progressiveness (read: superiority), as the article points out, as a major tenet of our national identity. The article examines comedy’s role in developing this trend. What do you think? Have we established a national identity beyond “Not-American”? Ought we to look to our own damning political problems rather than distract ourselves with At Least Things are Better Here Syndrome? Or is it just a bit of fun? Let us know on Twitter! (via NY Times)

International News

July 11 is World Fringe Day! Here’s an article on howlround.com about what FRINGE looks like across the world, and why we need FRINGE Festivals (whether they scare us or not!). How many FRINGE Festivals have you attended? Tweet us your answer! (via HowlRound)

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Is Shakespeare still shocking? An interesting experiment in the works at the Royal Shakespeare Company. The plan is to hook audience members up to heart monitors and track their heart rate while watching a live theatre performance of one of the bard’s goriest, Titus Andronicus, compared to a film version of the same play, and see if we can measure excitement. (via BBC)

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Not sure how to react to this article from The Telegraph. Do you think it’s discriminatory or disrespectful to target a younger demographic? Would you say that the way older audiences are portrayed is “offensive”? I believe putting on a good, strong show will attract audiences regardless of age. Interesting that this #OldLivesMatter article dismisses all young people as preferring to “hang out” and “snog”. These are my reactions to this article, what are yours? Agree? Disagree? Share on Twitter! (via the Telegraph)

 

#fringebuzz-ing at the Circus Sideshow: Mylene Chicoine of We Accept Her: A Caravan Calamity

By Caleigh Crow

We Accept Her: A Caravan Calamity puts its characters in situations familiar to us all. A strongman with an evil plot convinces a beautiful dancer to toy with the feelings of a sweet-tempered, romantic bearded lady, and the kindly circus matron, Mama Mabelle, doles out sage advice (with the help of her third eye). It’s a situation we’ve all been in. Well, maybe not exactly, but Crazy Cat Lady Productions uses the circus as a vehicle to discuss some common themes like love, prejudice, and acceptance. Inspired by 1932 cult film Freaks, Mylene Chicoine was thrilled to have a chance to present this story. “When my name was picked out of the hat,” she says breathlessly, “I thought finally! It’s time!”

Mylene has always been drawn by all things “creepy, weird, dark, and twisted” and is particularly fascinated by the circus sideshows, at once strange and compelling. The ominous voyeurism of the side show contrasts with innocent images of happy children chowing down on popcorn that Myelene describes as “dark dissonance”. It’s this feeling in circuses and representations of circuses, like Freaks, that excites Mylene.

With We Accept Her, Mylene jumped at the chance to represent the circus according to her vision, contrasting with traditional circus tropes. “The owner of the circus is always this seedy guy, and I wanted to get away from that,” Mylene explains, “and I have instead Momma Mabelle, who is super sweet and compassionate, and she has a third eye, so she sees everything.” In addition to Mama Mabelle, the other characters are the strongman, dancer, a romantic mute and the bearded lady. “I have a fascination with bearded ladies,” Mylene says affectionately.

Mylene is rehearsing at Studio Caravane, and has invited me to sneak a peek behind the scenes and snap a few pictures. While we’ve been chatting, the actors, along with stage manager Bruce Lambie, have been running lines. As soon as Mylene enters the room, the work gets started, and what I see is a very well-balanced group of performers, putting in the work. The group have varying levels of theatre experience, which is not unusual at the St. Ambroise FRINGE Festival, and it’s something that director Mylene can appreciate. “One thing I’m realising is that a person that’s coming to the first time is really easy to direct. They are so eager,” she says, “And I barely have to direct the more experienced actors. It does give me that room to pay more attention where it’s needed as a director. Its a nice balance.”

The setting of the play is both playful and dark, as mirrored by the themes of the story. A love triangle is a classic comedic device, but the fact that they are circus side show performers brings in the more serious aspects of the show. Belinda, the bearded lady, deals with a lot of unpleasantness, mostly from strongman Simon, who is constantly berating her about her looks, which because they are unconventional, must be ugly.  “The idea behind the show here is to illuminate to the audience how quickly they are at judging others on the stupidest things, whether it’s a zit, or the size of a person, or the skin color, or sexual orientation, it doesn’t matter” However, Mylene wants the audience to ask some hard questions of themselves, “Am I that mean? Am I watching myself right now?”

Our conversation is momentarily interrupted by a crew member handing off a tote bag to Mylene. I can’t help but notice a riding crop poking out of the bag. “Should be a fun rehearsal,” I say, gesturing to the crop. “We’ve got a riding crop, we have wine glasses for a special feast,” Mylene replies with a grin, “All sorts of fun things!”


We Accept Her: A Caravan Calamity runs from June 8 – 18th at the MainLine Theatre. For more information and tickets please click here.

For all QDF’s #fringebuzz posts please click here.

#fringebuzz with Luigi Buffone: Leave the Therapy Take the Cannoli

By: Max Mehran

 

As the buzzing of the Fringe Bees is felt more and more in the air, I met with Luigi Buffone, first-time director and producer who is putting on his original play, Leave the Therapy, Take the Cannoli, playing at this year’s St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. Here is all you need to know about this play that will serve you humor, Italian-ness, and cannoli!

 

[QDF] Tell us about Leave the Therapy Take the Cannoli.

[Luigi] The play is very simple. It’s about an Italian family that has issues, and they decide to work them out by going to therapy. They are a little bit hesitant because they never went to therapy before, and Sal one of the sons convinces his family to go to family therapy. The whole show is about them going to three different sessions of therapy where a lot of things come up in discussions that usually is never mentioned between the Family. They also all work together at their family business, a restaurant, which is why they have a lot of fights.

 

[QDF] Tell us about the title and why you chose it?

[Luigi] First of all, Italians are all about  food. The idea for the title came from the movie “The Godfather”  during one of the scenes …”Leave the gun take the cannoli”.  In times of stress what better way to relieve it but by eating…..“Leave the Therapy . Take the Cannoli”.  Food solves anything.

 

[QDF] Great, now tell us about your journey from the conception of the play to today, being featured at the Festival?

[Luigi] This is a play that I have been thinking about writing for a long time. Although I am not a writer, I had this idea for the longest time, and I just found the concept of having an Italian family going to therapy funny. I can see my own family going there and imagine what could be said. Since I am not a writer, I asked my friend Natalie Darbyson to come and help me write it.   I gave her the idea and what I wanted in the play, and she put everything together and more.   Alex Haber who also contributed to the script suggested to try out at the Fringe festival.  I had been once before and thought it would be a great opportunity. We submitted the play  in the fringe lottery and were lucky enough to get in. It has been a great process since; everything is going well.

 

[QDF] You mention you had this idea for a long time. How did you come up with it? Is it somewhat autobiographical?

[Luigi] Although my family never went to therapy, there is a lot of things in there that come from my own experience. Let me give you an example. The father character, after the therapist asks him about his first arrival to Canada, tells pretty much the same experience as the one my father went through. There is also the character of one of the brother who is an actor, which is what I do. Therefore, there is a little bit of me and my family in the story. I just wanted to have fun with this story and I thought it would be a good thing to show little elements like those ones that people would find interesting. I also thought the whole concept of Italians would be funny. Old world Italians solve their problems by eating, not talking.

 

[QDF] So, it is your first time producing and participating at the Fringe. Tell us how does it make you feel?

[Luigi] It’s been great. I didn’t know really what was going to happen, and it’s been very, very exciting. Everybody in the cast is very excited. The Fringe team has been super helpful. I really like the way they help the artist go through whatever you need to go through. For example, I have been to all the workshops, which are very helpful as they really take the time to show people how best to prepare and to give advice.

 

[QDF] Would you say the Festival is a safe and support environment to participate in?

[Luigi] Yes, especially for me. Putting on a show through the festival is a big thing because we get a lot of exposure, and I get to be guided- that’s what I like. I learned things that I never would have thought I could do.

 

[QDF] Being part of this festival, is there any event you are most looking forward to?

[Luigi]On the days we won’t have a show, I want to walk around and see plays that looked interesting from the program and see what other artists are doing. There is so many events I want to go to that are not only plays, for example the air guitar event seems really fun.

 

[QDF] How do you feel about directing as a first time director?

[Luigi] I definitely enjoy it. It’s great because I can see my vision being brought to life by these fantastic actors. The only thing I would say is that I am kind a little jealous. (laughs) I would like to jump in with everybody so maybe in the future I can add another character, but I really enjoyed directing. It’s really fun to create something with a great people.

 

[QDF] What are your hopes for the play in the future?

[Luigi] We have many plans! I want to first of all perform the play in different venues across town.  Now that I become close to Mainline, we will definitely try to perform it there. Also, being part of the Fringe brought me close with other artists, so maybe we can partner up and do a double bill event with another short play. We are also working on translating the play in French: it could be funny and reach another market. We plan to play it not only in Montreal, maybe on the South-Shore and other outskirts of Montreal in places where they don’t have theatre, maybe tour a little bit. It’s definitely not going to be put to rest after the festival is over.

 

[QDF] Great, so you’ll keep busy. What’s your feeling like today, are you excited?

[Luigi] Very excited.Everyday,  I wake up feeling good. My wife always says that whenever I do something, I tend to be quickly consumed by it, and this is what’s happening. (laughs)

 

[QDF] Great, you look excited, which is great to see! Any last note you want to share with us?

[Luigi] This has been a great experience. It’s been very fun and heartwarming. It is not just a comedy; there is a lot of themes in the play I think people are going to enjoy. I also want to mention to any artists out there, is that I strongly suggest participating in the next Fringe because it’s a great and helpful experience that isn’t threatening at all. It is very inspiring.  They make it easy for us to have a great experience.

 

I can feel Luigi’s excitement to showcase the hard work of him and his actors on the stage of the Fringe this week, and it is heartwarming to see the sparkles in his eyes. Thank you to Luigi for taking the time to meet with the QDF and share some insights of Leave the Therapy Take the Cannoli and his experience at the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. Find out more about the play here.

#fringebuzz-ing With Scott Humphrey: The Detective, the Dame, and the Devil

By: Max Mehran

On a bright, sunny afternoon that feels that summer is finally coming, I met with the wonderfully talented and multi-faceted Scott Humphrey. He takes on the roles of writer, producer, actor, marketing director, and many more for the world premiere The Detective, the Dame, and the Devil presented at the 2017 St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival. A show he has been working on for three years, Scott couldn’t be more excited- and terrified – to see it finally hit the stage this summer.

The show is, in Scott’s words, “essentially a Film Noir parody.” He explains that a lot of people are familiar with the tropes of the genre, such as the monologu-ing detective, Venetian blinds, double-crossing, etc.  The popularity of the genre motivated Scott to write a parody because, as he states, “[he] just wanted to turn [the audience’s] expectations around and have fun with this.”

Scott amusingly recalls the first thing people think when he tells them his show is a parody of Film Noir. “I often catch people rolling their eyes,” he adds, “because the style is often already a parody.” That being said, the reason why Scott decided to go ahead with this idea is the fun of playing off of these tropes with the intention to challenge the expectations of the audience. “It’s where comedy comes from, and people get a laugh at that,” he continues.

The show is structured in an interesting way. Scott explains that “the first part is a heart-boiled detective story played as straight as possible, but then the story is told twice more from the perspective of the other characters.” With this, Scott attempts to keep his audience on the edge of their seats while making them laugh as well.  “I like to combine mystery and comedy,” he continues, “because they both function on the same premise: you don’t always know what’s going to happen next.”

The play, therefore, deals with how much your perception of a situation can influence its outcome. Scott tells us that “when you are watching a play, you are basically watching relationships between characters, so what I wanted to do was to create strong relationship between three different characters, but then depending on who is telling the story, the relationship might have a different hero and different villain.”

It has been a long time that Scott has been working on the show, and when the Fringe lottery picked out his name, things escalated quickly. “I wrote it originally as a one person show” he reveals, “composed of three monologues.” After a less-successful first reading, he realized there was still work to be done on the play. After he workshopped it further, the play became funnier, less heavy, and not as dark. Scott also added two new characters to his story. “About a year ago,” he explains, “I did a reading of the draft and I thought to myself, ‘this is in a good place, I think I want to go ahead and produce it’.” A little while later, his name was picked out from the Fringe lottery and all of the sudden his play was to be produced in front of a live audience.

“It is the kind of show I felt required a group with a particular kind of humor,” he tells me when I asked about how he chose his cast and production team. He wanted the cast and crew to be as familiar with the genre and the tropes as he and his audience were, because the play makes callbacks and a lot references to other films. “It’s a farce and a highbrow stuff at the same time,” he jokes. Casting the play was easy as he chose actors who he knew were strong and funny performers. While Scott contemplated the idea of being the director of the show, he chose to go with the scarier option and asked an outside perspective to take the reins. “I had the choice to appear in the thing I wrote and directed or to give the power away to a director, and I asked myself which one was scarier.” He decided to hire someone he hadn’t worked with before, and it seems that so far, it’s been a perfect match.

This is Scott’s first time as a producer, which can be rewarding when he gets to connect with other companies …but can also be stressful. He created The Detective, the Dame, and the Devil knowing what he was getting into. “Going back to what I conceptualized,” he tells us, “I conceived it as being as simple as possible.” He continues emphasizing that “every decision that we have been taking so far have been to make our lives as simple as possible- at least we are trying.” The play is still subject to changes as cues or dialogue can be added or removed if the team feels it doesn’t add to the whole show. “I think there is also a lot of fun in the fluidity that other artists bring to the text.”

While this isn’t Scott’s first time writing, The Detective, the Dame, and the Devil is his first attempt at writing a comedy. “I took myself too seriously before, and it is fun be able to indulge in the serious side, and be able to laugh after,” he explains. The Detective, the Dame, and the Devil is also his first full-length play being ever presented. I am curious to see how he feels about the whole ordeal, he answers quite honestly. “Let’s be real, I feel terrified,” he jokes, “but not because I think it’s going to go poorly, but because anytime you invest a lot of time and energy on something, you are telling people that you believe your work is worthwhile.  And I do think people are going to get something out of it.”

I asked Scott how he feels about presenting his play at the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. He tells me that the festival “is a great opportunity to take a risk because there is a lot of material out there and the audience knows that people are there to have a good time.” He also appreciates how being part of the festival draws new audiences to one’s work and starts conversation about theatre in or out of the festival.

At this moment in time, Scott is most looking forward to Fringe For All “because it’s going to be the moment where we get that charge of a live audience, your work, their interest, and everyone is just having a blast.” Scott and his team will also be around the festival spreading the word and trying to draw audience members in. They will also be handing out three oversized playing cards that, if someone manages to collect all three, offer a discount of two dollars on the ticket prize. With this marketing idea, he hopes to create a mini treasure hunt during the festival.

As we are wrapping up the interview, I have to ask Scott the question that was haunting me for the duration of the interview, ‘what is your favorite Film Noir?’ He takes a few seconds to answer, and then confidently tells us, “I am going to say The Maltese Falcon because it is so… standard and strange at the same time.” He continues saying that “people think of Film Noir as very serious, and in this film, while the leads are very witty, the dialogue is often very dry. I think those interpretations really are what drew me to do something in the first place.”

Thank you to Scott Humphrey for taking the time to talk to us about his upcoming show, The Detective, the Dame, and the Devil, “a Film Noir parody and a smart comedy with something for everybody.” Now start your hunting for the three playing cards and find your way to Theatre La Chapelle during the festival to catch the show!

#fringebuzz: Dreaming of a Simple Life- Inspiration for “Beaver Dream” by Lost & Found Puppet Co.

The following piece was submitted by Maggie Winston, the creator of Beaver Dream/ La Fièvre du Castor by Lost and Found Puppet Co. The piece is part of QDF’s series of artist-submitted works detailing experiences creating at the 26th edition of the St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival. Photo (L to R): Maggie Winston, Rae-Anna Maitland. Credit: Joanna Pitsounis.

Every summer of my life has been spent with my family at a place called “Crow’s Lake”. It’s a Canadian paradise, hidden in the Laurentian Mountains, QC. It features 3 non-electrified log cabins (shared only within the family), a lake all to ourselves (except for the beavers, of course), and all the peace and quiet a person needs.  I have lived and travelled all over the world. As a result, I think of myself as having many homes. Yet, every summer, I return to Crow’s Lake.

During the last 3 summers, while floating on the lake, a dream of a show was taking shape. To make this show, I needed to be close to the one place that was always home. This January, my plan to relocate from Vancouver to Montreal, start a new life, learn french, develop whole new relationships, join the vibrant puppet community, and make a Fringe show, was in action!

Through the creation process, I realized my deeper reason for moving here. All humans desire to reconnect with nature, to live a life in which there is little technology. A simple life, in which we remember that we are animals sharing this world with other animals.

This separation from nature creates a type of anxiety. It arises in the subconscious of many of my family members (including myself) in the form of a shared nightmare, in which the entire lake has been bulldozed and developed into a town inhabited by strangers. “Beaver Dream/ La Fièvre du Castor” depicts the story of Crow’s Lake from the perspective of the beavers who have shared the same lake. It imagines a fantastical world in which the beavers experience the same fears as the humans, while in a battle of construction and destruction of the beaver dam.

It’s been 6 years since I last created a show for Fringe. I remember now how much hard work it requires. It is anything but simple! I am humbled by all the artists who are working so hard. Maybe we are all just like our compulsive beaver friends. When the craziness of the Fringe is over, our director (Anne Lalancette), our second actor (Rae-Anna Maitland) and I will be spending some needed down time. You know where we will be.

Beaver Dream/ La Fièvre du Castor plays from June 10th-18th at Montreal Improv (3697 St-Laurent). For showtimes and tickets, check out the FRINGE website!

#fringebuzz: The First-Time Director’s Guide to Directing

The following piece was submitted by Callum Pfofl, director of Those Darn Donovans, produced by SCaT Theatre. The piece is part of QDF’s series of artist-submitted works detailing experiences creating at the 26th edition of the St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival.

The process for SCaT’s (Sebastien & Callum’s anglophone Theatre) upcoming first Fringe show Those Darn Donavan’s has been an extremely satisfying (if taxing) process and collaboration. As co-director and co-writer of the show alongside Sebastien Burke, I have learned so much about what it really takes to put on a professional theatre show. You have to be willing to go into rehearsal with a plan, with a precise and calculated vision of what you want to be taken away from the script, but then expect at any second for those plans to be thrown away. I would say that has been my greatest takeaway from this experience, is understanding that your vision is not the only one; there are a team of artists and people passionate about the same field as you are willing to take ideas and run with them.

This cast has been tremendous to work with, from the early stages when they developed a far superior ending to the show than Sebastien and I had created, to the very end of rehearsals when we see the weeks and months of dedication they’ve been bringing to getting these characters off the page onto the stage. Even co-ordinating with the Fringe Festival and Mainline Theatre staff as a whole has broadened my eyes on what it means to be a director: persistent but not overbearing, kind but not a push-over, direct but not rude. To be a good director is to be a precise director, and I’m not saying I am.

I’m only writing this because I want people, our audience, anyone else who is as new to directing a Fringe show as I am, to know that being a good director is not an easy process. But hell, it’s been fun and isn’t that the point? Sure, this may not be remembered in the canonicity of the Fringe community as a ground-breaking production with grandiose hopes of touring on national stage, but I know that the conduct I’ve tailored to rehearsals, and people outside working in the complex honeycomb of the Montreal Fringe.

Those Darn Donovans plays from June 10th-19th at MainLine Theatre (3997 St-Laurent). For showtimes and tickets, check out the FRINGE website.

Pictured above (counter-clockwise, top, bottom, bottom, top): Caelen Corrigan, Alyssa Angelucci-Wall, Naomi Cormier, Anastasios Fraghias. Photo credit: Helen Park.

#fringebuzz: Practicing movements of approach through hanging posters

The following piece was submitted by Nika Stein, a Russian-born performer/choreographer living in Montreal. Photo by Fannie Bertrand. Nika is creator and performer in the solo work Choreography which leads to satisfaction.  The piece is part of QDF’s series of artist-submitted works detailing experiences creating at the 26th edition of the St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival.

I was painfully shy as a kid, and while a lot of that shyness is gone now, in part due, I am sure, to my career in the performing arts, some things are still difficult.  I still find approaching strangers, and especially asking for favours from strangers, difficult. Presently I am hanging posters around town for my upcoming show Choreography which leads to satisfaction appearing at the Fringe festival. As I head out to hang some posters my mood is somewhat tense. With my bag of posters, I approach every potential place. I evaluate what else is hanging or not hanging there, I evaluate the body language of the staff, and I make a decision. Either I go for it, take a breath and ask if I can put up a poster, or I walk away.

I remember first seeing the poster for the show when it came out from the printers. It looked good and promising, and as I started to sweat and my heart-rate increased, the accompanied thought was: I better be good, I better deliver.

This sweating and heart-rate acceleration was a kick-start mechanism from my body to generate yet more energy for the 6 shows at the Fringe. Indeed, if I want to do one thing in this show, it is to generate as much energy as possible in my body through an emotional charge…Then I want to release it completely, to bring my body to neutral. I want to do this in my body over and over, as I travel through each different emotion on my way to satisfaction. Despite the title of the piece, there is no actual choreography in it, at least not in the conventional sense of complex spatial movements. Rather, I am focusing on movements and sounds of raw emotions. Movements of want and desire are especially shunned in our society. I want to give them full room in this show.

Even the wildest edgiest thing that is rehearsed can become so safe and predictable for the performer. Thus while I do need rehearsals in the studio, this hanging of posters is an excellent rehearsal for the movements of approach.

As a walk the streets of my beloved Montreal, scoping for places to hang posters, I do it in the spirit of mindfulness. I make mental notes about which new cafés I would like to check out in the future (owners beware of rudeness towards people that hang posters). Every time I hang a poster, or hand it to the staff for examination, I am forced to get in touch with what I want to convey to the audience, and to make a place for it in my heart. The more posters I hang around town, the less stressed-out I feel about hanging more posters. The closer I feel to satisfaction. The closer I feel to Choreography which leads to satisfaction.

Choreography which leads to satisfaction plays from June 10th-19th at Studio Jean-Valcourt du Conservatoire (4750 Henri-Julien). For showtimes and tickets, check out the FRINGE website!