On a cool Thursday night, my friend and I bussed down to commercial drive to hit up the historic Clutch theatre for a fun night of local contemporary art. The IGNITE! Youth Festival was happening for the week of May 15th - May 19th to showcase plays, spoken word, original music, and other fine talents. IGNITE! Youth Festival is Vancouver’s largest youth-driven arts festival, with members aging from 13-26 years old.
In a children’s nursery amid balls and books, and sailing ships, Margery Williams’ timeless tale of The Velveteen Rabbit comes to life. Under the direction of Deb Williams, and through the imagination of Carousel Theatre actors Amanda Testini (One, or The Boy), Victor Mariano (Two, or the Velveteen Rabbit) and Steffanie Davis (Three, or The Nanny), the opening performance on March 4th —at Granville Island’s Waterfront Theatre—takes us on a journey through time and space.
Going into An Arrangement of Shoes, I knew nothing, neither about the Fringe Festival, nor about the play itself: what is it about? how many actors will be performing?
The only thing I knew was that a lady with a charming English accent called me to arrange the details of my visit.
In the one-man show The Incompleat Folk Singer, Victoria-based actor Mark Hellman gives a solid performance in his rendition of the life and times of political activist / folksinger, Pete Seeger. The show, which was produced by The Other Guys Theatre Company—with artistic direction by Ross Desprez, musical direction by Tobin Stokes, and lighting design by Rebekah Johnson—was based on Deprez and Hellman’s adaptation of Seeger’s 1992 autobiography, The Incompleat Folksinger.
Where there is a will for reconciliation there is a way. And where there is an opportunity to speak the truth there is Drew Hayden Taylor. As an Ojibwa playwright, and an advocate for his people, Taylor speaks up about the injustices forged against the First Nations Peoples of Canada, in the theatrical production of God and the Indian, recently remounted at Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Centre.
In the world premier of the musical Miss Shakespeare, The Escape Artists take to the stage at Granville Island’s Performance Works giving a solid performance that takes us back to the Elizabethan period. With script and lyrics by Tracey Power and music co-written with Steve Charles, Miss Shakespeare tells the tale of a time when women players went unseen and one woman—a playwright in the making—made inroads to bringing women to the stage and to changing history forever.
On Friday February 20th I had the opportunity to see the local improv group, The Benjamins, at the Little Mountain Gallery. If I could describe the event in only three words it would be, energetic, sassy and upbeat.
Evil Dead: The Musical is basically an interpretation of the first two movies, with the emphasis on the funny, unlike first movie that was not initially a comedy. The plot of the musical is the combination of Evil Dead 1 and 2 as well as a little bit of Army of Darkness. Evil Dead fits the musical format quite well and the songs are an essential part of the story, especially if you did not see the movies.
In the production of Chelsea Hotel: the Songs of Leonard Cohen—that ran from March 18-29, 2014 at Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Centre—director Tracey Power and her cast of six met with great success (and awe), as was apparent by their twelve day run, and specifically, by the performance of March 18th and the talkback session that followed.
The malaise of existence is anchored to our being by way of regret. Our skeletons perpetuate the inevitable tragedy that is life, finding a way to pry themselves from our tightly locked closets and seep into the fabric of our routine. While we may not consciously wear our inner quarrels on our sleeves, they define our personalities; they map our identities. At least, this is what I understood from the March 20th performance of This Stays in the Room at Gallery Gachet.