Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Quickie

Ok. A veritable cornucopia of Quickies today.

The Theatre program....Necessary evil, Useless Waste or Green Abomination?

The Answer to that proverbial Q & A question.

Athol Fugards Latest Play.....Now I just have to get there to see it.

The National Theatre's Cinema Broadcast. I know that they are doing it I just would love to see their deal with Equity.

New media / Video to promote your show

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In the Pen Case

In the pen case this week is {from left to right} Visconti van Gogh in Sandal filled with Diamine Passion Red, Visconti Pericle with Diamine Imperial Purple, Waterman Charleston with Aurora Black and Parker Onyx Flat Top Duofold with Diamine Teal

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Frenzy or Bust

So we are entering week three of Toronto the Good and I have been thinking a bit about how this whole process works for me. I have discovered that I seem to begin my directing in what can only be called a "state of artistic frenzy". It seems that it is the same part of my brain that clicks into place when I am acting or directing or making Excel spreadsheets.

I know that the latter item may seem a bit out of place but really it isn't. For me, and I guess my brain, there is a place for inspiration and wildly connecting neurons to solve problems and make arcane choices that just work in an inventive way. And that when you look back at the work you see the, hopefully elegant, solutions but you may not be quite able to fully understand the creative flight.

After the frenzy comes the final shaping, watching and slowly letting the actors take control of the show. For me it seems that the hand off comes a bit sooner rather than later and frankly I prefer it that way. But preference is not always the best course of action.
However since I jacked the concept of "visioning" from David Latham the whole rehearsal process is accelerated. This "visioning" is an approach to the first work through of the text and when that is coupled with a 1/2 day workshop about 4 weeks before rehearsal starts you get a creative cast and team that is already well down the road mentally before the first meet and greet.

It has been a very fruitful couple of weeks and I cannot wait to get on the deck this Friday and bring all the technical components in to play with the actors.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Quickies

I was wondering what the fallout would be of the Wooster Group's production of Emperor Jones at the Goodman Theatre. Well some of it is here.

Single ticket booking follies. I wonder if that happens here?

Monday, January 5, 2009

In That Great Getting Up Morning

I just heard that Jack Medhurst passed away on December 18th.

Back in the day Jack was the man. He did it all. And in my years at Ryerson he taught acting, movement and makeup. Always the consummate professional. Over the years I would run into Jack in the oddest places. Yonge and Gerrard, Robson Street, the RTS reunion. Always at unexpected times.

About 8 months ago my friend Jesse said, as we were finishing up lunch, "Do you know where Jack is?". And I said oh yeah he is living down at PAL. Turns out he had moved out so I contacted Ryerson and eventually I found out that he had moved to a nursing home in Scarborough. I passed the information on and Jesse and his sister Cheryl looked him up. And so it was at the end of his life that Jack spent a huge amount of comradeship and care with Jesse and Cheryl who had been among his first students lo those many years ago. Cheryl sent me a package today that had the obit, photos and a very sweet note.

And so it got me thinking. Especially since there have been a number of "famous" people dying, that here was one of the grand old men of Canadian theatre and he was pretty much forgotten. Not by his students but by the world in general. Much like Bob Christie, David Harris {Actors' Company in Hoxton} or Larry Ewashen. All former teachers of mine. There were many more.

There are many others, who worked like we do, in this most ephemeral of arts and their legacy lives on in dwindling stories, old playbills and that life saving nugget of information that we use to solve a tricky moment on stage.

I start directing a new play tomorrow. As always we start with the best intentions, high hopes and the desire to create a lasting impact. And therein lies the dichotomy. Lasting impact in a transitory art. An art that can only really live in the memories of those who saw it. An art whose reality will forever be shaped by the context around that memory. A thousand versions of each moment spring forth.

And so what is left to do but to create and live each moment fully in the art. Realize that each performance is unique, precious and melts away like cotton candy.
To do as we did back in the day...ribs up, breath from the sides, head straight and turn 2, 3, 4.

Fade to black. Thanks Jack.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year Freebies

From Butts in Seats {see blog roll} comes this post

Google Grants

On a quick examination it looks like a couple of the programs will work for us here in Canukistan. All in all a pretty good deal for those of us not able to afford the credit card charges on an ongoing basis.