As I’m writing this, 70 grade 6-8 students at the Raha Arts Centre in Abu Dhabi are stepping onstage to perform Benorix Hur: A Race for Freedom. I was fortunate enough to Skype with them, and their amazing teacher/Director of Performing Arts, Mr.Stephen, this morning. It was 9:15am my time, 5:15pm their time. Even though they were on the other side of the world- I could feel the energy buzzing from them as they geared up for the final performance.
They asked me questions about the writing process, the inspiration, the characters, etc. Lots of great questions- my two favourites being:
1. “Is it hard to write play?”- yes, yes it is. Mainly because I stare at the blank page for a looooong time, wondering how I’m going to fill it. Then I think of Steve Martin, “I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.”
2. “Who is your favourite character in the play”- I gave them the classic “All the characters are special”…then told the honest truth that if I could play one, it would be Sly- the bad guy. I love playing the villain.
Here’s to the kids of Benorix Hur! I hope they have a blast onstage and make ’em laugh!
I have just completed my first year at the University of Windsor in the School of Dramatic Art. I’m teaching the Drama in Education and Community students. What has impressed me the most about my students is their willingness to dive into the unknown.
I was inspired by a unit I had at Dell’Arte; Mask and the Plastic Space. We built larval masks and brought them to life. These masks force you to communicate with your body- you no longer have the option of communicating story through dialogue. How do you show love? How do you show anger? How do you tell a story to an audience? My students were challenged in that they could no longer rely on words or indicating everything via gestures. They had to show, not tell.
Instructions were as such:
We’re nearing the end of our run of Journey of a Lifetime at Heritage Park. The show is a collaboration between Heritage Park and Quest Theatre Society.
I was cast to play a part in Winn Bray’s beautifully crafted play on immigration to Canada. I got to work with the imaginative and inspiring director, Kevin McKendrick. And now I get to share the Canmore Opera House with some incredible folks- bringing to life the Colonist train that took courageous and hopeful immigrants across Canada.
This show is going to tour across Canada- from Halifax to Vancouver, starting in September. How many times in our lives do we get to travel across our country? The last time I did, I was 22, or 23? I was living in a van and doing 5 fringe festivals. The trip was four months. We slept in parking lots and bathed in lakes. It was a great way to see the country. I’ll never forget the time we took out our set (which was a table and a couple of chairs) used it for fine dining on the side of the road; in one of those truck driver turn outs. We made soup on a Coleman stove and drank wine out of the bottle as trucks passed us on the Trans-Canada Highway.
Living the dream. Or a dream.
It’s great when a Dell’Arte Famiglia member asks you to make them a custom mask. You know it’s going be used to create outrageous art.Here’s the new Dottore mask I made for Dustin Allen!
I’ve been directing The Underneath by Kelleen Conway Blanchard for the past few week… it opens next week, as the season opening show for Theatre BSMT.
Here’s a pretty sweet preview: