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Monday, January 17, 2011


Barbara Ford once again delivers a fine-lined portrait of an artist, this time Elsa Bolam, THE PIONEER. Bolam, one of the founders of Centaur Theatre, was also the creator of Geordie Productions, one of the most important theatres for young audiences in the country. 

Stephen Vincelli has worked all sides of the annual production of A Christmas Carol at the Rialto, to find himself directing this year. In COMBINING WORLDS he explains the process that brought to leading the pack.

Keith Waterfield and his accomplice, Alain Mercieca, started out by saying, "Let's fuck and do art." And so was born HOW TO ENTER VAUDEVILLE, Waterfield's first-person description of the coming together of forces to create The Waterfield Follies.

another of her fine-lined portraits of an artist who didn't just swan onto the stage from theatre school. Ms Lemieux paid her dues, notably in the service industry in New York City, before a series of small venue shows and, finally, critical acclaim in Centaur's Good People.

Djanet Sears calls herself the daughter of Lorraine Hansberry, and in her NOTES OF A COLOURED GIRL she shares her reasons for writing for theatre with breath-taking and invigorating style.

It is not a role you take on lightly, but - the way actor Chris Moore tells it - he and the artistic director of Persephone, in Montreal - just asked ONE REAL QUESTION: WHY NOT? when deciding on Hamlet. In Moore's fascinating first person, he talks about the very beginning of the process of prepping for this magnificent (and frightening) character.

Frayne McCarthy and Blair Thomson go into dangerous territory as they create a new musical called The Virgin Courtesan. In I'VE GOT IT, MAN. IT'S #*?#! AWESOME!, both of them tell us how the work comes together as they head to a first public performance.

In FOR THE CHILD TAKEN, FOR THE PARENT LEFT BEHIND Teesri Duniya artistic director Rahul Varma explains the weight of the company's next production - Where the Blood Mixes - and the journey both work and playwright took to bring a deeper piece to the stage.

Two very young artists describe the trials, tribulations and joys of mounting a production of The Breakfast Club in STORIES FROM THE DETENTION HALL by Dustin Kagan Fleming and Charley Hausknost.
The Breakfast Club

It is difficult to find new ways of presenting Shakespeare which also seem organic to the text. But Trevor Barrette and his young team saw into the fantastical aspects of The Tempest and decided to approach it through the prism of Victorian Futurism (gamers know this style as Steam Punk). Mr. Barrette takes you back stage as they prepare with his article TO ENTERTAIN AND ENLIGHTEN SHAKESPEARE ENTHUSIASTS AND NEWCOMERS ALIKE.

INTRODUCING METACHROMA is precisely what it says - an introduction of this exciting new company by its members and - have a look - the ensemble comprises some of the best actors in the country.

Emma McQueen writes about confronting a very male script and a very male cast and overcoming a series of obstacles towards mounting Callistro the Great in her piece IN THE BOYS' CLUB.

Ann-Marie Kerr began as the director and - when a happy miracle happened - ended up acting the solo role in The Debacle, which began its life in the Atlantic region but continued on to being a jewel of the Festival TransAmériques. In MUSICAL CHAIRS - MOVING FROM DIRECTOR TO ACTOR IN A SOLO SHOW, Ms. Kerr writes about the journey.

8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived was a gorgeous little Fringe play, last year in Montreal. However, playwright/soloist Michaela di Cesare took criticisms to heart and decided to improve her work and give it a new life. In FROM ONE-WOMAN SHOW (IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD) FRINGE SHOW TO TRUE TEAM EFFORT she tells us how.

Soprano Mary Dunleavy is THE BIG SOPRANO in Richard Burnett's profile of a singer from the yellow-rose state who is coming to Montreal to play Daisy (Marguerite, to be more francophone) in Gounod's masterpiece, Faust.

As Christian Cagigal was preparing his new show, he was asked again and again why he was not including something very personal and swore that he would not do it...but did WHEN THE ART WANTS TO BE SOMETHING ELSE...

In On collaborations, handling the spice and writing a Bollywood play à la Québécoise called Poutine Masala Stéfan Cédilot describes the happy and improbably series of events that went into making an extravaganza for one of Montreal's most popular alternative houses.

Trevor Barrette is a very young man who had music and a story and lyrics and, finally, a musical which needed a production house. In WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE IN LOVE? he talks about the genesis of To Be, his work, and the happy marriage he found with Persephone Productions.

In DRAMATURGY OF DISAPPOINTMENT writer Joseph Shragge writes about finding a path for his play, The Heretics of Bohemia, during the production's unusual rehearsal process. Think: puppets.

Richard Burnett flies over the career of Rob Roth, director of Beauty and the Best, in BROADWAY ROCKER. As Bugs tells us, "surreal" is the only way to describe his career.

In THE SOUL HAS MANY EMOTIONS, THE BODY ONE Singer/actor/star Ranee Lee tells of the journey of her life - the trip which brought her to the Centaur Theatre for Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel.

Truly one of the most sensitive of our writers, Rahul Varma nevertheless tackles the big issues and how they effect the small people tied up in them. In his first-person piece STATE OF DENIAL: IN MEMORIES OF GRANDMOTHERS WHO LIVED TO TELL he talks about the process of writing his latest play and the research - and real stories - he found.

Rick Miller, in a first-person article, does battle with THE CRITICS as he attempts to nurture new works and also to keep works which have proven popular (and which continue to grow) alive.

Paul Hopkins shares his actor's notes as he deals with the preparation of a world premiere production of Morris Panych's play in WITH-IN ABSENTIA. Hopkins notes detail the shifting foci of the rehearsal period.