The Official WL Studio Theatre blog

Sunday, May 30, 2004

And the award goes to 'Illuminati'!

Best Sound Design.

Best Lighting Design.

Best Set Design.

Best Supporting Actor - Bob Chamberlain

Honourable Mention Actor - Curt Sprickerhoff

Honourable Mention Director - Todd Sullivan

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Reporting live from Quesnel...

It's 1:42 on Saturday. Our Friday night performance is done. The Saturday morning coffee critique is done. Post-coffee-critique lunch (Granville's) is done. We're all now officially off-duty. All we have to do now is relax, drink, and wait to take home some awards.

The trip up yesterday went well enough -- I travelled with Andrew Rook in the u-haul carrying the entirety of our set -- though we did have a brief encounter with some potentially bad karma on the journey. A family of geese decided that the middle of the highway was a perfectly good place to stop for a rest. By the time we figured out what it was on the road we were hurtling towards, there wasn't any time to avoid them (without running the risk of putting ourselves in danger) and...well, I don't know how to put this delicately...let's just say that not all the baby geese survived.

Being someone who gets emotionally shaken up everytime I kill a spider, the death of a few baby geese didn't sit terribly well with me. But there wasn't a whole lot that either of us could have done (well, even less that I could have done, being a passenger and, therefore, relatively useless).

We kept the story of the geese to ourselves until after the performance. No sense in spreading any of that bad karma around.

And, as it turned out, the bad karma had zero effect on the performance, which was fantastic, complete with a responsive audience of about 40 people (which, I think, actually beats any of the houses from WL, except *possibly* that last Saturday night).

We weren't completely free of technical issues. The TVs refused to work properly (*that* was probably Karma related) and at about 6:50, I gave up on getting them all functioning, and just ran with a single working television, arguing that one is leaps and bounds better than none.

Outside of that, there were a couple of small lighting glitches and one small sound glitch, but for a set that was put together in four hours in a space we had never used before, I couldn't possibly ask for any more than what we got last night. And in the good karma department, it appeared that we had a couple of folks depart at intermission. Which might not normally be taken as a good omen, but given that we had at least a few departures during our run in Williams Lake, this just struck me as further evidence that we were *on* last night, hitting them where it hurt (though, according to the adjudicator, we should have been hitting them harder and more violently...which I don't disagree with, but I'm not sure we could have survived having any more people storm out at intermission during our WL run...)

Anyway, to put it simply, we had a fantastic show last night.

Same can be said for the critique this morning. The adjudicator was carefuly to ensure that we were all aware that we had put together a great show, and the issues he wanted to discuss were just in relation to taking it just one or two steps further, and making the show just that small little bit better. And I really had no disagreements with anything that he had to say about improving the show. In fact, I often found myself shocked at his brilliant suggestions that had simply never even entered my mind.

So, mission accomplished. The coffee critique was the exact learning experience that I was hoping it would be. No one got ripped apart, no one took offense to anything that was said, and I learned a whole bunch of valuable stuff that I'll be taking with my into the next play I have anything to do with.

Thanks again to the Studio Theatre for giving me the go ahead to do this play in the first place, and then continuing to spend money on this gigantic loser in order to bring it Quesnel. I've had a fantastic time, and I'm looking forward to the banquet tonight.

The hard part is done. It's downhill from here. Or uphill. Dammit, I can never remember which one it is. Uphill...downhill...whatever.

Photos to come as soon as I return to WL.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

In exactly 24 hours...

...our set will be reconstructed in Quesnel, people will be arriving at the school and milling around in the lobby (hopefully -- guess I can't do anything to guarantee that) as we all wait expectantly inside the theatre itself, waiting for the doors to swing open, waiting to put the show on one more time.

Waiting for the opportunity to offend the sensibilities of people from an entirely different community. Hooray!

The set ended up packed quicker than I would have anticipated. Every piece of equipment is now tucked not-so-neatly into the back of a U-Haul, as well as in passenger seats donated by kind-hearted folks who were coming to Quesnel anyway.

Tomorrow, we get to put this jigsaw puzzle back together in four hours. No rush.

This is my first time going to festival in any capacity, and to be perfectly honest, the fact that I'm going as a director has me absolutely stoked. Sure, it'd be nice to come home with a few awards. Sure, it'd be nicer to come back with all of them (but I'm not holding my breath). But what I'm really looking forward to is the opportunity to sit down afterward with a theatre professional and *learn*. And do it now, on first production, before I get old and cantankerous and set in my ways. Lord knows I'm cantankerous enough as it is.

Look out, Quesnel. You may not be ready for "Some Things You Need To Know Before The World Ends: A final evening with the Illuminati" -- but we're ready for you.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The Big Move

So, we've finished the run in Williams Lake. And we've finished the two rehearsals at our theatre. And we've been to Quesnel to check out Correlieu Theatre. Now, there's a prime example of design gone wrong: seats 186 people or so, the first row of seats starting 24 FEET away from the end of the stage. The reason being, it's a multipurpose room. Sound familiar?

And now, we move.

We pack up all the props and set pieces and newspapers, and we throw them (well, not literally) into the back of a moving van, and drive to Quesnel. There, we have four hours to recreate the set and lighting that took us the better part of two weekends to put together here. Sure, no problem!

To accomplish this time limited feat, we must pack very carefully. The stuff going in the truck first should be the stuff we're going to need last. (That's probably where the newspapers will go) We're bringing seven sheets of tongue and groove flooring to put down on the multi-purpose linoleum in order to help us bridge that gap between Reverend Eddie and the audience. We're bringing the fridge. No matter what Brad thinks. And of course, Metal Jesus and the stained glass windows. And 100 feet of airplane cable to hang them with. I'm wondering if they shouldn't be among the first things to come out...

And then, because we're performing on the floor, we need to move lights. And more lights. And then gel the lights. And make the windows and MJ glow. And program the board.

Then there are the actors, who are going to be going off stage right now, instead of stage left.

And the list goes on. But, it'll be exciting. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

At last, it's over...

Director, Todd Sullivan, and Producer, Craig Smith, share a nicotine-fueled moment after Saturday's final performance of "Some Things You Need To Know Before The World Ends: A final evening with the Illuminati".

Sunday, May 16, 2004

'Illuminati' is dead! Long live 'Iluminati'!

I take it back -- all the bitterness in my last post. I take back the feeling I had that I must've done something wrong, because no one came out to see it. I want to take it all back, because we finished the run of "Illuminati" last night with an absolutely amazing crowd.

They got it. They liked it. And they *laughed*. LOUD. I couldn't stop smiling as I listened to them and felt for the first time that the whole *had* actually been worth doing. Because we finally had a good, big crowd that liked it. And no on walked out during intermission either!

And then we had a nice little party, and we all said our "thank yous" and we talked a bit about going to Quesnel, but not too much, because last night was about celebrating the end of what was actually a really good run, even if there aren't very many people who know it.

Those who came were a part of something that I think was really spectacular. And those that didn't...well, it's their loss, isn't it?

And you know what? I really am ready to do this again.

Thanks again to everyone who helped put this thing together. I can't tell you how wonderful it made me feel to see everyone's hard work come together two weeks ago, and gel into something fantastic.

Now...let's go to Quesnel and kick some theatre ass!

Saturday, May 15, 2004

The End of the World As We Know It (Part II)

So, it's Saturday night. Just past 5:30. The last performance of "Some Things You Need To Know Before The World Ends: A finaly evening with the illuminati." And then we'll all go and do some drinking. And then we'll kind of fill our free time for a couple of weeks until we go to Quesnel, and then it's done.

It's been a lot of fun. I've had a few people ask me if I do it again -- directing -- and the answer is a resounding yes. I've actually got a play picked out to pitch for next season, though if I were a betting man, I'd guess my odds of getting another go-ahead weren't spectacular.

It's always disappointing when you've put your heart and soul and into something, and know that everyone else involved has put their heart and soul into it too, and then when you open the doors and say, "Hey, come and look what we did -- it's really cool!" no one shows up.

Audiences have been incredibly responsive. Unfortunately, they've also been fairly sparse.

Feh, enough of this. I'll do a complete post-mortem in the next few days. For those of you who came, thank you. For those of you who enjoyed it, I'm very glad.

On with the show!

Friday, May 14, 2004

The End of the World as We Know It

"Some Things You Need to Know Before the World Ends" is wrapping up on Saturday night. I'm going to miss it. The whole frantic got-to-get-this-done-before-the-lights-come-up-and-the-audience-comes-in lot of it. But mostly the going for beers afterwards. Even if beer is one of the more vile concoctions served in a pub.

Here are some memories taken by Brad.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

So, I thought it would be neat if the Studio Theatre had a blog.

So I suggested it to Sheryl-Lynn, and she thought the idea was cool too. So now I'm mucking around and doing up a test post. That's what this is.