The Official WL Studio Theatre blog

Monday, June 21, 2004

Not officially theatre-related

My apologies -- this post is not officially theatre related. However, I suspect that the majority of the people who might visit this blog are theatre-folk and might be interested in a similar-minded project.

So, yeah, I'm going to take advantage of that audience combined with my ability to post here. So here goes.

I'm trying to put together a crew to make a movie in the late summer / early fall. This will be a low-to-no budget flick, likely shot on video (digital video if I can find one, but it's not currently look good) and edited on a PC, eventually burned to a CD (or DVD if anyone's got a burner to spare).

I'd like to have the cast and crew in place somtime in July in order to shoot through August and September. It'll be a lengthy shooting schedule compared to what Hollywood usually goes through, but given that most people only have weekends and evenings available to them, and have silly day jobs, that does impose limitations on the schedule.

So here's the pitch -- I need help. Do you want to be involved in a movie? CONTACT ME! I need actors as well as a whole whack of people to help out behind the scenes. Doesn't matter what you think might be able to offer or not, if you're interested in helping out, CONTACT ME! E-MAIL ME! I'm sure this will be an entertaining and educational experience for everyone involved.

Okay, I suppose that's enough time taken up on the Studio Theatre blog with a non-theatre related post. Hope to hear from you all.

Oh, and in case I forgot, E-MAIL ME!

Friday, June 18, 2004

The results are in

On Tuesday June 15 the Play Submission Committee (made up of Curt, Carol, Biddy, Tanya, Jay, Bob, Shirley-Ann and Debra) met to discuss and choose the plays for our 2004-2005 Season. We had several excellent submissions: The musical "Hair" (Gaye Burton-Coe, with a view to doing a co-production with Columneeza), the musical "Annie" (Becky Strickland), "Mary's Wedding" (Sheryl-Lynn Lewis, who plans to take this one to Festival), "'Night, Mother" (Todd Sullivan), "Opening Night" (Tony Savile), and, as a possible alternative, "Educating Rita" (Tony Savile).

The team started officially discussing the choices at 7:00pm and we didn't finish until 9:40pm. Every play and every possible scenario for the season was discussed, and everyone had their own opinions and ideas. The cool thing was that even though everyone had very strong opinions, we were able to work together towards a common goal. It is not necessarily the season we all envisioned as we were reading the different plays, but we came up with what we thought would be a strong, interesting and great season. It was not easy!

The 2004-2005 Season will be this:

Opening Night - October/November
Hair - December (in the Gibraltar Room for 4 days)
Mary's Wedding - February
Annie - April/May - (possibly a 3-week run)

In the end we decided that a 4-production season would work for the best in terms of meeting demands for theatre space, and also that we could support 2 musicals. We figured that the musicals are so completely different, are going to be in different venues and are far enough apart in the season that they would both be a strong audience draw. Putting Annie in the spring (yes, we are aware that is when WL does their big musical but we are doing it then anyway) will be a great way to finish up the season, on a really strong note (pun not intended).

Both the musicals and Opening Night have lots of roles to offer, and Mary's Wedding, with 2 characters, will be our entry into Festival for 2005. The 2004-2005 season has lots to offer, and will be very exciting and rewarding for everyone who wants to be a part of it, regardless of the role they play (pun intended).

And Now?

Now I've got the go ahead to do "Mary's Wedding". It's a play set in a dream about a love affair in 1916. It's lyrical and moving and funny and not incredibly earnest

But, now I've got to do it. Got to find me some actors, one male, one female. Got to find me a producer, a stage manager, a lighting person, a costume person, some make-up... About the only thing I don't need to find is a sound person, cuz someone volunteered. And he's creating original music and doing the preshow stuff and writing music for underscoring scenes and looking after all the artillery sound effects and... I think I'm up-grading him to co-director.

Which, of course means, that there's now somebody to bounce ideas around with, to negotiate with, to find the meaning behind the scenes in the play. And that I need to learn a new language: music. I can't just say "make it sound pretty". Or "you know, I think that flutes are nice." I've already been told that the instrument range needs to be different than the human speaking voice range, so that we can hear the human. Who knew? So much for flutes, appearantly.

But wait, I haven't told you about the horses yet. Horses are very much a theme throughout this play. When we first meet the characters, they're hiding from a thunderstorm in a barn, quieting a mare. And then they share a ride home, a wild, exhilerating ride. And Charlie rides one into battle, and Mary rides on one all by herself for the first time, and... Well, you can imagine that I just can't put a real horse up there on the stage. Not that it hasn't been thought about. Tossed out the idea of there being an old carousel horse, you know, just kinda hanging around in the barn, and I don't think I want to build one, like San Jose Repertory Theatre did. However cool that might have been.

So, now I'm left with more questions than answers. But, at least I know what a lot of my time is going to be spent doing. And you know, I thrive on answering these challenges. With making this the best it can be. With thinking outside of the "black box" that our theatre is.

It's sure to be a wild ride!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Still Waiting

Oh! The Agony!

I've sent a proposal to the executive play committee. And they're passing around the scripts and reading the scripts and exchanging sneaky comments about the scripts and the proposers and trying to put a season together. But the wait time! The prolonged amount of time waiting for a decision to be made about what plays we're doing next year.

The fact is that I've given over to other people the ability to decide how a large amount of my recreation time is going to be spent next year. And I have no control! And that is somewhat difficult to accept, given that I've been the person chairing the meetings previously. When I wasn't proposing a play to direct. And it wouldn't matter so much, if I didn't really, really, really want to do this play. Which is called "Mary's Wedding" btw. So now, I've just got to sit back and let the process happen. Yeah, right...

All I really want to say is:

Pick me

Friday, June 04, 2004

Thousands and thousands of words.

Okay, so I you all some pictures. I've been sitting on them for just about a week now, hoping to find the time to a cool kind of photo essay. As of yet, the time hasn't presented itself, so this'll have to do for the moment -- a whole bunch of cropped photos, just kind of stuck into the middle of the blog.

It's worth pointing out, though, that if a picture is worth a thousands words, I think this post will clock in at about 22,000 words or so. Plus captions. That's a decent evenings's work.

Anywho...on with the festivities. Please excuse the occasionally very-tongue-in-cheek humour. I don't seem to be able to help myself tonight.

It was raining on the way to Quesnel. Didn't bode well for transporting our set -- which was 99% newspaper, I think -- from the U-Haul to the the theatre. Thankfully the rain disappeared in time for the move.

Ever the director, Sheryl-Lynn helped get the U-Haul into position (Andrew Rook was behind the wheel)

It's no surprise that our set, chaotic on stage, was just as chaotic when crammed into the back of a U-Haul.

Also not surprising was just how much time it took to put together a set that was designed to look chaotic and messy. Somehow, we got it together in the four hours we had before showtime. Somehow everything got done. Somehow everything worked (except the stupid TVs, but we at least managed to get one of them functional, which, for my money, was better than none).

Then we put a show on, and had an hour to tear the set down. Just as the sweat from unpacking the thing was starting to dry.

Lord only knows who let the director get his hands on power tools. No worries -- it was promptly removed from his possession.

I'm not sure exactly who's idea it was to bring the fridge, but if it wasn't such a fantastic set piece, I'd be inclined to say it was terrible idea.

Still, I will say this: Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid fridge. Stupid fridge.

We had an hour to tear the set down. We were finished in 59 minutes. How we managed, I'll never know for sure, but I'm fairly certain it had almost nothing to do with the director using power tools.

Then we all went to Boston Pizza, and drank as much as we could before they told us we'd have to leave.

The next morning, it was off to our coffee critique, when the adjudictor would tell us everything we did wrong (hopefully in words not terribly harsh).

Not surprisingly, there was a certain amount of tension between the director and the actors. "Because he told us to," they repeated frequently during the two hour critique.

Having taken the full brunt of the blame, the director attempts to justify his terrible, terrible choices (Ed. Note: I think I'm inclined to talk with my hands even more than normal when I'm nervous...)

After the coffee critique, we all went and had lunch. Then we did a bunch of other stuff that doesn't really matter, because it was all killing time until Saturday night, and...


People kind of drifted in between 10:00 and 11:00, mixing and mingling. Everyone seemed to be having a really nice time.

Until the adjudicator arrived, to crush all our hopes and dreams. (Ed. Note: Actually, the adjudicator -- Garry Davey -- was incredibly nice, leaving me feeling super-enthused after both the coffee critique, as well as the awards. Thanks Garry!).

And then...what's this? No crushed hopes? No crushed dreams? No! We won an award! Yay for us!

And then...we won another!

And another!

And then yet another! And then we got a couple of honourable mentions, that they didn't have certificates made up for at the time.

And then we sat around, drunkenly gloating until we were once again told that we were going to have to go home. The next day we drove back to Williams Lake and returned to our sad, miserable little lives. But for those two short days, we were transported to another world. A world where nothing mattered except the show, and we put together a good one. And that's something we will carry with us forever. And when life brings us down, and we're feeling a little blue, we can look at ourselves in the mirror and say, "In May of 2004, I did something special, something wonderful. And that will live with me forever."

And then we'll say, "Why the heck am I talking to myself in the mirror."

Thank you! Goodnight!