Directing The Wolves

 The Wolves - Photo by Dahlia Katz  Starring : Rachel Cairns, Aisha Evelyna, Ruth Goodwin, Annelise Hawrylak, Ula Jurecka, Brittany Kay, Heath V. Salazar, Hallie Seline, Amaka Umeh and Robyn Stevan  Set & Lighting Design by  Jareth Li (Assistant: Scarlett Larry)  Sound Design & Composition by  Deanna H. Choi (Assistant: Cosette Pin)  Costume Design & Movement Coaching  by Sarah Doucet  Stage Management by  Sam Hale  Assistant Stage Management by  Hannah MacMillan  Assistant Direction by  Rebecca Gibian

The Wolves - Photo by Dahlia Katz Starring: Rachel Cairns, Aisha Evelyna, Ruth Goodwin, Annelise Hawrylak, Ula Jurecka, Brittany Kay, Heath V. Salazar, Hallie Seline, Amaka Umeh and Robyn Stevan Set & Lighting Design by Jareth Li (Assistant: Scarlett Larry) Sound Design & Composition by Deanna H. Choi (Assistant: Cosette Pin) Costume Design & Movement Coaching by Sarah Doucet Stage Management by Sam Hale Assistant Stage Management by Hannah MacMillan Assistant Direction by Rebecca Gibian

Last week we closed The Wolves, a co-production between The Howland Company and Crows Theatre. This was by far the largest direction project I have ever taken on, and ranks up there as one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, thanks to the amazing cast and creative team. Here is a round of of links on the piece (compiled by the amazing Hallie Seline):

PROMO:

THE WOLVES Trailer

Production Photos

REVIEWS:

3.5/4 Stars - The Globe and Mail The Wolves is worth cheering on, and loudly. The impressive teamwork does indeed make the dream work.

3.5/4 Stars - Toronto Star The Wolves is a gloriously frank and intense depiction of extraordinary young women.

NNNN - NOW Magazine The Wolves is so riveting it will make you howl.

Mooney On Theatre “Go see The Wolves. Please. It’s moving and howlingly funny and as full of life as the most suspenseful soccer game… This production, by The Howland Company and Crow’s Theatre, brims with vitality, humour, and heart; it’s one of the best shows I’ve seen in some time.”

My Entertainment World “Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves is one of the finest pieces of theatre I’ve had the pleasure to see. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Howland Company’s production has everything. It’s fresh, witty, heartwarming, moving and tragic. Rarely could I recommend a play so wholeheartedly.”

4/5 Stars – My Gay Toronto “Riveting, fresh and surprising and exhilarating. A lot of that has to do with the ensemble, all of whom are individually powerful but also so tightly interlocked that teamwork is not just a metaphor but a virtuoso demonstration.” – Drew Rowsome

Broadway World Toronto “Sarah DeLappe’s first foray into playwriting is a complete knockout, and is brilliantly directed by Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster and produced by The Howland Company and Crow’s Theatre.”

The Slotkin Letter “The Wolves is a terrific play given a wonderful, compelling production… Beautiful.” - Lynn Slotkin

PREVIEWS AND REFLECTIONS:

The Toronto Star - Post-Show Reflection & Interview – The Wolves, Dry Land and School Girls provide a new platform for teenage girls’ stories” by Carly Maga “I told them that this is your opportunity to retrain your ears to hear voices that we are all collectively, myself included, trained to miss,” Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster, Director.

Dispositio Blog, by Holger Syme “Necessary Wolves” “I got to watch a group of actors – all either female or non-binary – be extraordinarily present physically, irreducibly present, in the moment, as bodies: bodies that spoke and bodies that moved, with total commitment to specific situations”

CBC Radio’s Here and Now Interview – Heath V. Salazar & Hallie Seline

CBC Sports – Post-Show “Women in Sports” Panel Reflection by Signa Butler - “For women in sports, you need to see yourself to believe in yourself… The Wolves show how vital sport can be for the empowerment of young women.” – Signa Butler, CBC Sports & Olympic Broadcaster

She Does The City Interview & Review “THE WOLVES IS AN INTELLIGENT AND FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON THE LIFE OF TEENAGE GIRLS” – SHE DOES THE CITY “We get Mean Girls and things like Clueless, but we rarely get to see a band of young warrior women going through a trial together and coming out the other side.”

In the Greenroom Interview with Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster “What inspires me are brave change-makers and storytellers. And people who listen”

Sesaya Interview with Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster “This show demands so much of its performers – they have to be physically fit, good at soccer, and so agile with their bodies and minds as they race through a script that moves at a very fast pace. It has been a tremendous challenge for all of us,” Courtney explains. “They have met it and exceeded it. I dare anyone to come to the show and not fall in love with each and every one of them.”

UnSpun Theatre Presents "The Tin Drum".

We open "The Tin Drum", an original adaptation of the novel by Gunter Grass, TOMORROW! Wow! Hard to believe we've put this epic story on stage with just three weeks of rehearsal. Chris Hanratty and Shira Leuchter have worked so hard adapting this novel into a strange, moving, funny, crazy play. I play about six characters and we all have SO many props and costume bits and cues. Madcap and amazing.

The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw!

I've been having such a blast in my first ever Summerworks show. The whole festival has a great vibe, everybody is working together to put up great shows on a shoestring. Teamwork is huge - under the leadership of our stage manager Andrea Schurman, our Director Jennifer Brewin and our designed Glenn Davidson, we managed to tech in our allotted 6 hours of prep time in our venue, (Theatre Passe-Muraille) complete with a stumbly run-through and then we opened the next day. To make it happen, everybody has their jobs placing set pieces or dealing with costumes, and of course we're all doing as much promotion as we can! We've had four shows (and three more to come) with great houses. Seems like that John Millard-Peter Anderson toe-tapping music really gets under the skin in the best kind of way.

We've had some nice press too:

Torontoist gave us 4.5 Stars. NOW Magazine gave use NNNN (four stars), Mooney on Theatre called the show "90 minutes of joy" and ArtsVox called the show "Perfect Summer Fare".

I was also really honoured to be named one of 10 "Artists to Watch" in NOW Magazine's Summerworks Preview:

Fingers crossed for three final sell-out performances!

I've seen a number of other great shows at Summerworks, including the riviting iShow, featuring Sarah Berthiaume who is the playwright behind the Flood Thereafter, which is the next show I'll be involved in.

I also loved the heartbreaking shows Late Company and Wild Dogs on the Moscow Trains. And with a formidable title for a formidable show, THE ART OF BUILDING A BUNKER OR PADDLING THE CANOE OF MY SELF DOWN THE RIVER OF INCLUSIVITY AND INTO THE ASS OF THE WORLD is a beast of a one man show, totally gripping, hilarious and horrifying...it left me reeling and I loved it.

I'm looking forward to seeing more great theatre before the week is out!

Grief, Love and Bluegrass - The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw

After a great run of The Barber of Seville, I'm thrillied to continue working with John Millard (whose adaptations of Rossini were so fun and challenging to sing) on a second project, his original show with Peter Anderson, "The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw". We've just started rehearsals with director Jennifer Brewin, and it's glorious. "Deep and strange", the show tells the tale of Weedy Peetstraw and the Faustian bargain he makes for the love of a banjo. We'll be playing in Summerworks, running from August 8th to 17th, 2013. After that, I'm heading home for a week to visit the family (including my very new baby niece!), before starting rehearsals for "The Flood Thereafter" at Canadian Stage. The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw

The Crucible - now open at Soulpepper!

We made it! Last week we opened both The Crucible and the Royal Comedians at Soulpepper. We had already performed several previews in front of audiences, but it does feel different to finally be open! For one, it frees up my days to start rehearsing the third show I'll be in this summer - the remount of Death of a Salesman! Tickets and details at Soulpepper.ca, and discounts for under 30s at Stageplay.ca We've had great audiences for The Crucible so far...I'm really enjoying playing the part of Mary Warren. It is such a good play!

PS: And the reviews are in!

Last Night...

I graduated!

It was a beautiful event, and very emotional...it has been an amazing year, and I'm so grateful for all of it, the great teachers we've had, the cultural experiences we've shared, the opportunity to work together in such a nurturing environment...it has all been the most wonderful gift. Fortunately no goodbyes were necessary, because we're all still rehearsing together, in "The Crucible" and "The Royal Comedians". But we're now members of the company - and the Soulpepper Academy 2011/12 is officially over!