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!
"Dirt", the Soulpepper Academy collective creation opens May 22nd! We've been developing this piece over 6 weeks under the guidance of director Leah Cherniak, and it's been a wild ride from start to finish. We've been making all kinds of things and throwing them against the wall to see what sticks. And we're having a lot of fun, mucking about in the dirt.
Click HERE for more details!
The Soulpepper website recently updated their artist bios, and I'm honoured to now have a bio/photo of my very own. Soulpepper has a photographer take all their artist pics in a standard style. The shoot was a lot of fun - a lot of jumping and posing. Some of my Academy classmates managed to pull off fun 'Action' shots - but I can't seem to jump in the air without pulling a face. I'm very pleased to be included on the site, and I'm thrilled that I'll be performing in three shows this season, "The Crucible", "The Royal Comedians" and "Death of a Salesman". Click here to see my new bio!
Macbeth: Nach Shakespeare opened last night to a full house. Directed by Quinn Harris and starring Michael Scholar Jr. as Macbeth and Jennifer Mawhinney as Lady Macbeth, it's a bloody show and a daring adaptation of Shakespeare by Heiner Muller (translated for this production by Carl Weber).
The Tyee has a great article about how this production came to be: "Found In Translation: One Bloody, Funny, German Macbeth"
Come see me get bloody with the rest of the cast - until May 29th!
Just got back from a whirlwind trip - first to Halifax to see my brother get married to his wonderful bride - a beautiful relaxed wedding with lots of family, great food and dancing. Then a few days in Antigonish with my family - Turkey, Lobster, Television, Sleeping in - all great stuff. So good to be home - my last trip to NS was in 2009, so I was definitely overdue. Afterward, I spent a couple days in Toronto. It was a treat to belatedly celebrate my friend Cecile's birthday, with food (weird patés on bread at a new restaurant - tasty, but we both agreed, not something we often crave) and drink and chocolate cake.
On Saturday I had the privilege of watching the dress rehearsal of Double Bill: (re)Birth: ee cummings in Song & Window on Toronto at Soulpepper. (re)Birth is a lovely show, containing all my favourite kinds of theatre magic - woven collaborative whimsical orchestral music, using traditional instruments, children's toys, suitcases, neat use of fabric, light, an overhead projector...each poem is presented in a different way, and the transitions between them are smooth and fascinating. The performers are so specific. And the whole cast is intimidatingly talented, playing multiple instruments, and many of them singing with beautiful resonant voices. The sound is also really cool - they seem to be using just one microphone on stage which sometimes serves to highlight just one voice or instrument, and sometimes picks up the ambient sound with an eerie, slight reverb.
Window on Toronto is a lesson in hilarious clowning. We meet tons of nutty characters (the backstage area must be an impressive example of organized chaos), speedily passing by the window of a hot dog vendor. It's fast and furious, but every now and then, just when the shtick of it all is about to get old, the pace slows, dancing, masks, puppets come out, beautiful songs, and a baby is born or a violin comes to life...a moment of magic happens...and then back to the madness. Great.
I then went into a meeting with the other Soulpepper Academy members (that's my big news, which I'm told I can share - I've been accepted into the 2011/12 Academy), and AD Albert Schultz and Producer Claire Sakaki, and -- WOW. They told us a bit about what our year is going to look like and...I can't believe the gift they're giving us, the people we're going to get to learn from, work with, the care they have taken in putting this together. I feel like I've won the lottery. I think all of us felt like that...a constant state of 'pinch me!'
Ms. Sakaki was kind enough to squeeze me into a sold out 'Our Town' that evening. I'd never seen Our Town before, a show about the great drama that is every day life, the details that we so often miss in the day-to-day. And the magic of small towns, of family, and the heartbreak too, of the everyday. Having just come from home, from my brother's wedding, from my small little Nova Scotia town that I left, and see too infrequently, from the old rattling farmhouse I grew up in, and my parents... The show is gentle, elegant, and works on you slowly. The actors beautifully weave together the simple stories of these lives, but by the end I felt absolutely heartbroken. In a bittersweet sense, because it was also a reminder that life, growing up, growing old is tragic, and beautiful, and it happens to all of us, right under our noses. It was like a goodbye hug - warm and wonderful, but painful, because someone's leaving. I was a weepy mess at the end. Mr. Schultz was kind enough to come out and introduce me to some of the actors, and I said something like. "That was great. Loved it. Can't talk about it, will cry." Fortunately, I think he understood.
Anyway. Can't end this post without including the definite highlight of my trip, discovering: The House of Lancaster. Guess I know where I can find employment if this acting thing doesn't work out. No, I didn't go inside!
Today I picked up my script for an episode of the anime series Tara Duncan - I'm going into the studio on Monday to record ADR for a villain (of course). My very first animation gig! Also excited to announce that Two Apple Tobacco will be playing at the Penthouse on May 15th - it's gonna be a pretty eventful evening.
Phew. I've just had a great, inspiring weekend of auditioning in Toronto - I'd say more, but I don't want to jinx it! [Update April 9th., 2011 -- I got the gig! More on that soon!] Meanwhile, I'm excited to announce that I will next be seen in the English-language premier of Macbeth: Nach Shakespeare, a co-production between Theatre Conspiracy and Gasheart, directed by an amazingly talented woman, Quinn Harris. Very excited! The show will be going up in mid-May at Performance Works.
Recorded a couple of lines for the Fringe episode today - it was cool, I've never done ADR before - I watched the footage on a big screen in the studio, and added a couple of new lines to accommodate the editing. In other news, Two Apple Tobacco is playing at the Princeton Pub this Thursday, for St. Patricks day! More details at www.twoappletobacco.com.
Exciting news on the TV front - I recently spent a day on the set of Fringe filming a principal role in episode 3.18 - I won't spoil it here, but lets just say I shared a scene with a very cute, very SMALL actor. The episode is set to air on FOX, March 25th 2011.