Sleeping Beauty designers embrace challenges

Nov. 7, 2013
 
If indeed variety is the spice of life, Scott Penner must surely be in designer heaven these days. He has now created a second set for the Globe Theatre in as many Main Stage productions this season and the two couldn't possibly be any more different. The scene of The Last Resort was a hotel lobby that was grounded in realism and pretty much stayed in place for the entire show. With the holiday offering of Sleeping Beauty, he finds himself immersed in the realm of the imagination, absorbed in fantasy, mired in magic.
 
"It's a nice change," says Penner, who has gamely embraced the challenge of taking us into three separate worlds, and within those worlds running the gamut from cottages to castles.

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The Theatrical Magic of Sleeping Beauty

Oct. 31, 2013

This is the time of year when audiences come to the Globe expecting to be enchanted by theatrical magic as they participate in the tradition of the annual holiday show. Sleeping Beauty is the latest of these singular experiences.

Adapted by artistic director Ruth Smillie from the Brothers Grimm fairytale and staged by Courtenay Dobbie, this particular Sleeping Beauty is unlike any other Sleeping Beauty you’ve seen or read or heard. There is a spinning wheel, a pricked finger, and a deep, deep sleep, but those are the only elements that have been retained in this inspired, imaginative retelling of the popular story.

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Review- Lipstick Smears and Mermaid Tears: Memoirs of a Sinking Soul

Oct. 25, 2013

Do yourself a favour. When you go to the Templeton Studio Cabaret to see Lipstick Smears and Mermaid Tears: Memoirs of a Sinking Soul, be sure to arrive at the theatre even earlier than usual. Take a few moments to sit back and relax and view the gorgeous set. Trust me. It will be time well spent.

I say this because the set is more than a set in the conventional sense. It is actually an art installation that was created a short while back by Tamara Unroe and Mariann Taubensee for a gallery in Saskatoon, specifically a number of sculptures that were constructed from found objects – in other words: trash. These items consist of metal, plastic, fabric, paper and so on.

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Preview- Lipstick Smears and Mermaid Tears: Memoirs of a Sinking Soul


Oct. 23, 2013

You know what they say: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

When that person is Tamara Unroe, the treasure in due course becomes sculpture. Add puppets and songs and what you have is a piece of theatre called Lipstick Smears and Mermaid Tears: Memoirs of a Sinking Soul.

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Ruth Smillie's "Sleeping Beauty"


 

There was a time early in her career when Ruth Smillie thought of herself as a director-playwright-actor. "Then I had two kids," she says. Something had to give and sure enough it did. "I just needed to not be a playwright anymore," she says. " I had to take that off the table."

It stayed off the table for about 20 years, but now it  has been restored to its former, proper place. "I'm not directing much these days," says Smillie, who oversees the Globe Theatre as artistic director. "This place has become more complicated. So I'm back to doing some writing again."

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Etiquette Matters


 

October 3, 2013

As a long-time patron of the Globe, I know better than to arrive on opening night wearing caustic cologne or a pungent after shave. I have a sweet tooth, but I avoid candy that comes in crinkly wrappers. If I must leave the theatre during the performance, I go up the stairs, not down. And the cellphone is off at all times.

 
 
October 2, 2013
 
During the summer of 2012, Judy Wensel paid a visit to Calgary to attend a theatre lab conducted by One Yellow Rabbit. The program included a lecture by Blake Brooker, a founding member of the group, whose bottom-line message to the audience was that we all have obsessions and we can choose to ignore them or pursue them.
 
"All of a sudden, I had permission to investigate that obsession," Wensel says, and in that moment, her fascination with nostalgia, specifically the 1960s, morphed from a short monologue about a teenager named Jeanne McCate into a full-length one-woman show called Shangri-La.
 
"That lecture was the catalyst," Wensel says. "I think I needed to hear that. That was what put me into high gear."
 
 

Shangri-La Review


 

September 27, 2013

A show which opens with a temper tantrum is bound to catch your attention, and that is certainly the case with Shangri-La, written and performed by Judy Wensel as part of the Shumiatcher Sandbox Series at Globe Theatre.

The temper tantrum I am talking about is pitched in a pillow-wielding fury by a 14-year-old named Jeanne McCate, who has been banished to the bedroom by her no-nonsense mother and ordered to stay there until she has pulled herself together.

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The Last Resort Review

September 20, 2013

Norm Foster has been described as Canada’s Neil Simon. At times like this, I wonder if it isn’t the other way around. Maybe Neil Simon is America’s Norm Foster.

I say “at times like this” because Globe Theatre has launched a brand new season with a wonderful production of The Last Resort, one of Foster’s most popular pieces in a body of work that makes a strong case for him as our country’s preeminent humourist playwright and certainly our most prolific.

This particular piece being a musical, the credit for its success must be shared, of course, with Foster’s collaborator, Leslie Arden, who has achieved a comparable lofty status among Canadian composers and librettists.

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Scott Penner: Set and Costume Designer for The Last Resort

September 12, 2013

As a high school student in Toronto, Scott Penner had a passion for drama. In fact, he would dearly have loved to make a career of it. But there was a hitch.

 ”I wasn’t a very good actor,” he says with a smile. “I enjoyed it, I enjoyed it tremendously, but I wouldn’t want to subject other people to my acting. So I thought, what other kind of stuff can you do in theatre if you’re not a good actor?”

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Leslie Arden: Composer of The Last Resort

September 11, 2013

Conventional wisdom says the words “murder mystery” and “musical” should NEVER appear in the same sentence unless the sentence concludes with the phrase “Nope, it can’t be done!” The reason for this is simple. How in the world can a plot built on suspense move steadily toward its dramatic climax if every five minutes the story is interrupted by people who burst into song and dance?

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Norm Foster: Author of The Last Resort

September 9, 2013

Three decades ago, Norm Foster traded the airwaves for the footlights, and, long story short, broadcasting’s loss was theatre’s gain. A former radio host, he is now the most-produced playwright of the Canadian stage.

“Who knew?” Foster says, and it really does make you wonder if maybe this was one of those things that was simply meant to be.

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The Last Resort: Preview

September 5, 2013

When artistic director Ruth Smillie was programming the Globe’s 2013-14 season, she chose to open it and close it with musicals, namely The Last Resort, book by Norm Foster, music and lyrics by Leslie Arden, and the Broadway blockbuster Man of La Mancha.

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No Summer Off For Theatre School

July 12, 2013

The curtains are down, metaphorically speaking, in both performance spaces, Main Stage and Templeton Studio, but this doesn’t mean that things are in a state of suspended animation. Far from it. Just ask Jodi Norman. She is the interim director of Globe Theatre School, and she barely had a chance to catch her breath between the end of the summer session and the start of the summer lab.

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Michelle Fisk: The Drowsy Chaperone's Mrs. Tottendale

June 7, 2013

Strange, but true. Although her career on the Canadian stage spans the better part of three decades, and includes four major festivals as well as the regional circuit, it was not until recently that the theatre gods saw fit to send Michelle Fisk to Saskatchewan.

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The Drowsy Chaperone Review

MAY 24, 2013

The funny thing about satire is, it’s deadly serious business. If spoof is your schtick, you have to be pretty darn good. (Not necessarily as good as the stuff you’re poking fun at, but the closer, the better.) It’s a pressure-packed pursuit. Tongue-in-cheek is not for the meek.

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Stephanie Graham: The Drowsy Chaperone's Choreographer

MAY 21, 2013

These days The Drowsy Chaperone is a much different show than the one Stephanie Graham saw at the Elgin Theatre in Ontario in the late 1990s. At the time, it had just emerged from the Toronto Fringe Festival. Broadway and a national tour were still several years away. “It was delightful, and it was funny, but there was not a lot of dance,” she says. “Only one song remains from that (original) show … but I think the writers would agree that it’s a better show now.”

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Hamlet (solo) Review

APRIL 24, 2013

For better or worse, I’ve been a lifelong fan of William Shakespeare. Despite the fact that it’s the so-called problem play, or maybe because of it, Hamlet is my favourite. I have read it countless times, and, of course, I have seen it. I have seen it on stage, I have seen it at the movies, I have seen it on television. Until now, however, I have never seen it quite like this.

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O.C.Dean Review

APRIL 18, 2013

When the subject matter of a play is something like, say, obsessive compulsive disorder, the presenters run the risk of coming across as crusaders who have gamely attached themselves to a worthy cause and whose purpose is to raise awareness with a show that isn’t so much a theatrical piece as it is a public service commercial.

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Daniel Maslany: The Man Behind Dean in O.C.Dean

APRIL 17, 2013

Sometimes less is more. Presumably that’s what Anthony Black was thinking a couple of weeks ago when during cue-to-cue rehearsal, only days before opening night, he suggested to Daniel Maslany that the sound and lighting designs be scrapped, and made O.C.Dean an even more stripped-down production than it already was.

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I, Claudia Review

APRIL 15, 2013

If you attend theatre in this city, even occasionally, you are familiar with the name Lucy Hill. She is an emerging actor who trained in the Globe Conservatory (Class of 2008) and has appeared not only in the Shumiatcher Sandbox Series, where she has done three shows, but also in five Main Stage productions, the most recent of which was Pride And Prejudice.

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Lauren Holfeuer: Pride And Prejudice's Elizabeth Bennet

MARCH 22, 2013

When Pride And Prejudice closes this weekend, the occasion will be marked by the customary mixed emotions for cast members, who will exchange their farewells through tears and laughter. “It’s that final chapter coming to an end,” says Lauren Holfeuer. “Some shows are a little harder to say good-bye to than others, and this is one of those.”

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Fusion Project Review

MARCH 21, 2013

Storytelling isn’t always about getting from Point A to Point B and then on to Point C. Sometimes it is far less structured and the tale is told through a series of episodes that are related by theme but connected very loosely in terms of traditional linear narrative.

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Judy Wensel: Director Of The Fusion Project

MARCH 20, 2013

These are certainly exciting times for Judy Wensel, an emerging theatre artist whose star is on the rise at the Globe. She has the Fusion Project, of course, and we’ll get to that in a minute, but there’s also the recent stint as assistant director for Pride And Prejudice, and the announcement that next season she will be involved both on the Main Stage and in the Sandbox Series as a director, actor and creator.

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Gordon S. Miller: Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Collins

MARCH 19, 2013

During rehearsals for the Globe’s production of Pride And Prejudice, when Gordon S. Miller wanted to reassure himself that he was on the right track with his character, Mr. Collins, all he had to do was listen for a certain sound.

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Kelli Fox: Pride And Prejudice's Mrs. Bennet

MARCH 18, 2013

In some respects, the invitation to join the cast of Pride And Prejudice is a “sign post” in the career path of the distinguished Canadian stage actress Kelli Fox, a bow to her veteran status, a curtsy to her knowledge and experience.

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Louise Guinand: Lighting Designer For Pride And Prejudice

MARCH 15, 2013

Without them, audiences would be left quite literally in the dark. And yet, too often we take these people for granted. “No one comes out of the theatre humming the lights,” Louise Guinand says with a smile.

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Charlotte Dean: Set And Properties Designer For Pride And Prejudice

MARCH 13, 2013

Ideally, the payoff for Charlotte Dean as a set and properties designer is that the production will permit the audience “to experience something they would not have experienced if they hadn’t come to the show.”

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Emma Williams: Costume Designer For Pride And Prejudice

MARCH 11, 2013

There are “shopping trips” that you or I might take when the old wardrobe could stand a bit of sprucing up, and there are SHOPPING TRIPS like the one in January that Emma Williams devoted to outfitting the cast of Pride And Prejudice.

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Pride and Prejudice Review

MARCH 8, 2013

The timing, of course, is ideal, and it goes without saying, when she programmed the stage version of Pride and Prejudice, artistic director Ruth Smillie was aware that 2013 is the 200th anniversary of the novel’s publication.

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Blue Box Review

FEBRUARY 28, 2013

If you are lucky, you know someone who has the ability to “tell a good story,” as they say, in a way that makes this person the life of the party when you’re entertaining at home. That’s exactly how it feels to be sitting in the Templeton Studio Cabaret at Globe Theatre while Carmen Aguirre performs her solo show Blue Box.

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Season With No Theme Set For 2013|14

FEBRUARY 25, 2013

Old habits die hard. And so once again this year, foolishly, perhaps, I went looking for “a theme,” a thread which, no matter how thin, might somehow connect the six plays that will comprise the Main Stage Series at Globe Theatre next season.

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Getting to Know Christina Calvit

FEBRUARY 21, 2013

Christina Calvit, who brought Pride And Prejudice to the stage from the pages of Jane Austen‘s novel, is an ensemble member of Lifeline Theatre in Chicago. She has written more than a dozen theatrical adaptations. Like what, you ask?

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Meet Marti Maraden: Director of Pride and Prejudice

FEBRUARY 20, 2013

In the early stages of what has turned out to be a long and distinguished career, Marti Maraden came to rely on something besides her own considerable talent and formal training. She would not have become a shining light in Canadian theatre without assistance from her mentors, fellow artists who illuminated the path by caring enough to teach what they themselves had learned.

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Quoting Jane Austen

FEBRUARY 19, 2013

Our series, Quoting Jane, continues with a line that is spoken by the title character in Austen’s Emma, a novel about arrogance, self-righteousness, hubris, and a romance gone off the rails. Hmm. That reminds of … well, never mind, I probably shouldn’t mention her by name, because I’m told she reads this blog.

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Getting To Know Jane Austen

FEBRUARY 17, 2013

As preparation for writing about Globe Theatre’s production of Pride And Prejudice, I’ve been doing quite a bit of research lately on the life and times of Jane Austen. Fact is, I have collected way more information than I’m going to need.

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Top 25 Opening Lines (Jane Austen Excluded)

FEBRUARY 16, 2013

The sentence with which Jane Austen begins her novel Pride And Prejudice is one of the most memorable open lines ever written. “It was a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” This got me thinking about opening lines in other novels...

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Quoting Jane Austen

FEBRUARY 15, 2013

As preparations continue for Globe Theatre’s production of Pride And Prejudice, we have the option, you and I, of frustrating ourselves by crossing off the dates on the calendar leading up to opening night, or using the time more constructively to put ourselves in an Austen frame of mind by reflecting on material plucked randomly from the novels.

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Jane Austen Quiz

FEBRUARY 14, 2013

It goes without saying, you’re a Jane Austen fan. But are you also a Jane Austen expert? Take our Jane Austen Quickie Quiz and find out. Five questions, multiple-choice answers. You have 15 minutes, starting … now!

Take the quiz


 

Books By And About Jane Austen

FEBRUARY 13, 2013

Conversation in our little corner of the coffee shop the other day moved at its usual leisurely pace from one topic to another. Snow removal, and football. Tax returns, and football. Transit service, and football. Counter service, and football. Then we got down to the serious stuff. Our favourite books by (and about) Jane Austen. Let me share my lists with you.

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Quoting Jane Austen

FEBRUARY 12, 2013

Next up on the main stage is Pride And Prejudice, adapted by Christina Calvit from the novel by Jane Austen, and directed for Globe Theatre by Marti Maraden. Yes, I know. The show doesn’t open for several weeks yet. But it’s never too early to set the tone, to create the mood, to whet the appetite by putting you in an Austen frame of mind with the author’s own words, culled from her various works. Quoting Jane begins today and will continue every now and then until the curtain rises.

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Campfire Cooking: Blazing Saddle Beans

FEBRUARY 11, 2013

Well, that was certainly quite an adventure, Henry and Alice: Into The Wild. But all good things must come to an end, and now it’s time to pack up and hit the trail. Before we go, one final recipe to share: Blazing Saddle Beans. No campsite cookbook would be the same without ‘em.

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Meet Jan Alexandra Smith: Globe Theatre's Alice

FEBRUARY 7, 2013

Jan Alexandra Smith fell in love with ballet at the age of three, and until adolescence her dream was to be a dancer and choreographer.

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Campfire Cooking: Speedy Gonzalez Tacos

FEBRUARY 5, 2013

What’s that, dear? My turn to cook? Again? But, honey, I cooked last year! Fine. Enjoy your afternoon walk in the woods. And don’t worry. I’ll come up with something. Something like maybe … Speedy Gonzalez Tacos!

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Meet Daryl Shuttleworth: Globe Theatre's Henry

FEBRUARY 4, 2013

It was inevitable. As an actor, he was bound to come face to face with the Stanislavsky Method at some point in his life. The fact that it happened sooner rather than later says a great deal about Daryl Shuttleworth and the teacher who directed him as Fagin in an elementary school production of Oliver!

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Top 10 Skinny Dipping-Inspired Quotes

FEBRUARY 1, 2013

Strictly speaking, there is no nudity in Henry And Alice: Into The Wild. I know! I’m as disappointed as you are. Artistic director Ruth Smillie could correct me on this, but if memory serves, there hasn’t been a nude scene at Globe Theatre since the late 1990s when Shannan Calcutt ran away to Vegas to join the circus … Where was I? Right. Thank you … I say “strictly speaking” because there is a scene in this show which at least suggests nudity.

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Campfire Cooking: Teriyaki Salmon

JANUARY 31, 2013

Yikes! Is it suppertime already? I think tonight I’ll make “Teriyaki Salmon.” The recipe comes from Camping Canada, and the inspiration is straight out of Henry And Alice: Into The Wild.

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Top 10 Safety Tips (Bear Edition)

JANUARY 30, 2013

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying this will happen for sure. But it could, so why not be prepared? I’m referring, of course, to the possibility that you might encounter a bear the next time you go camping

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Campfire Cooking: Marco's Mini Pizza

JANUARY 29, 2013

Welcome, friends. As you know, from time to time during the run of Henry And Alice: Into The Wild, I will be posting recipes from Camping Canada that will help you to plan ahead for meals around the campfire. We began with “Breakfast In A Bag Omelet,” and now we continue with “Marco’s Mini Pizza.”

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Henry And Alice: Into The Wild Review

JANUARY 28, 2013

Given the success of Sexy Laundry, writing a follow-up must surely have seemed a bit daunting to Vancouver playwright Michele Riml. Would she be pressing her luck? Might audiences find it too much of a good thing? Could she do it justice? Does lightning strike twice?

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Campfire Cooking: Breakfast In A Bag Omelet

JANUARY 25, 2013

Guess what? Inspired by Henry And Alice: Into The Wild, I’ve decided to go on a camping vacation myself! Not necessarily THIS year, but certainly one of these years, for sure.

The problem is, the military style MRE, “Meals Ready To Eat,” that Michele Riml devilishly wrote into the script came as a slap-to-the-forehead reminder that I don’t have the foggiest idea what I’m going to put on the picnic table for breakfast or lunch, never mind supper.

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Top 10 Campfire Singalong Songs

JANUARY 24, 2013

The wind has died down, and the tent is still standing. The sun is setting slowly over the lake, and the campfire is not only going, it’s actually glowing. Time for the singalong. As opening night approaches for Henry And Alice: Into The Wild, I leave you with this, My Top 10 Favourite Campfire Singalong Songs Of All Time, listed in reverse order, because counting backwards is more fun.

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A Couple Cunning Cracks At Camping

JANUARY 23, 2013

Inspired by Henry and Alice: Into The Wild, we have offered survival tips and we have shared famous last words. Now we complete the hat trick with a handful of wisecracks from four self-styled comedians and one individual whose name for better or worse remains a mystery.

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Top 10 Famous Last Words (Camping Edition)

JANUARY 22, 2013

A friend of mine tells me she is looking forward to Henry and Alice: Into The Wild because (for her) the word "camping" has long been associated with the phrase "famous last words."

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Top 10 Survival Tips

JANUARY 21, 2013

All this talk about Henry and Alice: Into The Wild has started me thinking that maybe one of these years I should take a camping holiday myself. As a novice, I thought the prudent first step might be to consult the Internet for assistance. You know, professional advice.

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Diana Brings Another Dimension To Henry And Alice Story

JANUARY 18, 2013

Aside from the obvious, a change in location that shifts the scene dramatically from a luxury hotel to the deep dark woods, what distinguishes Henry and Alice: Into The Wild from its predecessor, Sexy Laundry, is that playwright Michele Riml has added a third character, a free spirit named Diana.

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Motorcycles, Windstorms and Tents are no obstacle for Valerie Ann Pearson

JANUARY 16, 2013

In a recent conversation, Michele Riml happened to mention, casually, that “directors across the country are cursing me for the motorcycle” in her play Henry and Alice: Into The Wild.

Riml was speaking ironically, of course. The fact of the matter is, when it comes to solving problems, directors take pride in their resourcefulness. Including a motorcycle in the script is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

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Camping Adventure Inspired Henry And Alice: Into The Wild Writer Michele Riml

JANUARY 14, 2013

Several years ago, Michele Riml went camping in the Okanagan with a longtime friend from high school in North Vancouver and their sons. As it turned out, the first day alone provided adventure enough to last an entire trip. It began with a trailer that stubbornly refused to shift gear into reverse, and concluded with a ferocious windstorm that sent the vacationers scrambling from their tent to their car.

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The Joys of Playing Glinda The Good Witch of the North: A Feature on Tess Degenstein

DECEMBER 17, 2012

In The Wizard of Oz the Good Witch of the North exists for one reason and one reason alone. Her purpose is to get Dorothy from Kansas to Emerald City and back again. (That’s why Glinda comes equipped with a magic wand.)

On the surface it might not seem like much of a role. But in the hands of a talented performer it is a reminder that every role, no matter how large or small, is what the actor makes of it.

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Meet Nathan Howe: Globe Theatre's Toto

DECEMBER 10, 2012

I wish I’d been there to see it.

“Are you a pointing dog?” Joey Tremblay asked Nathan Howe.

“Yes, I am,” Howe replied.

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The Wizard of Oz: A Review

NOVEMBER 29, 2012

Before we begin, a word of caution. Once you have seen Globe Theatre’s production of The Wizard of Oz, be prepared to have the songs stuck in your head for an indefinite period of time.

Awoken from their slumbers, given new life for the holiday season, they will be most anxious to express themselves through endless humming, whistling, singing, and the tapping of toes.

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Inspiration, perspiration and preparation: Dayna Tekatch's ingredients for successfully choreographing Globe Theatre's Wizard of Oz.

NOVEMBER 20, 2012

As choreographer for The Wizard of Oz, Dayna Tekatch rolled up her sleeves and went to work several weeks before the company convened in Regina to begin rehearsals for the Globe Theatre production. "It has to be that way," she says. "It's the nature of the beast."

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Thrill of the Fright: A feature article on Globe’s Wicked Witch, Beth Graham

NOVEMBER 6, 2012

Beth Graham’s introduction to the Wicked Witch of the West made an impression that was immediate and lasting, and in some ways even profound. “She scared the hell out of me,” says Graham, who was 10 years old when she saw Margaret Hamilton perform the role in the MGM film The Wizard of Oz.

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A Barrier That Only Theatre Can Cross

NOVEMBER 5, 2012

If you attend the theatre regularly, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but I think it bears repeating, and no one expressed it better than Robertson Davies.

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Meet Katie Ryerson: Globe Theatre's Dorothy Gale

NOVEMBER 2, 2012

When the curtain rises, so to speak, on Globe Theatre’s production of The Wizard of Oz, it will mark the second time that Katie Ryerson has appeared publicly as Dorothy Gale. The previous occasion was not on the stage, but on the streets of the neighbourhood in Calgary where she grew up. The only line she had to memorize was “trick or treat!” The only prop required was a stuffed toy dog.

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A story behind the ruby slippers

OCTOBER 31, 2012

The arrival late last week of the ruby slippers Katie Ryerson will wear in Globe Theatre’s production of The Wizard of Oz brings to mind the most famous slippers of all, the ruby slippers Judy Garland wore in the 1939 MGM film, and the silver slippers Dorothy Gale wore in the L. Frank Baum novels. That's right. Silver.

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15 facts about L. Frank Baum (author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)

OCTOBER 30, 2012

Maybe you know this, and maybe you don’t. Here are 15 items concerning the life and times of L. Frank Baum, the American author who achieved immortality with a novel called The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

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Meet Emma Williams: Globe Theatre's Resident Costume Designer

OCTOBER 25, 2012

Long ago and far away, in a land they call the United Kingdom, a young girl was beside herself with joy to learn she had been cast in the Christmas play at her primary school. Alas, come the day of the performance, her joy evaporated into terror. She stood before the audience, and was paralyzed with fear.

"I panicked. I bolted. I ran backstage," Emma Williams says. "I started helping the other kids with their costumes, and that was it, life has never been the same."

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Zac Flis: Piano player, musical director, and incredible Regina talent

OCTOBER 23, 2012

Last winter, shortly after Globe Theatre announced the lineup for the 2012-13 season, Zachary Flis sent “a casual email” to Ruth Smillie that would alter the course of his young life.

A pianist, Flis was studying classical music at the University of Regina, and midway through his second year, at the age of 20, he came to the realization that his heart “simply wasn’t in it.”

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Theatre Superstitions, continued

OCTOBER 22, 2012

The other night at the Globe a woman introduced herself in the lobby and made reference to a recent blog post that consisted of a list of theatre superstitions. She then shared one of her own and asked me to share it with you. Here it is. “Never send carnations to an actor.” Why not? “In the 1800s when actors in England were employed by theatres the year ’round, if management was planning to extend your contract, you could count on a bouquet of roses. If you got carnations instead, it was a sign that you were about to lose your job.” Interesting. Any others out there? Pass them along.

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Midsummer [a play with songs]: A review

OCTOBER 19, 2012

Midlife crisis is difficult to explain but easy to understand, and when it’s encountered safely as a seat-belted, risk-free, guided whirlwind tour, the sort of vicarious experience that results from theatre done well, it can also be very VERY funny. Cathartic case in point: Midsummer [a play with songs], the internationally acclaimed romantic comedy that has launched the new season in the Shumiatcher Sandbox Series as a laugh-out-loud roll in the sack that is energized and energizing. Moments after the actors have taken their final bows in the Templeton Studio Cabaret, you’ll wish they’d return to the stage, start at the top of the show, and do it all over again. Treat yourself. Go and see it!

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Midsummer [a play with songs]: A preview

OCTOBER 18, 2012

Unless, of course, it is brand spanking new, when a director decides to stage a play, it is generally a play he has already seen mounted by someone else. Not so with Michael Scholar Jr. and the two-hander Midsummer [a play with songs.] He came to this work strictly by reputation and from reading the script, and was immediately convinced he would take a crack at it the first chance he got. Which explains why the David Greig-Gordon McIntyre collaboration is the first show in the Shumiatcher Sandbox Series in Scholar’s first season as artistic associate at the Globe.

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Behind the Shumiatcher Sandbox Series

OCTOBER 17, 2012

When Ruth Smillie signed on as artistic director of the Globe some 14 topsy-turvy seasons ago, her objective was to change the theatre culture of this city. She wanted to develop a reputation for Regina as a place “where artists could actually stay and make a living.” That doesn’t happen overnight. It remains a work-in-progress. But the operative word is “progress.”

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My Life on the Globe Theatre Stage

OCTOBER 16, 2012

From time to time, when the staples of lively conversation have been exhausted and there is nothing left to be said about politics, religion and the Roughriders, the question arises: “So, Mr. Miliokas, have you done any acting yourself?” Only it isn’t always phrased that politely. In fact, it’s never phrased politely at all. But that’s beside the point...

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Jacob James: The Man Behind Billy Bishop

OCTOBER 16, 2012

Jacob James is in his second tour of duty with Billy Bishop Goes to War, having first climbed into the cockpit at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Ontario. The Globe Theatre presentation is a singular experience nonetheless, for several reasons.

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Theatre Superstitions

OCTOBER 15, 2012

I hate to bring it up, but there’s no use pretending that superstition in the theatre doesn’t exist, as someone tried to convince me in the coffee shop just the other day. Unsuccessfully, I might add. The fact is, theatre folk are at least as superstitious as professional athletes, maybe more, and believe you me, that’s saying something.

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Ten Little Known Facts about the real Billy Bishop

OCTOBER 15, 2012

As a salute to Globe Theatre’s sterling production of Billy Bishop Goes to War, here are 10 tidbits from a folder I keep that I’ve labelled REALLY? I DIDN’T KNOW THAT!

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Billy Bishop: A review

OCTOBER 12, 2012

Somehow, it doesn’t seem like theatre at all. The Globe’s production of Billy Bishop Goes to War has the comfortable feel of a social evening at home in the living room after supper on a night when the company happens to include a particularly congenial individual, a relative, say, or a neighbour, a friend, a colleague, who has a knack for spinning a tale and isn’t above augmenting it with voice characterizations and physical gestures, and combines all of that to keep his “audience” enthralled to the last word.

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Billy Bishop: A Preview Interview with Director Max Reimer

OCTOBER 11, 2012

It’s odd to hear Max Reimer say directing Globe Theatre’s production of Billy Bishop Goes To War has brought him “full circle.” The term implies closure, and closure suggests The End. Which is hardly the case. Reimer has a lot of good work ahead of him before he calls it a day.

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Test your theatre knowledge with a QUOTES QUIZ

OCTOBER 11, 2012

From time to time on this blog we’re going to stray from the beaten path and take side trips which have nothing specifically to do with Globe Theatre but are part of the wider domain of Theatre At Large.

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Give him a round of applause! A welcome to the Globe Theatre blog from Nick

OCTOBER 10, 2012

My friend Ruth is flattering and generous, as usual. She is also right on the mark in the sense that the blog you are reading owes its existence to a series of conversations that can be traced back 14 years to the day she was introduced publicly as the artistic director of Globe Theatre.

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An introduction to “Backstage at the Globe with Nick Miliokas” by Ruth Smillie

OCTOBER 9, 2012

Fourteen years ago, Nick Miliokas was the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Leader-Post and I was just beginning my tenure as Artistic Director and CEO of Globe Theatre. We met on a beautiful summer morning for what I expected would be a relatively brief interview. The conversation lasted more than two hours.

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Nick Miliokas is a freelance writer and editor based in Regina. You can reach him by email at rozenstern@rocketmail.com.