Friday, May 21, 2010

Summer is Here!

This is going to be short & sweet.

It's the holiday weekend. There are lots of crazy people out there who think that they are bullet-proof and accident proof and nothing ever happens to them, only to the 'other guy'. Only someone has to be the other guy. Don't let it be you.

Stay safe out there this weekend: wear the flotation devices while on our beautiful & still cold lakes and rivers, enjoy the sunshine & remember the sunscreen, do not use fire starter on the barbecue, wear your sealt belt & remember weaving is for wool, not cars, and hug as many friends as you can.

We'll see you here in Stirling next week for JUDY GARLAND SHOW (May 26th & 27th - we need to sell 78 more tickets to get me to buy a bottle of champagne for the play's star Debbie Collins! Do your part!)... Come back June 5th for MY SWEET PATOOTIE (my promise: Sandra & Terry will delight you as much as running through sprinklers on a hot summer day, with a grape popsicle in your hand)... and then plan to be here sometime between June 9th & 12th for HANK WILLIAMS "LIVE" 1952 (Joe Mattheson will knock your socks off, he's soooo Hank Williams).

Monday, May 17, 2010

So we've had three pre-production meetings here at the Stirling Festival Theatre, one of which (for SONGS OF THE REEL) kind of was sandwiched in and around the discussions for THE LAST RESORT. And I am pleased to report that all three meetings went very well.

And what, I'm sure some of you are asking, is a pre-prodution meeting? Well, it's a chance for the behind-the-scenes people to get to know one another, suss out what everyone is thinking, and make plans towards making the show happen before the actors are added to the mix. This means sitting down with the director, the technical director, the props master, the costumier, perhaps stage management, perhaps the assistant tech director.

We look at the preliminary set drawings David & Darrell have come up with, we go over paint chips & furniture ideas, we talk about the revolve & creating time of day lighting effects & exactly how many antlers are needed to make a chandelier. We go over the props lists and discuss just how big does a fake piece of cake need to be to get a laugh. We chat about the difference between "The New Look" and the 'classic style' in women's suits. And we marvel at having a template of our wonderful Bosendorfer. And sometimes we poke gentle fun at ourselves or each other - all as part of getting to know one another.

When you're working with people with whom you've never worked before, there usually isn't a second hand language that old colleagues & friends can use to explain or elucidate. But in theatre, where the language is pretty particular to the profession, you often do find yourself slipping quickly, and comfortably, into "theatre shorthand". And that's what happened with all these production meetings.

We quickly fell into professional rhythms, marked by understanding and agreement about what all of us wanted to accomplish - which is, of course, a wonderful show! Luisa Appolloni, who will be directing THE LAST RESORT, was delighted at the proposal to see the stage filled with a clever, well-decorated set - not to mention the insight the Donnas had in their respective departments. Christina Gordon, who has created & is starring in SONGS OF THE REEL, was so pleased to see how her show will work in and around what is planned for the others, without in any way making her seem like an 'orphan'. And director Andrew Lamb is thrilled to know DRIVING MISS DAISY (which debuted on Broadway with a very minimalist set) is going to provide audiences with visual and audio interest before the actors even begin.

Thank you Luisa, Christina, Andrew, David, Darrell, Donna M & Donna C for being so professional, so warm, so concerned & caring about your work and the efforts of others. Because of you, SFT audiences are going to enjoy a summer of theatre like they've never seen before.

Tickets for DRIVING MISS DAISY, SONGS OF THE REEL and THE LAST RESORT are all on sale now.
Our "Tuesday Club" program has proven to be very successful - but there are still some seats available for anyone who may want to 'join' a fun way to save a little money, see a lot of theatre.
Please call 613.395.2100 to order your tickets for any of our 2010 shows. And remember to ask the friendly, professional sales associate who answers your call about the value of Membership in the Stirling Festival Theatre. Our first Annual Membership Social is coming up June 6th!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wait, wait. It's MAY already?

And not just May already, but the middle of the month! How did that happen?

Oh, but we've been busy around here. Great shows have happened, great shows are coming. It keeps everyone in the building hopping all the time. Just on Saturday, we held two pre-production meetings (THE LAST RESORT and LOVE YOU FOREVER... AND MORE MUNSCH) and next week, we'll be doing the same for DRIVING MISS DAISY. These meetings are often the first time everyone on the team gets to meet each other and exchange ideas about what the sets are going to look like, what the costumes need to be like, and things like that. There's a sense of great possibilities in the air at these meetings, as if anything and everything is possible.

Within budget, of course!

Saturday night was BABY BOOMERS, THE SHOW. Seriously, I laughed so hard at a few of the stories, my stomach ached. Ached! Scott Harris & Simon B Cotter - you guys are fabulous and I really, really hope we can find a way to bring you back to Stirling for another show. If you missed it (and really, that's a shame), you'll be able to catch some scenes from it on their website; the clips will be up in about a week.

I also want to thank Scott & Simon for making a point of telling me how great the crew who work here at SFT are. I mean, I know it, but it's wonderful to hear the professionals who come in to work recognize that as well. So a big tip of the hat and a lot of gratitude to Dave Vanderlip, Darrell Nelham, Travis Whiteman & Kim Whiteman for making SFT look so good.

MY SWEET PATOOTIE coming June 5th. If you love country or jazz or folk or roots or pop music, if you love a great fiddler & a great guitarist, if you want a terrific evening out with friends and fellow music lovers... this is your show! Sandra Swannell & Terry Young are MY SWEET PATOOTIE (and former members of Tanglefoot) and they are... well, terrific. Please call 613.395.2100 for details and to order your tickets today!