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Monday, September 29, 2008

A Little Theatrical Reflection...

Although the past few weeks have been busy I have managed to sneak in quite a bit of theatre (for me). Over the last little while I saw Mo and Jess Kill Suzie (Northern Light Theatre), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Studio Theatre - U of A), and Pride and Prejudice (Citadel Theatre). So here is my reflection on each of the productions...

Mo and Jess Kill Suzie (NLT)
I worked the bar and saw the show for free. It was an intense 90 minutes but would have been even more intense and stronger as a whole if it had been the promised 80 minutes. I guess the pacing had been slowing down over the course of the run. I had some problems with the script. I felt that it could have been several pages shorter to tighten it up and take out the multiple repetitions, however it had some great writing mixed in there. The performers were as a whole competent. I wished for more blood thirstiness from Jess (? - Amy Matysio) and more drive from Mo (? - Amanda Bergen). I think that's who played who... go by the actor's names, because I am not exactly sure which one was which. The strongest performance was definitely Lora Brovold as Suzie. Sad in a way, because the story is the other two women's story and for 2/3 of the play Suzie is lying inert on the floor in a pool of blood, but even this had intensity.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Studio Theatre)
I had to see this as part of my homework for Drama Class. It is coloured by the fact that I had already seen a phenomenal production of the show in Fort McMurray and it would be hard to beat that one, particularly the performance of Julie Brown as Martha. Anyhow, the show was alright. Major pacing issues in act one (the longest act) and I dozed a bit (sorry). The 2nd and 3rd act picked up, but there was never quite the right manic energy the show needed. I felt the blocking was static and any of the physical fight scenes seem choreographed and unbelievable. It was okay, not great.

Pride and Prejudice (Citadel Theatre)
I went to see this last night and I was worried because it had been a long weekend and I was very tired and a bit sick (still sick today - sniff sniff). The show was 3 1/2 hours long. Yikes, but not really. This show was delightful. The pace was quick and the acting well done and it moved along so briskly that you hardly noticed the time. Elizabeth and Darcy were wonderful, but so was the whole cast. I thought it was really good. It is not even 'my kind of show'... I think the choice of this show reflects the tastes of the Artistic Director and you can see that in the season choices, but it was very entertaining. My only disappointment was that there were not many Edmonton Actors in it. I would have hoped for more of our local actors to be in the Citadel Young Professional Company. This was also a good choice for the women's roles as there were really the heart of the play. Lally Cadeau was amazing and she should get a Sterling nomination for that performance. So much better than she was in Noises Off.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Week of Madness...

Whew! I am exhausted and it is only Wednesday. This weekend Walterdale Theatre is having it's 50th Anniversary Gala and I am performing so I have been rehearsing (Sun, last night) for that as well as making chocolates and cookies for the Open House on the weekend. I have to get to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Studio Theatre this week (Thurs). That is technically homework so it has to happen. Tonight I am meeting with my co-teacher for Artstart. We start teaching the class in two weeks so I want to find out what we are doing. She has done it before so her input would be very helpful! I also have to get ready for the AGM because I am the secretary and I have things to do for that (Fun Awards, minutes, attendance, etc...). I hope I survive and I am so glad we don't rehearse for Black Hearts this week!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Read Through and then a Run Through...

Today was a wee bit crazy, but in a good way. First Mark took the boys to Olds for a visit so I had a bit of time alone at home. I decided to make chocolates for the Walterdale Gala. I made them with red and white accents because that fits the colour scheme for the event. Then I rushed to Staples to photocopy my script for New Works at the University.

Then it was off to Walterdale for the first read-thru of Black Hearts in the Green Room. It was a nice read thru and it really clarified some of the challenges we will face. We have a nice fun cast with a lot of depth and diversity. I don't really know many of them so it is nice to meet new people.

After the read-thru I went for supper at the Act and then back to the theatre to run-thru the Gala Entertainment. Whew! I am feeling pretty good about it. We have a nice little set of music and we added some simple staging to back it up.

Now I am home and contemplating bed. Tomorrow will be Oliver's first day on the bus. He was supposed to start on Wednesday of last week but in the craziness of the week I thought it was the wrong week. So we shall see how tomorrow goes!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Filling Up my Available Time...

I got in Black Hearts in the Green Room which goes up at Walterdale Theatre in December! I am playing Natasha, a nice big, funny, singing, silly, wacky role so I am very pleased. The director complimented me on my audition when she offered me the role so yesterday was a nice ego-boosting day! Woot Woot!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Class Participation...

Week three of my return to University has begun and I am really enjoying it. I actually got up and participated in front of the other 'kids' today and it was pretty cool. I actually got a nice compliment from our instructor who thanked me personally for my heightened emotional commitment to the activity. Tres cool! I guess it pays off to take those risks. I know I have a bit of an unfair advantage considering my background so I think I was holding back but really, I am paying for this, I need to get the most out of it for myself so I have to stop staying in the background and get myself out there.

I met Merran (of Cinderella fame) for lunch and Kayla joined us at the beginning and then Martin and Laura (from class) joined us for the end. Nice to hang with the 'kids' and feel like an equal and not a freaky old person (although I do make jokes about my age - it is my way... can't explain it).

On Sunday night I auditioned for the melodrama at Walterdale (Black Hearts in the Green Room). I know I kicked it, but you never know who else came out and what the total picture was so now I wait and hope for the best. I shall try to be cautiously optimistic. I feel I did good enough to get one of the two roles I want, but others may have too, so I can't really call it. Cross your fingers for me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Whirlwind!

I feel exhausted! However, I am geared up at the same time. I have been through a week and a half of September and it is rolling along. The big thing with this time of year is figuring out exactly how the days are going to play out. With the boys participating in swimming, drama, gymnastics, basketball, soccer, preschool, daycare and school it can get a little hectic just managing them. With 'my' stuff thrown into the mix my life gets uber-complicated! I am on the Walterdale Board, am singing at the 50th Anniversary Gala, am auditioning for a show, am taking a University Drama class, am hoping to write, and trying to workout on a regular basis and trying to keep the household running (as smoothly as can be expected). I am also meeting to see about joining another theatre board. Mark's life also has some events that have to be coordinated. Anyhow, I have made it through one complete week cycle and it is good to now have an idea of what to expect. I hope that next week is easier because I will know what is coming.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Keener...

Today was my first class! Hurray! We played Yes Let's and it felt a little weird to be playing as opposed to running the game! I like the atmosphere in the room and I am not the only 'older than 18' person in there, thank goodness. I have already completed my first journal entry. I think it was thoughtful and reflective and I feel like a keener. Cool.

On Saturday Mark and I will be going to Olds for the funeral for Amber and Sarah Olsen. I expect it will break my heart, but my Mom volunteered to take the boys for the day so that we could go. I really didn't want them to come since Oliver gets quite emotional and you can't predict it. I don't think there is anything to say or do for Dave and Shauna, except be there.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bus Blues...

So today the driver would not let Oliver on the bus. Not on the list, she said. Alright - perhaps there was an error. Mark took Ollie to school. I got on the phone. I spent 1/2 hour to 45 minutes on hold with Briggs and then phoned the School Board and left a message. I then called the school itself. It seems we were not alone. There were 4 of us who registered late, but were told that the child was on the route - no problem - BUT Briggs apparently could not accommodate the kids at this time... not until the 17th of September. Okay, fine, they have a route issue... WHY NOT INFORM THE SCHOOL?, THE PARENTS?, THE SCHOOL BOARD? Why just have the bus driver be kind of rude and say 'no'? We were lucky. Mark took Oliver to school and just didn't get the early start to the day that he planned. Lucky it wasn't Tuesday.

So, after all the calls we got a short term solution. The school pays for a cab for the 4 of us until they are allowed on the bus. We only need the cab on Tuesdays so we will drive the other days. Thankfully one of the other mothers will let me drop Ollie off at their house on Tuesdays so I can get to class on time. All that work arranging for a last minute screw up... Bites my butt!

Anyhow, Gibson started Big Boy Pre-School today and he loved it. He ate all his snack and did the songs and dances and played well. Yay! I went to the Circuit work-out and had to stop halfway through because I felt like I was going to faint and/or throw-up. Guess it's not a great idea to workout like that the day after giving blood. I am still a little woozy, but better for having had lunch.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

First Day of School...

Today Oliver starts grade 2 and I do my registration for my return to University. The lunches are packed, the hair is combed and the teeth are brushed. We are early because normally Oliver will be getting on the bus so I wanted to be sure I could get it done by the right time. It is nice to have this little bit of time before we go. Gibson has decided he will fuss about going to daycare (3rd day in a row) but I am not reacting to it as I know him and I know that he is trying to see if a little fussing will get him out of it. Hopefully that will stop soon.

I am excited.

Oliver has been expressing a dislike for school, but further questioning has determined it is because he doesn't like the fact that he can't play DS or computer games at school. Those are not reasons I am prepared to give much weight to. I am anxious to find out which of the two classes he is in. Last Spring M. Alyre said he was in the straight 2. Last week they said he was in the split. It is quite possible it could go either way. I am personally not sure which is the best place for him.