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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Totally not Typecast... and I have the pictures to prove it... Media Call for The Misanthrope...

Just take a look.  These pictures tell a story.  They also tell you that I am gifted in the art of facial expressions... no really, they do... Can you guess what my character is like?

Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up..
Making a move (see my hand?)...
No over-acting here...
I think this is my favorite 'face'...

Stirring up trouble!

* all photos by Douglas Dollars Stewart.  For the full set check out this link.

Media Call Tonight...

Media Call tonight!  Yikes! It's not even noon and I have already started on the hair and make-up... I hope it survives the afternoon.

Since I am in a show, I get hard pressed to make it to everything so I wanted to comment on some shows that I have been hearing about that I wish I could get to.  I haven't seen them and unfortunately I am unlikely to be able to because I shall be on stage myself for the next 3 weeks, but I wish I could:

MacEwan University Theatre Arts - Nov 28-Dec 2

U of A Studio Theatre - Nov 29-Dec 9

FTA (Theatre Yes and Theatre of the New Heart) - Nov 29-Dec 9

There is also A Christmas Carol at The Citadel starting in previews on November 30th and running to December 23rd, but I will be able to get to that.  I am hoping to catch one of the above on my dark day, but I might need my sleep so we shall see.

Have a great few weeks.  Hopefully you can get to some of these and, of course, The Misanthrope at Walterdale Theatre (we open December 5th!).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fringe ReBoot/Felt Like a Show Tonight

So this week has been mixed.

I went to the Fringe Lottery last night and had a fun time live tweeting it and listening for our name to be called, but alas, the call came rather late.  Finally Sauces was called at #26 and Round Barn at #31 on the waiting list.  Those are pretty far down on the wait list.  If we were under #20 I might hold out hope, but now we are looking at alternatives.  I don't really want to go the BYOV route, but I also don't want wait too much longer before I get these scripts on a deck.  So.... stay tuned.  When I know better I'll let you know. We are disappointed, but that is the way of the lottery. It's how it works.  To those who were drawn I saw - please be excellent!

Today I feel good about a lot of things.  I finished the very last of the painting - Yay!  Now I can just think about acting and being in the world of the play. Tonight we had a run that felt really good for me.  It felt like we had a SHOW.  That was nice.  I am only in two of the five acts so hopefully everyone else felt the same.  I only know where I am at and what I felt. I am anxious for an audience, but will have to wait for Monday for that. Tomorrow is media call and I am called for that. It has been awhile since I have been an 'actor' at the media call so I expect a few nerves, but I also hope it will be fun!

And now, to bed.  It is late and I got stuff to do tomorrow...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Commencing Tech Week! The Misanthrope at Walterdale!

We are entering the last week before opening for The Misanthrope.  This week tends to have it's ups and downs.  It is exciting to add all the bells and whistles, lights, sounds and costumes and real props, but each new addition can also mean adjustment and take you out of the world of the play.  One of the ways that we are spoiled at Walterdale is that we get a whole week to adjust and settle into the finished world. Today we have costume parade before a tech run. I love my costumes! I cannot share a picture of my final costume as it is to be a surprise, but we have the best costume designers and builders at Walterdale and I certainly feel spoiled every time I do a show there!  So nice to have a costume built especially for me!

I have a couple touch ups to do on the paint this week, but not a lot. Probably only a couple of hours.  It is nice to feel like that job is done so I can focus on the world of my character in the play. This is my week to gather show gifts.  I am a big proponent of show gifts and I like to make them appropriate to the show and character.  I have some great ideas and can't wait to go out and do that shopping trip!

Here is the 'pretty much done set' with rehearsal food (we don't really have Tim Bits in the show...).  Designed by Travis Metzger, built by Pierre Valois and painted by moi! Bear in mind, some of the furniture is just rehearsal pieces... we have the real stuff coming in this week.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kristen hits a Wall... and Bounces... This Too Shall Pass...

Yesterday I hit a wall.  Suffice it to say I have taken on too much, and then overreacted because all my filters shut off due to system collapse.  I am a little embarrassed in retrospect, but I cannot do anything but apologise, so there you go.  I think it's all good. I hope so.

How did this happen?  Well, I think there is a reason why Walterdale frowns on people doing more than one big job on a show.  It can stretch you too thin and in combination with my other life jobs (mother, store-owner, and all the rest...) I simply stretched too far. There are other factors stressing me out - some challenging dynamics on the team, coming off another show so quickly, planning for the next two (which overlap), anxious about Fringe - so it was really a perfect storm situation.  I should have known.  On the way to the theatre to paint in the morning I was on the verge of tears the whole way and didn't know why.  I was yelling at the radio, other drivers, my gloves... I was clearly not in good shape. Today I am taking a rest day.  I have nothing but laundry and grocery shopping on the agenda today and I might even squeeze in a nap.

Anyhow, the set is coming along nicely.  I have posted my most recent picture, but I have actually done more since I took that picture.  Tomorrow I should be done and I will take another and post that. We are waiting on the 'real' furniture so it will continue to change when all that comes in. The show is also moving along.  We got some wonderful work done on my big scene last night and I finally feel I have my feet under me in it. I get to work with some wonderful, generous actors in this show and I am so grateful for that. I will be glad when I can just think about the acting... soon...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Heap and Pebble... Magic on Ice...

I caught Northern Light Theatre's 6.0 How Heap and Pebble Took on the World and Won last night at the Westbury Theatre.  I always like it when I can catch a NLT show because you never know what you are going to get.  There is nothing truly predictable and this show was no exception.  It's hard to describe, but it is a lot of sequined fun with two excellent performers (indeed, I cannot think of any two others in Edmonton than Jesse Gervais and Amber Borotsik to pull this off) and a serious undertone. It's well directed, surprising, athletic and artistic - really, everything a good original ice dance routine should be - and a good theatre adventure. I am still trying to figure out exactly what it means.  The show tackles a few different things - global warming, pursuing a dream, achieving excellence, moving on when your world changes - but it gives no easy answers.  For some this show would be totally about the environmental implications.  For me, it was more about the death of a dream and surviving and rebuilding.  Don't get me wrong, even though I came out thinking deeply, it was a laugh filled show with some phenomenal movement!

I was also excited to read up about the rest of the Northern Light season.  I have season's tickets this year so I will be seeing them all.  It looks like I will be in for some more surprising and unpredictable shows throughout the year. I can't wait!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dinner and a Show - Packrat Louie and Jack Goes Boating at Shadow Theatre

Went for dinner with AM tonight saw Jack Goes Boating at Shadow Theatre (Varscona). We started with our wonderful meal at Packrat Louie where we shared wine and talked of many things. We ended the meal with yummy desserts (we don't always have dessert, but it seemed impossible to resist). I had the Lime and Lemon Meringue and AM had the Chocolate Pistachio Tart.  So, so, so good.

After supper we walked down to the Varscona and settled in for Jack Goes Boating.  It was a quirky little comedy which we both quite liked.  I really, really enjoyed Garrett Ross as Jack.  I have seen him onstage three times in the last few months in three very different roles and I am very impressed with his ability to create complete and convincing characters.  There is something that he does internally that really makes you believe that he is these different people.  He has a subtlety to his work that I have quite enjoyed. The whole cast (Shawna Burnett, Frank Zotter, and Mabelle Carvajal) works as a tight ensemble.  It's not a 'big ideas' play, but the four of them commit so well to creating and belonging in the world of the play, that you really care about what happens. The ending, in particular, is oh so satisfying.  The simple set is used well and the transitions from scene to scene maintain a sense of character and follow-through that was very elegant.  The script itself is written in a very cinematic style (realistic dialogue, short scenes, moments like snapshots) and they did a great job making it work on a stage. Anyhow, we liked it. It runs until November 25th, so you have a week to catch it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

First Day of Painting - The Misanthrope at Walterdale

So I started painting The Misanthrope today.  It was primer day and the walls are high.  When I got to the theatre, the set looked like this:

A few hours (read: 5 hours) passed and a lot of painting was done with two fabulous helpers and when I left the set looked like this:

I have a lot to do.  More wall treatment on Thursday and Friday and hopefully I start the floors by the weekend.  There is also furniture.  I am recording the progress so that I can see all the steps involved!

It is going to mean a lot of hours at the theatre for me - since I am in the show, too - but it's home!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Looking for a Few Good Plays - Stage Struck! 2013

Stage Struck! 2013
Edmonton’s winter drama festival

What: A regional adult one-act play festival
When: February 22 & 23, 2013
Where: Walterdale Playhouse

Is there a one-act play you always wanted to produce? Need an outlet for your own new play? Would you like a first run of your Fringe show? We’ll provide the venue, the audience and the adjudication, you provide the talent!

Winning play goes to the provincials in High River May 17,18,19, 2013.

* Entrants must be based in the City of Edmonton.
* Any scripted play, previously published or new, between 10 to 60 minutes in length, is eligible for production.
* Entry fee $50

For more information or to request a registration package,
contact Mary-Ellen Perley at 780-481-3716 or email at .

Entries being accepted now. Only 9 spaces available!

Submission deadline is December 17, 2012

Friday, November 09, 2012

A Broadway Weekend at Home!

Since the snow came, I have taken the chicken's approach to the world and have stayed inside.  I figured out exactly when I HAD to leave the house and it doesn't happen until today at 2:45 p.m. when I go get the boys from school and take Gibson to swimming. It has been a good week for laundry and it is a good thing that Tuesday was Cheap Tuesday at Safeway so I didn't need to go out for anything. Please don't hate me...

Anyhow, tonight I venture out for the first of my two Broadway shows! I am revisiting Next to Normal at The Citadel tonight with a bunch of friends.  After seeing it two weeks ago it has haunted me.  I downloaded the soundtrack from iTunes and listened a lot to it.  I am looking forward to seeing it live again and sharing it with my friends.

Tomorrow night I will be seeing the Broadway Across Canada show Rock of Ages at the Jubilee Auditorium.  I am expecting a fun rock based show with many recognizable tunes and a lot of big eighties hair. I didn't see the movie, so this will be totally new for me in terms of story. It looks like it will be a noisy, rock concert of a show! I also get to see the friends that we go with (we buy the season's tickets and it makes for 3-4 nights out in the season with a couple we like to hang with!).

Anyhow, tonight kicks off a weekend full of musical theatre and great company - can't beat that!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

AUDITION! I'm Directing for ELOPE - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Music and Lyrics by William Finn; Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Production* dates: May 12 – June 1, 2013

Director: Kristen M. Finlay
Music Director: Sally Hunt;
Choreographer: Jake Hastey

Sunday, January 6th – 1 to 6 p.m.
Wed, January 9th – 7 – 10 p.m.

Sunday, January 13th – 1 – 6 p.m.

Location: La Cite Francophonel; Suzanne Lamy Thibaudeau Room; 8627 - 91 Street

Description of the Show: The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally-quirky grown-ups.

Casting Requirements: Please note: because adults play the kids in this show, no ages are posted because it just doesn’t matter! All characters are played by adults (16+).

Chip Tolentino - C3 - B4 (Tenor).Former champion, going through puberty.
Logainne Schwartandgrubenniere - C4 - D5 (Soprano).Youngest, awkward.
Leaf Coneybear - A2 - G4 (Baritenor).A second alternate, ADD, happy to be there!
William Barfee - Eb3 - Bb4 (Tenor). Health issues, combative, spells with his foot.
Marcy Park - B3 - E5 (Soprano/Mezzo). Over-Achiever, talks to God.
Olive Ostrovsky - Vocal Range: B3 - F#5(Soprano). Shy and lovely, misses her parents.
Rona Lisa Perretti - C#4 - Ab5 (Soprano). Spelling bee hostess, former champion.
Vice Principal Douglas Panch - Stuck in his life, obsessed with Rona.
Mitch Mahoney – E3 - A4 (B4) (Tenor). Looks like a bouncer, Comfort Counselor.

Schwarzy’s Dads – Carl Dad and Dan Dad; Leaf’s Mom, Dad and Siblings; Olive’s Mom - C#4 - Ab5 (Soprano), Olive’s Dad, Jesus

Audition Requirements:
• Vocal – 20 - 40 bars of a musical theatre piece. Please select a comic piece which shows off your voice and demonstrates your ability to show character and tell a story while singing. You will be asked to indicate what song you will be singing prior to audition. Please bring sheet music with piano accompaniment OR Karaoke (without vocal) track on a CD. We will have a skilled accompanist there to play for you. NO ACCAPELLA.
Acting - Reading from the Script/Improvisation exercise
Dance - Movement will be handled at Callbacks.
Performers will be booked in groups of 4-5 to accommodate acting requirements

To book an audition time, please email Kristen M. Finlay at
or phone 780-406-1256. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Elope is a Community (Amateur) Theatre Company

Monday, November 05, 2012

Fabulous Weekend in Jasper - Christmas in November at the JPL to celebrate AM's Significant Birthday!

This was a legendary weekend! I spent it in beautiful Jasper at the Jasper Park Lodge during Christmas in November.  I was there with 7 other wonderful women and we were all there to celebrate a significant birthday of my friend AM. I am still in recovery.  So much good food and drink, dancing, cooking and baking tips, mixology and make-up, shopping, silliness and great conversation.  Here are some highlights:

First, the women I was with were great people to be around! Here is a picture of some of them and one of the bears we had a lot of fun with.  I am going to scan our fancy photo with Santa, but I don't have it yet.

Second, the food was amazing!

Third, great sessions! My favorite was mixology with Micah Dew as he was very entertaining and we got samples of all the drinks he made and I found a few new favorites!

Fourth, JASPER - the Lodge itself is all about luxury, and the views are spectacular.  There is something in the air that revives you even after a late night of eating, drinking and dancing!

Fifth, Gangnam Style - our theme song of the weekend.  We were captured on film and it was tweeted by presenter Julie Van Rosendaal who was great fun and hung out with us following the dance at the after party.

This is a weekend of luxury and it isn't something that I can afford to do all the time, but if you have a special occasion, or want to have a fun weekend with some of your friends and want to enjoy the food and environment of the Jasper Park Lodge, I recommend.  You feel special all the time and if anything, you have to tell yourself to restrain yourself.  The Lodge does Christmas in November every year and there are three packages of varying length and it is so worth it!