J. KELLY NESTRUCK - The Globe and Mail - Apr. 22 2014, 1:55 PM EDT
Vancouver artist Stan Douglas’s cinematic play Helen Lawrence was set to open Montreal’s Festival TransAmériques in May, the first time that a production from the rest of Canada had been programmed in a prestigious performing arts slot previously occupied by international stage stars such as Germany’s Thomas Ostermeier and American choreographer Merce Cunningham.
But now the FTA is scrambling to find a last-minute replacement as Helen Lawrence lead producer Canadian Stage and Canadian Actors’ Equity Association have been unable to reach an agreement that would allow the show’s 12-actor cast to perform in Montreal.
“This is the first English-language Canadian piece to be invited [to open the festival], so it’s heartbreaking,” says Su Hutchinson, managing director at Toronto’s Canadian Stage.
At the heart of the matter are Equity rules that require there be eight weeks of down time between a show closing and its next engagement.
Helen Lawrence ended its run at Vancouver’s Arts Club on April 13, leaving only five weeks before its three-night showcase in Montreal, then only three weeks before the show is schedule to reopen at the Munich Kammerspiele in Germany. (HelenLawrence’s stops in Munich and, subsequently, at the Edinburgh International Festival and in Toronto are still set.)
According to Hutchinson, actors and agents were made aware of the Montreal tour date during casting in October – and Canadian Stage has been engaged in seeking a concession from Equity to permit the show to go ahead since then. “On March 31, they let us know that they were not approving the concession,” she says. “Either we pay actors for 11 weeks for three performances in Montreal … or we cancel the show.”
A representative from Canadian Actors’ Equity Association was not immediately available for comment.
Helen Lawrence is one of the first major English-Canadian productions to attempt to break into the international festival circuit that European and Quebec productions regularly tour – and to Hutchinson, it’s the demonstrated some of the limits of the Canadian Theatre Agreement, which is negotiated between the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (of which Canadian Stage is a member) and Equity. “What we’ve taken out of this is that the CTA is not in any way set up for taking the work out to the world,” Hutchinson says. “The constraints that we’re working under are quite particular to English Canada.”
GLOBE AND MAIL
APRIL 7, 2014 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FLOYD COLLINS GOES AHEAD WITHOUT SETS, COSTUMES OR PROPS
Barrie, ON…. Talk Is Free Theatre and Patrick Street Productions, the co-producers of Floyd Collins, have been dealt one of the most feared problems of theatre practice – what happens when the shipment of the entire production goes missing between the two cities where it plays?
Written by Tina Landau and Adam Guettel, Floyd Collins is about the caver of the title who, while chasing a dream of fame and fortune by turning a Kentucky cave into a tourist attraction, himself became the attraction when he got trapped 200 feet underground. It is directed by Vancouver’s Peter Jorgensen and stars a company of 13 artists including Daren A. Herbert as Floyd Collins, Michael Torontow as Homer Collins, Krystin Pellerin as Nellie Collins and many others.
Floyd Collins concluded its Vancouver run on March 30 and is scheduled to begin performances in Barrie with a preview this Thursday, April 10 and an official opening on Friday, April 11. All of the materials were picked up by the moving company, Midland Van Lines, in Vancouver on March 30, with promised delivery of 5 to 7 days. Any calls or emails as to the status of the shipment remained unanswered beyond the generic “delayed status”. No information was made available as to the approximate new delivery date, or even where in Canada the shipment is currently at.
“We understand that delays occur, especially when moving things across this vast country”, say producers Peter Jorgensen and Arkady Spivak. “However total lack of information as to the status of the shipment or its new anticipated delivery date made it extremely difficult to manage the situation. Upon reflecting on the difficult situation, we decided that we still had a lot – namely a unique piece of musical theatre writing and an astoundingly talented group of artists doing it. And while the audience in Barrie will not see the fully intended production, they will see the wonderful artists working at an even deeper level of commitment and abandon”.
To help mitigate changes to the production, the preview performance on April 10 is cancelled, but the production will open as scheduled on Friday, April 11. It will continue its scheduled run to April 19, at the Mady Centre for the Performing Arts in Barrie, ON. Tickets and information are available at www.tift.ca or (705) 792-1949.
March 29, 2014 by Maggie Clegg
The Stratford Festival is celebrating a huge success under their new leadership. With Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino and Executive Director Anita Gaffney at the helm, the 2013 season saw increased attendance and reduced expenses, resulting in a surplus of 1.4 million dollars. Ticket sales were strengthened by new programming and marketing initiatives, which included the Stratford Festival Forum, the Stratford Direct Bus, and incentives such as two-for-one Tuesdays, while demand for tickets led to the extension of five productions. In all, ticket sales were up by 11 per cent or 50,000 patrons over the year before, the largest percentage increase since 1999. Revenue was up 5 per cent for a total of 57.1 million dollars, while expenses were slashed by 3.5 per cent thanks to an extremely effective cost management strategy. Also at the Annual General Meeting, Cimolino and Gaffney announced Stratford@Play, the Festival’s film project which will see the capture of an estimated three productions each season. They can then be distributed through cinemas, television, on-demand, and on DVD. The films will also be made available to schools and will be accompanied by digital study guides. The 2014 season of the Stratford Festival will run from April 21 to October 12.
THE CONVERSATION, 18 March 2014
C.P. Snow’s pessimistic view of “two cultures” – the arts and the sciences at war with each other, glowering across no man’s land, entrenched in their embattled fortress of true expression (as each saw it) was a nihilistic prospect indeed. Fortunately, this view couldn’t be more wrong – wrong then, in 1956, and even further from the truth today.
Never have the arts and the sciences had so much cause to celebrate what they have in common and never has the opportunity for theatre particularly to engage with scientists, and with the scientific process itself, been higher.
Cambridge Science Festival, for example, are hosting a number of theatrical performances that cover topics such as immortality, computer hacking, melancholy and Albert Einstein.
In my opinion (I speak as a scientist), a critical reason for this bridging of the “void” is that academic scientists in particular are increasingly speaking directly to an audience beyond their peers.
Although “popular” scientists have always been with us, the scientific lecture as “performance” has become the norm in the age of university expansion. Audiences for a typical undergraduate lecture can top several hundred, enough to fill a medium-sized theatre, and many scientists, having honed their skills before 300 biology majors, have graduated from the lecture theatre to the theatre proper, trying their hand at stand-up comedy, or in directing or writing for the stage, as Jonathan Miller has done.
ArtsPool is a project of The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York dedicated to developing a next-generation management framework that will reorganize how artists and organizations do their administrative work. ArtsPool will provide a hyper-efficient, shared system for accessing tools, policies, best practices, knowledge, and skilled labor. Governed by the organizations it serves, ArtsPool will initially support three key infrastructure services.
A team of ArtsPool managers works with your staff to ensure that the right job is getting done at the right time and in the best possible way. You will no longer waste valuable time, money, and headspace trying to keep up with best practices, changing technologies, and regulatory requirements.
A mobile, flexible labor pool allows you to expand and contract your personnel dynamically as needed. ArtsPool managers provide direct training and oversight for workers in the pool to ensure that work is completed quickly and accurately.
A web-based information and management portal provides you with a real-time, accurate picture of your finances, active projects, task reminders, and compliance status, allowing you to take action on the fly, even when on the go.
Making a Scene is a critical forum for our theatre community to come together every year to reflect upon our achievements, to assess the state of affairs, and to envision our future. Join us March 27th and 28th to reconnect with colleagues, find out what is happening here, and across Canada and plan for the future.
The theme of this year’s MAS 2014 is: An Ignition: A Vision for the Future of Theatre in Vancouver. Everyone will have an opportunity to participate in creating that vision during conference-wide breakout sessions.
Both days of the conference will have scheduled presentations and panels that we hope add to your professional development, present best practices and address the critical issues we face. Register today for the whole conference. You will have the opportunity to sign up for individual workshops prior to the conference.
The Guardian, by Rachael Castell
posted January 31, 2014
The stage is a precious space, both magic and real, but plays are written to be performed again and again – why not digitally? When I was an MA student exploring the history of film and visual media, my investigative mind inevitably ambled over the connection between cinema and death, most notably the death of celluloid. But when I talk about filmmaking these days, I find myself discussing things being "live" – in the here and now.
This is because the majority of my film work, and my personal fascination, is in filmed theatre – you might call it "alternative content" or "event cinema". It's an as yet undefined media integrating the live and the recorded: an amalgamation of filmic language (close-ups, fades, panning shots, HD technology) and the real, retaining and often even enhancing the live theatre experience. Being able to offer viewers the best seat in the house wherever they live is a concept currently the darling of arts and cultural researchers and funders.
But what is this new genre? Just as the founders of cinema grappled with the flicker of light through celluloid over a century ago, we – as audiences, critics and producers – are suddenly grappling with how to describe watching theatre on screen. I make my living in this market, but even I can't be persuaded of a term. "Event cinema" seems reasonable. Cinecasting? Sure. Alternative content? I guess so, but alternative to what?
If that's not enough debate for you, there are plenty of other contested questions: should a production be broadcast live, or as live? Is seeing a play in a movie theatre, or on your laptop, or even your iPhone a good or bad thing?
The "unique" partnership will provide affordable cultural space for local artists
CBC News Posted: Feb 05, 2014 Vancouver city council has voted to approve a unique partnership that will secure a cultural space for local artists at CBC for the next 30 years.
The City and CBC are welcoming the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival Society and partners — Touchstone Theatre, the Documentary Media Society (DOXA Documentary Film Festival), and Music on Main Society — to a community amenity at the CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre.
Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson says it makes both cultural and economic sense.
“The city is proud to support affordable spaces for artists, and the community cultural hub in the CBC building is a great fit for groups like the PuSh Festival,” said the mayor.
“Investing in the arts supports our economy and makes Vancouver a more creative, dynamic city."
Robertson says the announcement has been in the works since 2006. That's when the city secured 8,477 square feet of ground floor space at CBC at a nominal rent for 99 years.
Canopy Arts Desk
Tammy Hampel (Isaacson)
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