Tag Archives: Life With More Cowbell

New Ideas Festival: Heart beats, blue feels & the big sleep in trippy, darkly funny Week Three program

Review of New Ideas Festival 2017 – Week Three.
Main program (4 short plays) runs to Sunday, March 26, with a one-time staged reading of Catherine Frid‘s Thistlepatch on Saturday at noon.

life with more cowbell

Alumnae Theatre Company continues its 2017 edition of the New Ideas Festival (NIF) with a trippy, darkly funny Week Three program, the final week of the fest. The annual festival includes three weeks of short new plays and full-length readings, including four plays and one reading each week, running in the Studio space.

Beat by Dale Sheldrake, directed by Josh Downing. Alone and injured following a near fatal car crash, Evelyn 1 (Jackie Mahoney) is beside herself, as she listens to her heart/inner voice (Evelyn 2: Laurel Schell). Taking stock of her life as she waits for help to arrive, she’s forced to face her inner demons and addictions. Darkly funny, sharp and theatrical; with some lovely spoken word dialogue and strong performances from Mahoney and Schell.

The Ballad of Sadie Wong by Andrew Lee, directed by Cassidy Sadler. Film noir detective story meets modern-day romance when day-dreamy…

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Filed under 2016/17 season, New Ideas Festival 2017

“Divine Wrecks” review

LifeWithMoreCowbell called Chloë Whitehorn’s Divine Wrecks (directed by Pamela Redfern) a “heartbreaking and powerful tale of forbidden love”. Read the whole review at https://lifewithmorecowbell.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/fireworks-divine-wrecks-a-heartbreaking-powerful-tale-of-forbidden-love-erotic-wickedly-funny-engaging/

This play has 5 more performances – tonight through Saturday at 8pm, also Sat and Sun at 2pm.

Next week Wednesday (Nov 11), the FireWorks series continues with Taylor Marie Graham’s Cottage Radio.

 

TICKETS:   $15 except Sun – PWYC.

Purchase tickets online (except for Sunday PWYC matinees) or reserve seats and pay cash at Box Office.  No credit or debit cards accepted for in-person sales.

 

RESERVATIONS:   E-mail reservations@alumnaetheatre.com or phone 416-364-4170 Box 1.

POST-SHOW TALKBACKS – “Behind The Curtain”:
Thursdays: Directors Pamela Redfern, Julia Haist or Neil Affleck with their Assistant Directors Melissa Chetty, Lisa Alves, Ingryd Pleitez.
Fridays: Lighting Designer Gabrielle D’Angelo and Sound Designer Bill Scott.
Saturday Matinees: Costume Designers Peter DeFreitas, Toni Hanson, Trish Worrall.
Saturday Evenings: Set Designers Marysia Bucholc, Mark Cope.
Sunday Matinees: Playwrights Chloe Whitehorn, Taylor Marie Graham or Charles Hayter.

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Filed under 2015/16 season, FireWorks

A darkly funny & eerie look into the mind of Lizzie Borden in Blood Relations

Blood Relations : Part drama, part mystery, all compelling. “Did you, Lizzie? Lizzie, did you?”

life with more cowbell

Blood RelationsSo, first, a confession: I’d never read or seen Sharon Pollack’s Blood Relations. Not until last night, that is, at Alumnae Theatre Company’s opening night, directed by Barbara Larose, assisted by Ellen Green.

We are in the Borden home in Fall River, Massachusetts, 10 years after Lizzie Borden’s acquittal of the brutal double murder of her stepmother and father. Ragtime music fills the theatre and, in the dim pre-show lighting onstage, you can make out the main floor of the home: dining room and parlour, separated by a dark wood finish staircase. Down stage right is a pigeon coop; down left is a garden with a stone bench.

The ever present question: “Did you, Lizzie? Lizzie, did you?” sets the scene for a memory game of storytelling, played by Lizzie (Marisa King) and her friend/lover The Actress (Andrea Brown), taking the audience back in time to the circumstances leading…

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Filed under 2014/15 Season, Blood Relations

Review of New Ideas – Week Two

Apologies – I posted a link to this review on Alumnae Theatre’s Facebook page on March 19, but seem not to have re-blogged it anywhere else. Mea culpa!

life with more cowbell

Another series of fine works in progress at Alumnae Theatre Company’s New Ideas Festival (NIF) Week Two program this week.

The Deepest Trench (Chloë Whitehorn, dir. by Justen Bennett) is a sharp-humoured three-hander, an “almost love story” featuring a brother (Ryan, Ryan Bainbridge), sister (Kate, Stephanie Barone) and sister’s BFF (Emma, Jen Viens) – with relationship dynamics shifting when Emma comes to live with the sibs. The witty repartee includes some fun current event and pop culture references (the new Pope, the Bugs Bunny Abominable Snowman episode and Buffy ep. 4.04), as well as some very sweet in-jokes between Ryan and Emma. Ryan’s sweet, sensitive nature appears at first to be in direct contrast to the women’s brasher, aggressive approach to life – but things can change when times get rough and life-changing situations are at hand. Lovely use of storytelling. Excellent ensemble. Interested to see where this goes.

Two…

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Filed under 2012/13 Season, New Ideas Festival 2013

Final rehearsal of “Falling” – New Ideas, Week One reading

An important aspect of the New Ideas Festival at Alumnae Theatre is the script development afforded by the Saturday staged readings. In the first week of the Festival (March 9), the reading is “Falling“. Come see it!

life with more cowbell

Our last rehearsal yesterday. Tweaking rhythm. Tone. Transitions.

Falling is a work in progress – not sure what draft playwright Jamie Johnson is on – and it’s important to present it as best as we can so the work can continue.

Constance (I’m playing her at age 48) is a very complex character – and every time I read her, I peel back another layer. And with four versions of her, facets of the same stone, we each look for similarities between ourselves and our younger selves. Now at 48, how is she the same as she was at 30, 18, 12? How different?

I’ve been pondering these questions myself since, in this rare instance – after years of playing younger or older, often younger – I’m playing close to my own age for a change.

We polished. We fine-tuned. We’re ready.

With thanks to Victoria Shepherd, who isn’t able…

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Filed under 2012/13 Season, New Ideas Festival 2013

Fond farewell to “The Drowning Girls”

The title of this post says it all…

life with more cowbell

Alumnae Theatre Company’s production of The Drowning Girls closed on Saturday night to another packed house at the end of an incredible run – and I was lucky to be able to see it one last time before our closing night celebration at Betty’s and the inevitable set strike the following day.

I have to say, this was a sad strike for me. For some reason, I’m going to miss this set a lot. More paint under my fingernails today, but I don’t mind.

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Filed under 2012/13 Season, The Drowning Girls

New Ideas – Week One in review

Theatre maven and frequent Alumnae lighting designer Michael Spence commented that The Man With The Butterfly Hat was “a little gem”. My early favourite, dating back to November when the cold readings of the scripts were held (see https://alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/nif-2012-cold-readings-1-november-21/), was Lover’s Flight. In production, I was impressed with the performances and innovative staging of  Let My Mind Run Dry, and the old Newfie dad (Douglas McLauchlan) in
Our Eliza was a scream.

life with more cowbell

So now that we’re all recovering from St. Patrick’s Day festivities, here’s a run-down of Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival Week One reading and program from yesterday afternoon.

In the noon reading, Eating Pomegranates Naked, by Andrea Scott and directed by Kimberly Radmacher, a group of 30-something friends talk about life, and in the process unearth personal loss, sins of omission and secrets. The title was inspired by friends of Scott, a couple who eat pomegranates naked for easy clean-up/stain avoidance – plus its colourful, erotic, and even biblical, reference (was an apple or a pomegranate that figured in Adam and Eve’s downfall?) and in French, it’s grenade, a fitting word for the bomb that gets dropped during the opening scene’s dinner party. Lovely cast for this reading: Janine John, Roselyn Keladra-Sedra, Cameron Laurie, Khalil Abdul Malik and Jinny Wong. Stripping down the self takes courage and often…

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Filed under 2011/12 season, New Ideas Festival 2012