When Patrick Toner called last Christmas and asked if I’d consider acting in an Irish play, I thought it would be a fun chance to get back on stage. I read the script and really enjoyed it so I agreed to do it. Bailegangaire is a three-person play featuring a grandmother who has Alzheimers, and two granddaughters trying to care for her. The granddaughters, Dolly and Mary, are a bit like oil and water. I’m playing Dolly, who is quite a vibrant character. I realized it’s been about 5 years since I’ve been on stage. Where does the time go? That last show that I was in was One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with the Saint John Theatre Company.
It has been a great opportunity to reconnect and work with Lindsay Bell, as well as meet and work with Mary Stilwell. What wonderful ladies to work with! I am certainly thankful for the friendships formed while trying to tackle an admittedly challenging script.
I knew Patrick from my early days involved with the SJTC. He has since started the An Amharclann Theatre Company, which produces at least one Irish play per year. They sometimes take their shows to the Acting Irish International Theatre Festival. This year, the festival will be hosted by Irish Theatre of Florida and is being held at the Arts Garage in Del Ray Beach, Florida. Before we take it to Del Ray, however, we will be performing it at the Sanctuary Theatre in Saint John – opening tonight and running for 3 evenings.
In August, Scott Thomas asked if I’d help with the set design for “A Christmas Carol”. He’s directing it for the Saint John Theatre Company and it will be performed at the Imperial Theatre November 17 – 19, 2011. He was looking for a set that brought the story closer to the audience, and that could be used for both indoor and outdoor scenes. I know that there will be a few minor adjustments, but here is what I gave them to start with. The maquette is 1/2″ to 1′. I am looking forward to seeing the show!
Set Design Maquette for "A Christmas Carol" November 2011
Thanks to Sandra, Beth, and Colin for a fun night out at Rocky Horror. It was a fun show!
- Beth, myself, Sandra & Colin at Rocky Horror
Autobahn, written by Neil Labute, is a collection of seven one-act plays set within the confines of the front seat of a vehicle. Each of these seven vignettes explores the ethos of perception and relationships.
A woman (who doesn’t say a word) driving her daughter home from rehab.
Cast: young woman, older woman
A make-out session gone awry.
Cast: guy and girl – he’s a university teaching assistant, while she works at WalMart, so early 20’s
A husband apologizing to his wife (who doesn’t say a word).
Cast: husband and wife
A wife feels the need to explain her recent business trip infidelity to her husband.
Cast: husband and wife
A man trying to convince his friend to get his gaming console back from his ex-girlfriend. (the friend does not speak)
Cast: 2 men
A kidnapping thinly disguised as a road trip.
Cast: 1 man, 1 young teen – male or female
A couple that had been foster parents to a troubled kid. (The woman does all of the talking).
Cast: 1 man, 1 woman
It was a busy October. After the Marco Polo musical, I had to travel for work for a week. That was a successful trip (whew!) and I did get to visit some of my extended family on my dad’s side, whom I hadn’t seen in years – what a nice treat to see everyone doing so well! I got back and all I wanted to do was sleep. My first weekend home was a chance to clear out my garden plot, get groceries, and actually clean my apartment. Things I hadn’t had time for in weeks. Also, I’d twinged my lower back while set-painting, so it was the first time in a few weeks that I was actually able to do these things, let alone having the time to. It felt nice to be home, and it was great to spend time with my cats again.
All that work… the last two months have been pretty intensive as we worked to bring this musical to life. We’d never done such a large show, and at Harbour Station it was a technical feat. Thank goodness for having great teams of people working on it. Kudos to everyone who worked on it. It was tiring but worth it. A good learning experience, a great group of folks, and fantastic music (written by Mark Blagrave, composed by Richard Kidd, and brought to life by Antonio Delgatio and the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, as well as the Saint John High School Choir and the Rothesay Netherwood Choir, and our cast of 32 SJTC folks, not to mention the huge crew of SJTC volunteers, as well as all of the technicians that worked with us to make this happen.)
Thankfully I had some great help with set painting from Tim & Lynda & Sally & Sally’s boyfriend. We got the wails and wooden setpieces painted in a couple of evenings (in between rehearsals on the weekend), and then during rehearsal on Monday, I got the ship’s agent’s sign done. It’s been a busy week…
We needed a toy ship that could be featured in the show that looked as though a young girl from the 1880′s would play with it, but would also represent the Marco Polo clipper ship better than a sailboat. I found this display version of a Spanish Armada ship at a local used book store for $10, and I took it home and pried all f the plastic bits off, took it apart, sanded it down and then put it back together. That was my Thanksgiving Monday.
As soon as I got back from my trip, my evenings and weekends have been devoted to working on the show. I’m Assistant Directing it, and until we get a Stage Manager, I’m filling in with that as well. We were all pretty pumped once we got a chance to rehearse the music with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra…
I‘ve been working on this over the past couple of weeks and I’m so glad to be done. It includes one 3/4 sized ship that holds 80 chorus members, the NB Youth Orchestra, acting areas, some props, actors, projections on the sails, 2 large video screens, and indications of the audience. (All at Harbour Station on October 23rd, 2010!)