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eNews | Behind the Scenes | Upcoming | Phoenix Phacts | Perks | Kudos

eNews: Welcome back to the Phoenix!

As the last days of summer holidays are coming to an end, we begin to welcome our students back to the stages of the Department of Theatre.

This fall sees many "homecomings" as the University of Victoria celebrates its 50th Anniversary and hosts a weekend of fantastic events for alumni and the community (see Upcoming), including Open Houses in the Department of Theatre and other Fine Arts areas.

Two of our Theatre grads, hot off a sold out Fringe circuit across Canada, return to Phoenix this October to profile their successes in our first show as part of our "Spotlight on Alumni" series. Read more about them and our whole 2012-13 season below.

And finally, the end of summer marks the beginning of the Victoria Fringe Festival – the ultimate in exciting, new emerging theatre! For some of our students, these plays mark their first independent project. For many alumni the Fringe circuit is an important way to build their career. The 11-day festival starts today so get out there and support our Phoenix-Fringers and all the other hard working theatre artists! (See Phoenix Phacts.)

See you soon at the Phoenix, until then, enjoy the Fringe!

Behind the Scenes: Phoenix philosophizes on the "good" life in comedy, parable, drama and song!

How can you be a good person in an imperfect world? Why do we care what others think? What is the meaning of life – and what does it have to do with the love of a good dog? …And what do you learn about your best friend when there’s a psychotic killer chasing you?

The University of Victoria’s Department of Theatre ponders the serious – and maybe not so serious – questions in life in their 2012-13 season through comedy, parable, drama and song. 

“We’re giving the Philosophy department a run for their money,” jokes Warwick Dobson, Chair of the department. “But in all honesty, I think we’ve programmed a varied, engaging and exciting season that reflects the diversity that the Phoenix is known for – one where we can give our students experience in several genres of theatre, from a classic Brecht play, to a contemporary drama, to a Broadway musical.”

Each year, the season begins with the department’s annual Spotlight on Alumni that welcomes theatre graduates back to the stages of the Phoenix Theatre to present their current work. Chris Wilson and Peter Carlone became good friends over their four years at the department. Since graduating in 2008, the pair have morphed into Peter N’ Chris, the dynamic duo who toured across North America, winning awards and acclaim at Fringe Festivals, SketchFests, Just for Laughs and Second City. Their unique brand of physical comedy really stretches reality, literally saving the world (in Peter N’ Chris Save the World - see photo above) or just learning how to pay the rent (Peter N’ Chris – the original). Now they take on a psycho-killer and the entire “whodunit” detective story genre in The Mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel from October 11 - 20, 2012. 

From November 8 - 24, 2012, movement instructor and faculty member Conrad Alexandrowicz brings Bertolt Brecht’s famous parable play Good Person of Setzuan into the present by setting it in modern-day industrial China. Alexandrowicz, also the Artistic Director of Wild Excursions Performance, last directed the much-acclaimed version of La Ronde in 2009 for the department. “I’m curious to see how the philosophical questions and moral lessons of Brecht’s original will translate to a world that has grown more thoroughly corporatized and materialistic than that of his day,” says Alexandrowicz.

In the spring of 2013, the Phoenix Theatre looks into the effects on our self-esteem of living in a beauty-obsessed world in Neil LaBute’s Tony Award-Nominated play Reasons to be Pretty. Directed by MFA candidate Christine Willes and running February 14-23, the play tells the story of four friends and lovers whose cutting and often cruel remarks change the nature of their relationships and asks why do we care so much what they think?

The season closes March 14-23, 2013 with the Broadway musical and Grammy winner for Best Musical Show Album (twice!) You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised), directed by faculty member Fran Gebhard, whose previous Phoenix shows include The Marowitz Hamlet, Wreckage,The School for Scandal and Crackpot.  An ode to the loveable gang in Charles M. Schulz’s "Peanuts", this super fun family musical is also playing at the Stratford Festival this summer. It follows a day-in-the-life of the favorite purveyor of “Good Grief!” and his trusty dog Snoopy as they ponder the meaning of life and what it means to be good. “We’ll end the year with a bang and let these students really show us what they can do,” says Gebhard.

Subscriptions for the 2012/13 season are now available for as little as $36 for 3 mainstage shows or $48 for 4 shows. Details about the season as well as subscription information are available at www.phoenixtheatres.ca. Order through the Phoenix Box Office by calling 250-721-8000 or fill out this easy subscription form.

Upcoming Events: September - October

September 28-29, 2012
UVic's 50th Anniversary Festival & Homecoming

Welcome to a jam-packed weekend celebrating 50 years of UVic excellence! Join us on campus for reunions, Vikes athletic games, the Island Savings Family Zone, lots of live music concerts, open house events, community bbq, special campus tours, and much much more! We look forward to seeing you all! During the festival, we will also welcome hundreds of alumni from across the world back to campus for Homecoming. Don't forget to check out the video and cool photos of UVic history (like this photo of UVic's official opening in 1963!) at the 50th Anniversary website!

September 29, 2012
UVic's 50th Anniversary Fine Arts Open Houses

Department of Theatre: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Phoenix Theatre, meet in lobby
Guided building tours take you backstage and behind the scenes of the magic of making theatre.

Department of Writing: @1:00pm - 2:00pm
Fine Arts Building 103
A presentation of the hilarious "Freshman's Wharf," a 10-webisode, student-created, show about a young man's introduction to university. (48 minutes)

Department of History in Art: @ 11:00am - 4:00pm
Fine Arts Building, lobby
Learn about the 8th Annual Symposium "Acts of Intervention: The Arts and Social Change" through their display.

Department of Visual Arts: @ 11:00am - 4:00pm
Visual Arts Building, Audain Gallery
Exhibition of new work by visiting artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulaanas, the 2012 holder of the Audain Professorship in Contemporary Art Practice of the Pacific Northwest.

School of Music: @ 1:00pm - 3:00pm
MacLaurin Building, B Wing
Experience student musicians performing throughout the school's practice rooms, recital halls and music labs.

October 11 – 20, 2012:
Peter N' Chris and The Mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel
Produced by
Peter N’ Chris
Written and Performed by Chris Wilson (BFA ‘08) & Peter Carlone (BFA ‘08)

Evening Performances @ 8pm
Matinee October 20 @ 2pm (with Sign Language Interpretation)
$7 Previews on Oct. 9 & 10 only @ 8pm

Supported by the University of Victoria's 50th Anniversary Grant

You'll "die" laughing at this classic whodunit spoof of The Hardy Boys meets The Shining! Our hilarious heroes stumble across a series of murders at a seedy roadside motel. But who could the murderer be? Okay, the answer is the motel manager – but that’s not the real mystery. Maybe the mystery is why their mattresses are so dirty? Or what this dynamic duo might learn about themselves when they check in? If they ever check out!

Hot off of a sold out Fringe circuit across Canada and recently nominated for the Comedy Network's Canadian Comedy Award for Best Sketch Troupe, this physical comedy team of alumni from 2008 returns to the Phoenix with their hare-brained sense of humour that while paying homage to pop culture, pushes everyday life into complete absurdity and has earned them a cult following in the festival world. Welcome back guys!

Saturday, October 20, 2012 @ 2pm
Sign Language Interpretation of
Peter N' Chris and The Mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel
Produced by Peter N’ Chris

Join Denise Read for a special matinee performance of this play with sign language interpretation. Denise is a drama teacher, actress, author and director who also writes songs in the Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) and American Sign Language (ASL). First known as an author, composer and performer of rhythmic songs in sign language, she is now recognized as a multi-talented artist. She has written, produced and performed in shows where hands poetry, mime and drama are put together to create an original and singular mode of expression. She brings her unique theatre and interpretation skills to illuminate this play for our Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

Check out other events at the UVic Fine Arts Faculty.

Phoenix Phacts: Phoenix Fringers in Victoria's Fringe Fest

With a comprehensive, hands-on theatre program like the one here at UVic, it's no wonder the the Victoria Fringe Fest once again features scores of productions with our students and alumni involved. Whether acting, writing, directing, designing or managing backstage, our students seem to be every where!

Aladdin's Secret Voyage
By James Leard with Design by Patricia Reilly

Akward Hangouts
With Graham Roebuck

Beautiful Obedient Wife
By Alexa Gilker, Directed by Sandi Barrett featuring Randi Edmundson, Mik Byskov, Erin Sterling, Trevor Hinton and Kieran Wilson with design and production work by Kendra Terpenning, Carly Mackay, Breanna Wise, Simon Farrow and Sarah Watson

Dramaturged by TJ Dawe

The Damned Girl
Directed and Designed by Andrew Barrett with Set and Lighting Design by Paphavee Limkul. Including Hayley Feigs, Chelsea Graham, Hayley McCurdy, Kathleen O'Reilly, Keshia Palm, Sarah Sabo, Levi Schneider, Staci Sten, Ali Trainer, Nicola Whitney-Griffiths with production work by Imogen Wilson, Kimberly Black and Kaeden Derksen

The Great Beanstalk Conspiracy
STORY THEATRE- FamilyFest Fringe
By James Leard with design from Patricia Reilly

Hello, My Name is Matthew Payne
By Matthew Payne
Including designs and production work by Max Johnson

Henry V
Adapted by David Chrtistopher.
Including Andrew Wade

Little Orange Man
By Ingrid Hansen
Includes sign language interpretation at the September 2 (8:45pm) performance with alumna Katt Campbell

'My Aim Is True' **
By Meghan Bell, Directed by Mika Laulainen
and Desgned by Jessica Wong. With music composition by Chris Ho and including Alysson Hall
** 'My Aim is True' was first performed at the Phoenix FIND Festival in 2010.

The Night the Knight Learned
Wrong from Right

-FamilyFest Fringe
By Andrew Gillott, including Melissa Taylor,Keshia Palm, Ali Trainer, Sharmila Miller, Joey Baumgartel

Wind in the Pines
Including Ayumi Hamada

Check out past Phoenix Phacts on our website.


Email Perks & Interesting Links:

Win tickets to Phoenix Theatre's first play of the season!

Other than the Peter N'Chris Show, name 2 other Theatre alumni that have been featured in our "Spotlight on Alumni" over the years? (Hint - check out our past productions on our website.)

Correct answers will be entered into a draw for a pair of tickets! Email your answer before September 15 to win!

Sponsor Kudos:

The Phoenix Theatre would like to thank our sponsors and individual donors and community sponsors for their support of our programs and talented students! Thank you!

Your logo could be right here! Find out how to reach our 10,000 audience members and UVic community of over 25,000 students, faculty, staff...and you'll also support emerging theatre artists at UVic! Contact Adrienne Holierhoek to discuss a customized sponsorship package to meet your company's goals.

Phoenix eNews is a regular email magazine for those interested in the Phoenix Theatre, the not-for-profit productions at the University of Victoria's Department of Theatre. Do you know someone who would love to know more about us? Please feel free to forward this message to a friend!