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The BackstagePASS Update

Listen Up: Ian Case
Theatre, creativity and paying the bills in Victoria

Missed the preshow lecture? No worries. You can always tune in to the audio file the following week when we post the recording of the preshow lecture. Listen now to alumnus Ian Case's engaging talk about the many ways his degree prepared him for a life in theatre, without leaving Victoria.

Listen to the pre-show lecture now:

In the press: "... I never stopped having a blast."

Here's a run down of what local reviewers are saying about Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near Post-Apocolyptic Future.

Janis La Couvée

"Kitt and Jane's genius lies in the ability of the creators to craft a story that has simultaneously tapped into young people's concern and anxiety about the state of the world while reminding their elders of a simpler more playful time.

Kitt and Jane is a wild, zany, mad-cap, adrenaline-fuelled, non-stop 75 minutes packed with randomness and best enjoyed by completely suspending judgement. Hansen and Peter are gifted physical performers ... who will have you laughing out loud at their antics.

... large scale shadow puppetry plays an important role in creating the feel of the show, as does lighting by Michael Franzmann. Featuring original songs on ukulele and glockenspiel, and packed with inventive low-tech special effects, Kitt and Jane reminds us all that we can "be the change"."

Read Janis La Couvée's blog and full review.

The Marble

"Go see Kitt & Jane. The story of two 14-year-olds prepping an audience for the apocalypse is immensely enjoyable, theatrical and funny. It’s also a whole bunch of other superfluous adjectives I could assign, all of which would be true and complimentary, but would just take up valuable time you could be using to go down to the box office and buy a ticket."

Both actors Ingrid Hansen (Kitt) and Rod Peter Jr. (Jane) are phenomenal. ...The musical numbers in Kitt & Jane are largely excellent... It’s pleasurable to see live music onstage, performed by unlikely candidates in the twee-est way possible ... But these moments aren’t window dressing, making them even more admirable.... As an audience member, I never stopped having a blast."

"...Kitt & Jane  is uniformly excellent, with theatrical performances... and it never squanders an opportunity for laughter or thought. Did I mention go see it?

Read more of Robbie Huebner's review from The Marble

CBC Victoria - On the Island

"...The theatre space was quite effective in creating the world of this play. Kitt and Jane is set in high school assembly and we the audience are the grade nine students...

In fact there's a lot of learning wrapped up in the comedy and it's quite frennetic and quite inventive the way they try to get us all thinking... is the end nigh?

Rod Peter Jr.... does lovely work with the role [of Jane]... It's always wonderful to see him working on stage.

There's something about Ingrid ... she is unique.... that person is pretty special, she's playful, she's childlike, she has an kind of innocence about her but an awareness, she's very savvy. There's a critical edge in her work.... that I think is quite wonderful.

I love her simple yet effective theatricality... she uses shadow puppetry. Just using a flashlight on a screen behind the two actors creating amazing effects... At one point she does an entire shadow puppet show with the most simple of props which is really theatre that I love. You don't need a huge, huge budget.

Listen to CBC's On the Island review with Monica Prendergast
(0:00 - 5:00).

Times Colonist

Hansen, Peter and co-creator Kathleen Greenfield have opted to sidestep some of the conventions of theatre. Similar to alt-rock/folk bands that use dollar-store instruments and record albums that sound like bootlegs, the notion is to create a show that's fresh and unfettered by theatre's formal constructs.

The 85-minute comedy's greatest strengths are scenes featuring clever shadow projections; there's a funny sequence in which Kitt feeds Jane "toxic" foods in the name of experimentation. Hansen shines most brightly when she sings songs — including one about children's rights activist Craig Kielburger and Taliban-defier Malala Yousafzai — accompanied by ukulele and glockenspiel.

Read Adrian Chamberlain's full review in the Times Colonist.

Kitt & Jane photos by Jam Hamidi.

Phoenix eNews is a regular email magazine (5-6 times per year) for those interested in the Phoenix Theatre and the not-for-profit productions with the students at the University of Victoria's Department of Theatre.