Phoenix Theatre: BackstagePASS
|Spring 2015 • Act 9 Scene 1|
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Two things happen every spring here at the Phoenix Theatre. First, we announce a new season of plays; a new array of stories to be told that will become a series of opportunities for our students next year. Then, our students depart; some temporarily to summer jobs here or in their hometowns, while others graduate from the Phoenix – saying a final goodbye to friends and faculty and heading off to start a new stage of their lives.
Over this summer, many of our students and alumni will band together to make theatre, and exercise what they've learned at university. We encourage you to support their work and keep an eye out for these emerging artists. See you again at the Phoenix in the fall!
The Phoenix Theatre’s 2015/16 season features works by some of the world’s best playwrights, however our directors have made some amazing choices that help us see these playwrights in a new light.
Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera (November 5-21, 2015) features the fantastic music of Kurt Weill and is definitely a landmark of modern theatre. However, director Brian Richmond looks forward to bringing his own spin on this satirical social commentary. He will be setting Brecht's iconic characters – including the villainous but irresistible Mack the Knife and his marauding thieves - into a dystopic, not-too-distant (and entirely possible) future where the earth’s environment has disintegrated and the economy has collapsed. Richmond has no doubt that Brecht's original critique of the bourgeoisie will continue to be just as pertinent when applied to a future society where the law remains fickle, money still corrupts, and crime continues to pay.
Wild Honey (February 11-20, 2016) takes us into the world of the Russian country elite on a hot summer day. Called “Brilliant!” by the London Guardian, the script is based on one of the first plays that 19th-century Russian playwright Anton Chekhov wrote as a young man. The original work was never produced or even titled, and was not discovered until after Chekhov's death. Afterwards, it was dubbed Platonov, the name of the titular rogue character. In 1984, the acclaimed British playwright and renowned Chekhov translator Michael Frayne premiered his adaptation named Wild Honey at the National Theatre (starring Ian McKellen!). This new, shorter version of Chekov's hilarious love-triangle story swings between melodrama and farce and shakes them into an intoxicating cocktail. Director Peter McGuire (director of Picnic in 2014) is looking forward to having a bit of fun with Frayne and Chekhov's game of Russian cat-and-mouse!
A passionate and bittersweet exploration of love and longing in turn-of-the-century Mississippi, Summer and Smoke (March 10-19, 2016) is one of the lesser known and less-produced plays by American master playwright Tennessee Williams. Written during Williams' heyday on Broadway, the 1948 play is now a hidden gem that originally stood between two of William's greatest successes: A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955). It was adapted into a critically acclaimed Hollywood film in 1961, staring Geraldine Page as the small-town spinster Alma and Laurence Harvey as her self-indulgent neighbour John. MFA candidate Alan Brodie chose Summer and Smoke for his directing thesis production. Known across Canada as a professional lighting designer, Brodie returned to university last year to retrain as a director. He wanted the challenge of a play that was a traditional classic but was not often performed; Summer and Smoke fits the bill perfectly!
As ususal with the Phoenix Theatre season, 2015/16 will open in the fall with an ode to our alumni. WONDERHEADS, based in Portland, Oregon, is a theatre company founded by UVic theatre alumna Kate Braidwood (BFA’ 03) and her husband Andrew Phoenix (great name!). With their creative use of full-face masks, expressive physical movement and inventive lighting and sound cues in place of words, WONDERHEADS' shows have been compared by CBC Radio to watching "a living cartoon for lovers and dreamers". Their production LOON (October 14-24, 2015) tells the whimsical story of a lonely janitor whose search for love takes him to the moon and back. (Watch the online trailer!) With "Critics Choice" and "Best Show" awards from Vancouver to Orlando, they have beensuccessfully changing audience's perspectives on the nature of theatre and storytelling across North America.
DON'T MISS A SINGLE PLAY THIS SEASON
Sign up for a three or four-show package and save up to 50% off regular priced tickets. You can see all four plays for only $50, or choose your three favourite plays for only $37.50. Booking now is also the best option to secure the best seating choices, knowing that our flexible exchange policy means you can switch shows if your schedule changes in the future. No extra charges. No worries!
Even though the Phoenix Theatre will be dark this summer, Victoria has so much to offer the local theatre lover. Here's a list of shows to look for, many include work by students or alumni. Enjoy!
May 5 - 17, 2015
May 8 - 24, 2015
June 11- 27, 2015
July 10-12, 2015
July 2 to August 2, 2015
July 5-12, 2015
July 7 - 26, 2015
July 8 to August 8, 2015
August 4-23, 2015
August 27 to September 6, 2015
UVic's Department of Theatre was just named one of the top five places to study theatre in Canada! OnStage, a blog site based in the United States that covers all things theatre, no matter the size of the production or the location, posted their list of "The Best Colleges for Theatre in Canada" this week. UVic's Department of Theatre ranked fourth in the list that also included York University, Univeristy of Alberta, Simon Fraser University, and Regina University. UVic was noted for its fantastic facilities, excellent programming and hands-on learning experiences. States blog writer Christopher Peterson, "There is no better learning tool than "doing". And at the University of Victoria, you're going to do a lot."
Alumni and sessional instructor William Weigler (PhD ’11) takes a Train of Thought across Canada, expanding his 2013 project From The Heart: Enter in to the journey of reconciliation, which was originally staged at Uptown. Not only is Weigler taking a cross-country tour of an expansion of this project, titled Train of Thought, he is also launching a book about the original production entitled From the Heart: How 100 Canadians Created an Unconventional Theatre Performance about Reconciliation. Read more in the Times Colonist article.
Alumna Meg Roe (BFA '04) is back at the Shaw Festival this summer directing The Lady from the Sea, a new version of the classic Henrik Ibsen story written by Governor General Award-winner Erin Shields. The Globe and Mail's Kelly Nestruck spoke to Meg and Erin about the contemporary nature of Ibsen's female characters and his portrayal of relationships in a recent article.
Amiel Gladstone (BFA ’94) recently premiered a new show with Western Canada Theatre, titled Are We Cool Now? Inspired by and featuring the songs of Dan Mangan, Gladstone’s newest work is an “indie rock road trip…full of humour and insight.” Earlier this year, Gladstone directed the premiere of Daniel MacIvor’s new play Cake and Dirt for Taragon Theatre in Toronto.
Chemainus Theatre has Phoenix alumni working on their production of Agatha Christie’s classic gem, The Mousetrap. Victor Dolhai (BFA ’07) plays Giles Ralston (shown left), Claire Friedrich (BFA ’14) is the apprentice stage manager, and Laurin Kelsey (BFA ’07) created the set design.
Theatre SKAM recently presented two shows filled with alumni and current students. Runaway, Mika Laulainen’s (BFA ’12) play that originally began as a ten-minute miniplay within SKAM’s outdoor theatre event Bike Ride, opened as part of Kaleidoscope’s Family Theatre Festival. It featured the talents of Kieran Wilson (BFA ’13) and Randi Edmundson (BFA ’12), and designs by Halley Fulford. Other alumni that were involved in the Family Theatre Festival this year were Janet Munsil (BFA' 89) with the premiere of a new work I Have Seen the Beautiful Jim Key, and members of The Old Trout Puppet Workshop and Puente Theatre in their co-production of The Umbrella.
For their 20th birthday celebrations, Theatre SKAM continues to offer a series of remixed plays from their past. The Lab featured former SKAM interns and current Phoenixers Chase Hiebert (director) and Colette Habel (designer/dramaturge) who produced the show at the Intrepid Theatre Club, with a cast including Sarah Cashin (BFA ’15) and current students Aidan Dunsmuir, Brett Hay, Jack Hayes and Renée Killough.
Craigdarroch Castle was recently visited by workingclasstheatre and their production of Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. Artistic Director Tristan Bacon (BFA ’14) directed, with assistant direction by Joanne James (BFA 14). The cast included current student Nicholas Yee and alumnae Emma Hughes (BFA ’15) and Alexa Carriere (BFA ’15).
Langham Court Theatre’s second-to-last show of the season, August: Osage County, featured the talents of a recent Phoenix alumna.Fresh out of her degree, Keshia Palm (BFA ’15) played the role of Johnna.
The Leo Award nominations were just posted! These annual awards presented by the Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of BC highlight the best in BC film talent. Alumna Kat Jeffery (BFA '13) has been nominated for Best Costume Design for her work on Two 4 One, written and directed by UVic Writing professor Maureen Bradley and produced by UVic Fine Arts staff Dan Hogg. Kat has just finished her first term studying at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University where she received a $300,000 scholarship when she was accepted. We wish good luck to Kat and everyone involved with Two for One, which was nominated for five Leo awards!
Want more alumni updates? Check out the Alumni Profiles area of our website. Email your updates to us to be posted here in future eNews.
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Thank you to the Phoenix Theatre's many individual donors and corporate sponsors for their support of our programs and talented students!
Find out how your company can reach our 10,000 audience members and UVic community of over 25,000. Contact us to discuss a customized sponsorship package to meet your 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, PO Box 1700, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 2Y2 Canada. The University of Victoria is a Registered Charity. Charitable Registration No. 10816 2470 RR0001
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|© University of Victoria 2015|