From my new home, a cabin in the shadow of Mt. Lorne, I’m happy to inform you all about a busy and productive few months; a season which has been full of twists and turns for me, but which has yielded its share of great news.
First, November saw the Toronto production of Qui Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters, directed by my good friend Tom Beattie under the Orphaned Egret banner. I’d like to congratulate the cast and crew, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with before, and thank everyone who came out to see the show!
More recently, my full-length play-in-progress Gift Horse had a public reading at Nakai’s Pivot Festival for the second straight year. With the help of a very talented cast of performers, the majority of the all-new second act was read, and I feel I have the inspiration I need to carry this two-year saga to an exciting conclusion! Thanks so much to all those who came out to produce, perform, or hear the event!
Coming up, I’m excited to announce I’ll be featuring as a performer in Gwaandak Theatre’s Map of the Land, Map of the Stars, a collaborative telling of Northern and Indigenous stories which premieres in Whitehorse May 10th – 13th and will go on to tour smaller communities throughout the territory in the following weeks. I’ve had the privilege of working with Gwaandak many times in the past, most recently bringing an excerpt from this very show to Haines Junction for the Intertribal Gathering, so getting to expand my role with them in such a challenging and exciting new project is a dream come true. Stay tuned for more details to come!
The Summer was a busy one, between performing with the Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue, teching at Canada’s Magnetic North Festival, and most recently driving the Waterfront Trolley as part of The Tale of a Town during their stop in Whitehorse. My play, Third Person, also enjoyed a production as part of Kingston Ontario’s first annual Storefront Fringe Festival. But now the Yukon landscape is painted a beautiful palette of yellows and greens and I await the exciting opportunities to come.
Looking ahead to the Fall, my company Orphaned Egret will be presenting a piece as part of Ramshackle Theatre’s fantastic Theatre in the Bush. Having attended the last two iterations, first as an audience member then as a guide, I’m so excited to contribute this Autumn as a performer/creator. Those attending can look forward to Orphaned Egret’s unique existential voice as we contribute a brand new original site-specific short play as part of this innovative multidisciplinary trek around Yukon’s boreal forest.
I’m also happy to report that I’m running a Youth Theatre program at the Heart of Riverdale community centre, together with Orphaned Egret co-founder Kevin Ray. This after-school program for kids grade 3 – 8 gives youth a chance to develop their creative voices and explore the many roles that need to come together to create our own original musical from top to bottom, over the course of a whole school year. Registration is still open and we always welcome new voices!
As always, there’s lots of new work in development as well, so hold on tight for updates about a second appearance at Nakai Theatre’s Pivot Festival, a new Orphaned Egret Production in Toronto and another in Whitehorse, new initiatives and collaborations, as well as a bid to play a role in yet another renowned Yukon performing arts institution.
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be joining the cast of Whitehorse’s famed Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue, a proud Yukon institution! I’ll be doing music-hall comedy, reciting Robert Service, singing, dancing, playing music, and generally hamming it up all summer with this goofy bunch and lots more new friends.
“The Frantic Follies is a turn-of-the-century vaudeville revue that depicts the entertainment seen by the pioneers of the Great Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. The company has been in operation for 46 years and is known as the most popular and successful show in the Yukon and Alaska.”
The Frantic Follies’ opening night is May 31st, and performances continue every night for the length of the Summer. What better excuse to come join us in the Great White North than to see me strut my stuff in authentic Klondike fashion?
But wait, that’s not all! The theatre community here in Whitehorse is bursting at the seams this Spring, in preparation for the arrival of the Magnetic North Festival, Canada’s largest national theatre fest!
It seems every able-bodied theatre-person in town is hard at work on some project or another (and often two or three!) and I’m no exception: In addition to the Follies and Kill Shakespeare I’ll be pitching in as a stage-hand at various venues during the festivities throughout June, and will be performing in a staged reading of Bystander by Wren Hookey. It’s an intense and thought-provoking play that addresses themes of fate, oppression, altruism, and a single person’s power to right the wrongs perpetrated in the name of society. We’ll be performing the reading on June 15th as part of the Magnetic North Festival, and again on June 29th for Arts in the Park. Hope to see you there!