The Wrecking Ball rolls again

wbIf you were unfortunate enough to miss last year’s inaugural Vancouver Wrecking Ball at the Stanley, ask anyone who was there how awesome it was and then stand back and watch them explode with volcanic enthusiasm. It was a clear and resounding proclamation that a group of impassioned artists joined together can generate serious shock waves. I walked out onto Granville Street feeling a part of something important, part of a movement, and I am thrilled that we’re hosting another one again this year.

Titled “Wrecking Ball to Tackle Draconian Cuts to the Arts: Canada’s Leading Theatre Artists Take On the BC government from Coast to Coast”, our Ball is the fourth this November after Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa (which drops tomorrow, November 16). Here’s some copy from the Facebook Page:

Vancouver’s Wrecking Ball features some of Canada’s most nationally and internationally recognized actors and directors, including multiple award-winning actor/playwrights Daniel MacIvor (House, Twitch City) and Linda Griffiths (Maggie and Pierre), Leacock-winning writer Mark Leiren Young, and Alcan Award winner Carmen Aguirre. Original member of the Nylons and BC Walk of Fame member Denis Simpson will host.

Margaret Atwood asks, “What is it that power-hungry politicians want from BC artists? Control over the story through the annihilation of the former story-tellers? Is this the agenda behind the decapitation of arts funding in British Columbia, while mega-millions are poured into the Olympics? The BC arts community will retaliate, of course. Over the past 50 years they’ve put BC on the map.”

“It won’t just be a protest,” adds Wrecking Ball Spokesperson Adrienne Wong. “It’ll be a night to laugh and celebrate what we know – that British Columbians care about culture.

Power to the people. Hope to see you there.

Free ticket giveaway for Good Boys and True!

JeffHyslopNow_tinyEye Heart Productions, the company behind the presentation of the Jeff Hyslop directed Good Boys and True up now at the Firehall, would like to give away a pair of tickets to a lucky reader of The Next Stage.

All you have to do to win is drop a comment below answering the following skill-testing question:

What is Jeff Hyslop’s home town?

The free tickets will be for your choice of tonight’s show at 8:00, Saturday’s 2:00 matinee, or Saturday night at 8:00.

2009 Vancouver New Play Festival ends Saturday!

The Playwrights Theatre Centre‘s annual new works festival is in full swing, with 3 days of staged readings left in the line-up:

Thursday June 11Stroke by Marie Leofeli Barlizo, director: Martin Kinch

A Filipino-Canadian family wrestles with its  past when a traumatic event stirs up family secrets. A father and daughter, connected by their profession, but divided by years of emotional neglect, navigate the uncertain waters of memory and need.

Friday June 12Tear by Jason Maghanoy, director: Heidi Taylor

While fulfilling his duty to have his Grandfather’s tombstone made, a young boy is plunged into a world of new experiences. A Filipino homecoming for a Canadian boy.

Saturday June 13Herr Beckmann’s People by Sally Stubbs, director: Katrina Dunn, dramaturg: Martin Kinch

In 1970’s West Germany, secrets from the Second World War have driven a family apart. Prodigal daughter Anna forces her family to answer tough questions about their past, and in return is faced with moral dilemmas of her own.

All tickets are $10, $5 concession rate. Reservations recommended, and accepted after May 15 by phone: 604-685-6228 ext. 106.

The previous new works in the festival were Nigeria by Martin Gover, directed by Heidi Taylor and Medicine Boy by Waawaate Fobister, directed by Aiyyana Maracle. Fobister recently receive an amazing eight nominations at the upcoming Dora Awards, the Toronto version of our Jessies.

I had seen Sally Stubbs’ play Wreckage at the PTC a couple of years ago, and she has a marvelous and decidedly local voice. We are proud to be featuring an interview with Sally in an upcoming post, check back soon to read her take on her industry and craft.

The New Play Festival is not only an intimate look into the process of the creation of new Canadian theatre, but a great way to encourage our community to support local writing. And a great ignition switch for discussion.

Playwright Sally Stubbs
Playwright Sally Stubbs

The weird and wonderful world of the comments section

Best. Spam. Ever. I have no idea how this ended up on my little blog, but it’s wonderful. From the comments section to this post, from Marinkina:

1 п. “Не имей сто друзей, а имей сто шекелей” тоже хорошо рифмуется :)
8 п. Ты никогда не потеряешь работу. Когда закончатся фотографии можно размещать рисунки (да хоть бы и конкурс объявить на лучший рисунок Одри (-:), аппликации и фотографии поделок из пластилина…
9 п. Сто пудов ! :)

Shortly thereafter, Jack the Bear dropped this below it:

A web translation of the above:

1 item “have no hundred friends, and have hundred shekels” too it is well rhymed:)
8 items You never will lose work. When photos will end it is possible to place drawings (at least competition to declare(announce) on the best drawing of Odri (-:), applications and photos of hand-made articles from plasticine …
9 items of Hundred poods!:)

I’m so glad I did that!

Ain’t the internet wonderful?