One more chance to catch Ashes

I had a load of people asking me if and when they could get another chance to see Bill Marchant’s recent play Ashes after I flipped my lid for it on World Theatre Day.

There’s one more chance to catch this roundly excellent production this coming Friday, May 1 at the Metro Theatre: 1370 Marine Drive SW (604-266-7191) as part of Theatre BC’s Greater Vancouver Zone Festival. There’s a schwack of other good work worth checking out all week there to.

The man himself on his own work…

Ashes: two-minute load in

I’m a sucker for behind-the-scenes extras. Bill Marchant’s Ashes, the play that I took in on World Theatre Day at the Firehall, was the kind of work that ensures I will always want to make Independent Stage. Astonishing work at all levels. Greg Bishop, the director of the play and proprietor of Eye Heart Productions, sent over a fun company project: sped-up video they made of the set construction. Very cool chronicling. I always forget to chronicle stuff like this. Click on the HQ button for the high-quality version.

Scene: A cabin somewhere in Northern Ontario…

Set design : Greg Bishop
Set builders: Rob Hummell, Kevin Strong, Greg Bishop
Set painting: Melanie Bishop
Set decoration: Jelena Ikonomovic, Jen O’Rourke
Video: Patrick Parenteau

Celebrating World Theatre Day in my little corner of the planet

wtd-avatar2This coming Friday, March 27, theatre artists the world over will spend part of their day acknowledging and honouring the larger community of the art form they share in. Designated “World Theatre Day” by the International Theatre Institute, this a marvelous opportunity for us to celebrate together an art form and a way of life that binds us, regardless of borders, language or political differences. It’s a day of communion.

A small group of us theatre types from several points around the planet got to talking about this day on twitter a while back (twitter’s handy for pan-continental conversation) and decided it was a worthy enough idea to give it some broader exposure. So being fairly Web 2.0-minded, we set up a blog to raise some awareness and to act as a virtual gathering spot for our fellow theatre artists to meet ‘n greet. Our mission, in a nutshell, was this:

1. Do something that expresses your love of theatre.

2. Share it with the world.

Well, I’m proud to say the idea has proven to have legs. I’d even go so far as to say it’s taken flight. We’ve been getting letters telling us about WTD events that we’ve had to run through google translator to be able to read. Here, check the WTD map. My favourite response on the blog so far told us that: وب لاگ نوجوانان linked here saying, “1 فروردين: روز جهاني رفع تبع …” It’s wonderful, and wonderfully inspiring.

The key to the project is its simplicity. We’re fascilitating that part of us that loves to be a part of a community bound by passion. We would love you to join us if you feel so inclined.

Here’s what I’m doing on Friday. Two members of my theatre company just so happen to be involved in a play that’s running that night. One of them wrote it, the other is in it. (It’s Bill Marchant’s Ashes at the Firehall, click here for all the info, and a word from Bill.) So we’re taking the night off from creating, and we’re taking a field trip…dinner together, drinks, then we’re going to sit in the dark and watch some enlightening art. The director of the play is reading Augusto Boal’s WTD message just before curtain, which I’m going to video tape and upload to the site for all to see. After the play we’re all going to trip down to the Vancouver WTD after-party and raise a glass to our fellow artists around the world, and drop some good wishes onto the site as well. I hope to see you there, live in person or on the blog.

What are you guys doing? Share in the comments, or better yet, upload some video, photos or text to the media feed like this…

Game day! 2 tickets to ‘Ashes’ up for grabs!


Buzz is quickly building around the premiere of beloved local playwright Bill Marchant‘s new play Ashes, playing at the Firehall, and to keep it buzzing the producing team has made available a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky The Next Stage reader! Ready for it? Here we go…

To claim your prize, be the first person to leave a comment on this post the closest to 12 noon Vancouver time today, Thursday, March 19, but not before. The comment must include the name of at least one of the members of the cast.

The tickets are valid for opening night: Tuesday, March 24, or Wednesday the 25th or Thursday the 26th only.

Free theatre, up for grabs on The Next Stage. Because theatre loves you. Thanks for stopping by!

Click here for full details on this production