Tag Archives: shakespeare

No More Counting! (And, R&J)

Ok, life is just sometimes going to get in the way of the blog. Rather than agonize over a missed day and beating myself up over having to start the count again at 0… I’m not counting any more. Until such time as things settle into a nice, boring routine around here, at which point I’ll pen some nice, boring blog posts.

Meanwhile, here’s the next installment of, “What happens in Romeo and Juliet?” – the brief, illustrated edition…

 

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The dude in the bell bottom pants at the top is Friar Lawrence. But, our version of R&J takes place the late 60’s, early 70’s, when bell bottoms were oh so cool. Hey – if you are around in Canmore tomorrow, come on down to the Canada Day Parade – quite a few cast members from both shows will be in costume and taking part!! 

 

I know Juliet looks a bit like Gretel (of Hansel and Gretel fame) in this fine drawing, but take my word for it, that’s Juliet. Gretel never had a knife or she would have dispatched the old witch a lot faster.

If you are hoping to come to see the shows (afternoons will be The Apple Kingdom, a musical fairytale with princes and princesses and the most adorable lizard ever, and evenings Romeo and Juliet), performances start July 4, so get your tickets if you don’t want to miss out!! If you are trying to decide whether to come based on the how good Juliet looks in my drawings… well, our real life actual Juliets are lovely, fine actresses who look a LOT better than depicted… (there are two Juliets – Kiki Monteith and Sarah Keith are alternating shows). Likewise, both Romeos (Ben Francis and Liam Brett) are better looking than my scribbles may suggest. What is entirely accurate, though, is that both Romeos flop to the ground in despair, weeping and wailing and acting like limp noodles… you know, typical woe-is-me, my-life-is-over teenager stuff. For that matter, Juliet has her moments of misery, too… One must keep in mind that this is R&J and maybe they weren’t actually being that melodramatic about their problems…

(If you missed the first installment of R&J – the Comic Strip – here’s the link to the earlier post).

 

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Hansel and Gretel by Mikhail Vrubel, 1896 (You see what I mean?)

 

 

 

Final Week (Reboot365-7)

We are fast coming up to opening night… and that means rehearsals come rain or shine.

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Given we will be performing in the park, we can’t be put off by a sudden drop in temperature, howling winds and bucket-loads of precipitation.

We are in the mountains, so wait a few minutes and the weather changes.

The sun came out for a bit and it was every man, woman and child for him/herself… So many great brawls! My admiration for our fight choreographer, Anastasia St. Amand knows no bounds… I want to write a play full of ugly fights just so I can have an excuse to work with her again!

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Plenty of people in town have wandered past and enjoyed watching bits and pieces of rehearsals, but there’s just as much going on behind the scenes. The mask-making project is racing along (suddenly the first show seems really, really close), costumes are being stitched, props made, sets built… It is always so cool and so nerve-wracking to see shows come together. Just when it seems an impossible feat to pull off – yikes! There’s an audience out there and somehow the show happens!!

Check out the Pine Tree Players website for details and if you are anywhere near here… come see The Apple Kingdom (matiné) and Romeo and Juliet (evening) performance starting July 4…

 

O, Life (Reboot365-1)

 

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Aaaaaand… it’s full-on summer! (the view from the bridge on my way to rehearsal the other morning).

 

Apparently, there is a threshold of busy-ness which, once crossed, makes it tough to meet the blog-a-day challenge. I hit that a few days ago after… let’s see, 30 (for my April challenge) plus 44 (in my blogging every day for a year project) days. Not a bad streak, really, but long enough to hurt when I managed to get home and to bed late enough one night only to realize that it was after midnight and I had totally forgotten to blog. I threw up my hands, heaved a deep sigh and said, ‘Never mind.’

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One of my favourite parts in our production of Romeo and Juliet is when the ethereal maids are humming, in harmony, The Sound of Silence. Bring tissues!! (A Woman Weeping by Rembrandt, 1644)

I was up early the next morning to continue on a writing project and considered posting a photo and back-dating the entry (cheater!!) and couldn’t quite bring myself to be so deceitful. Then, I was going to just post and stats be damned, but I couldn’t decide how to number the next post…

Anyway, enough time has passed that I now feel I can clear the slate and just suck it up and start again.

 

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With plants like this around (and they are all over the place, apparently…) there’s no need to slow down to smell the flowers. These puppies exude an exquisite scent so intense I smell it as I whiz by on my bike. With the hot weather here now, the wee flowers are fading (along with their perfume). Can anyone tell me what this bush is called? 

 

Not that life has slowed down, mind you (that was another consideration – wait until I actually have time to embark upon such a project). Much as I live in a fantasy world that has me sitting with my feet up somewhere balmy, but breezy, preferably with a sailboat under my backside, the reality is I always have lots of balls in the air. I’m picking this blog ball up and tossing it back in the mix.

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(Fight choreography – we have a gorgeous brawl in Romeo and Juliet, but wow – it’s complicated to get all the moving parts right without hurting anyone. Anastasia, our fight choreographer is amazing!!)

I warn you. though, that there may not be too much meaty content for another 3 weeks or so until our Canmore Summer Theatre Festival performances are done and the edits to the current draft of the medical assistance in dying book are back off my plate. Sorry, you might be looking at more photos than usual…

Romeo and Juliet – Part 1 (39/365)

Pretty much the whole day spent at rehearsals for the Canmore Theatre Festival. I assume you are all coming!! If not, here’s what you will miss… except with music, and dancing, and great hippy costumes, and amazing acting and a TREEHOUSE!! Yes, really.

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With a party and a war, all kind of happening at the same time. Can you say fight choreography? And then, across a crowded room…

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That thing happens between two people… it doesn’t make any sense. The parents think it sucks. But… the line gets crossed. I can’t draw that part because it’s sort of x-rated and this is a more-or-less PG blog.

Did I mention party? Hippies? Yeah, well – drinking, drape-smoking, stabbings can’t be far behind… Uh-oh. Tybalt doesn’t fare too well.

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Romeo takes off… leaving his beloved Juliet behind… This can’t be good.

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Juliet reacts as one might expect and rapidly sinks into a spiralling pit of despair (no idea how to draw one of those…)

So does Romeo… but to see how it all turns out, you’ll need to keep reading the blog (or, come to the real show, which will be in 3-D with actual live actors, even the ones who die… which, in this case, is quite a few of them).

Ghosts! (35/365)

 

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Helpful tour guides will lead Ghost Walks in both Canmore and Banff this summer. I’m going to be one of them… For more information, visit the Theatre Canmore website

Whether you are a skeptic or a believer, you have to admit ghost stories are a lot of fun (and, just a wee bit scary!) This evening I learned things about the sleepy town of Canmore that I never knew before… and was reminded of other stories I had vaguely heard of but didn’t know a lot about.

 

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The Banff Springs Hotel (in the background) is said to be one of Canada’s most haunted places… That’s me climbing on the other side of the valley on Tunnel Mountain. 

 

Spending part of my childhood in Banff, I had heard some of the stories relating to the iconic Banff Springs Hotel. The one about the bride who fell down the stairs (possibly after setting her dress on fire by getting too close to some candles) is one that stuck with me.  But during this evening’s training session, I heard about a whole lot of other mysterious happenings in the Bow Valley.

 

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The Ghost in the Lantern, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Some are said to be benevolent, some spiteful, while others are tricksters through and through. Whatever their flavour, ghosts have intrigued writers and artists since we first began to tell stories and I’m quite looking forward to sharing some ghostly tales over the summer.

 

 

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Hamlet Sees the Ghost of His Father, by Eugene Delacroix, 1843 – Shakespeare included quite a few apparitions in his work… 

 

The idea that those we love might not really disappear after they die is one that is certainly appealing. And, there’s no question things happen in the world that science can’t quite explain (yet…) Whether or not apparitions are ‘real,’ sharing stories of our past and the people who have lived in this valley before us is a cool a way to connect with our history and to honour the memories of those who have gone before us. Who knows, perhaps some of those ghosts will join us as we wander the streets of our mountain towns…

 

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The Spirit of the Dead Watches, by Paul Gaugin, 1892

Have you ever had a paranormal experience? If you have a great ghost story to share, I’d love to hear it!

 

 

All My World’s a Stage (27/365)

A looooong day today of rehearsals, set design meeting, mask design meeting, choreography, and then pulling together the first section of Romeo and Juliet.

 

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Masks, masks, and more masks… Who is dancing with whom at the Capulets’ party?

I’m doing a few things – assistant director (mostly soaking up information and working with super-talented people with waaaaay more experience than I have… Yes, Amanda Cutting, I do mean you…), understudy for Nurse (oh, what a juicy, juicy role!) and possibly playing Lady Montague – final decision on that front will be made in the next few days). I’m just trying to learn as much as I can and not get too confused at this point!

 

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Romeo and Juliet by Konstantin Makovsky, 1890

 

Because part of our cast comes out from Calgary, rehearsals have mostly been consolidated into two very long days each week, which is why my Sundays and Mondays have pretty much been swallowed up until after the Canmore Summer Theatre Festival is over July 8.

We are setting our version of the classic in the early 1970s… very colourful and most excellent music!

 

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Here’s where Salvador Dali went with his idea for set design for Romeo and Juliet in 1942

 

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Here is Christoper Wood’s set design for Diaghilev’s ballet of Romeo and Juliet in 1925

I don’t have a drawing to share with you to show you what we will be doing (maybe I’ll try to do something in the next few days…), but what I can say is that there will be a treehouse!! For anyone who knows me at all, you will know how happy treehouses make me! (and for those who don’t, just let me say that I lived in a treehouse for a while… when I was a teenager… fond memories, indeed!)