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As I See It

The ensemble cast of Trojan Women at Douglas College. Photo by Krista Graham.

On a miserably cold, rainy night we took the Skytrain from downtown Vancouver out to Douglas College in New Westminster. We went to see a student production of Charles Mee's adaption of Euripides' The Women of Troy. I was overjoyed to experience a production that was so much a visual and auditory delight that it made our sodden trek out to New Westminster more than worthwhile.
Euripides' The Women of Troy describes the fate of the women of Troy, waiting to learn their future after the capture of the city by the Greek Army......

Columbia University professor Wallace Sayre famously quipped in reference to competition in the academic realm, that "competition in university politics takes the most vicious and bitter forms because the stakes are so low."  The same concept, that the smaller the stakes the fiercer is the competition, has been promulgated by many others including educational guru, Laurence Peter of The Peter Principle ("In hierarchical organizations every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence").
In Sebastien Archibald's futuristic corporation, management has found a way to raise the stakes and beat the Peter Principle. Employees in line for promotion must...

The Fringe Presents: Marathon and Virtual Solitaire at Studio 1398, Granville Island,  March 17 to 29, 2015

In Vancouver, September is synonymous with Vancouver Fringe month. Over a couple of weeks, venues on and off Granville Island are crowded with people. Some love to cram in as many shows as they can, while others come to see a friend perform and the Fringe Festival may be their first exposure to theatre. Fringe 2014 featured  91 artists in more than 800 performances of over 80 shows in 11 days on Granville Island in theatre spaces and other odd sites as well...

Euripides 'The Bacchae 2.1, adapted by Charles Mee
Directed by Dennis Gupa for Theatre at UBC

I saw The Bacchae 2.1 on the closing night of the show, and this production is one I will remember as much for its striking visual effects as for the awesome performances. The costume designs by Kiara Lawson were stunning as the examples in the photos show.  Great animal mask too.

The movements of the ensemble of black clad women, and the individual performers especially Dionysus (Thomas Elms) were captivating with many successive tableaux-like moments that my mind  captured as would a camera....

The Road Forward: A Rock Musical
Written, directed and produced by Marie Clements
Musical director and lead composer: Jennifer Kreisberg
Guest Composer and Band Leader: Wayne Lavallee

Vancouver, BC: I was really happy that I got to see one of the PUSH Festival performances of The Road Forward as this show only ran for three nights. Described as a "multi-media rock musical inspired by BC's ground-breaking  newspaper Native Voice", The Road Forward chronicles significant events and landmarks in the recent history of the native peoples of British Columbia, traced through newspaper articles and photos from the 80...

Love Letters by AR Gurney, directed by Ryan Gladstone
Staircase Theatre Society

Vancouver, BC:  Theatre is an evanescent art. Unlike the static permanent nature of a filmed performance, each live performance of a play exists only as a moment in time, a unique connection between actors and audience that remains only as a memory in the minds of the participants. This Staircase Theatre production of Love Letters  amplified the singular nature of live performance by featuring a different local theatre couple in the play each night of the four night run.

Love Letters is an epistolary play in which...

Vancouver, BC:  One Man Two Guvnors is an English adaption by UK playwright Richard Bean, of  Carlo Goldoni's 1743 play, The Servant of Two Masters, with the setting transposed to the seaside resort town of Brighton in 1963. Derived from the early Italian performing practices of commedia dell' arte, the play is packed with physical comedy with improvisation and key stock characters.

The prototypical rascally Arlecchino servant to whom the title refers, is represented here by Francis Henshall,  brilliantly played by Andrew McNee.

In brief, Francis is naive, unemployed, and very hungry. Thinking only of how to stuff his stomach,...

On an cold snowy night five people check in to a small town motel, just off a provincial highway. Stephen (David Bloom) and Simone (Jennifer Lines) are a married couple, with memories of a previous stay  at this motel years before. Matthew (Scott Bellis) is a tormented man, estranged from his wife and son,  who just wants to end it all.  Stephanie (Dawn Petten) has come to party with  Simon (Chirag Naik), who she picked up after attending the lecture he was giving about his message-in-a-bottle project.  She has only one thing in mind - adultery - but he can't...

Vancouver, BC - The internationally renowned Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is a New York based company of "professional male dancers performing ... ballet and modern dance including classical and original works in faithful rendition of the manners and conceits of those dance styles."

The comic effect arises from seeing masculine bodies performing movements normally danced by sylphe-like dainty ballerinas and  as the program notes state,  exaggerating the "foibles, accidents and underlying incongruities of serious dance."  For me awe and admiration arose from seeing  how masculine strength powering great technique, whether dancing en pointe or jeté-ing across the stage,  adds...

Bullet Catch
Written and performed by Rob Drummond
Co-directed by Rob Drummond and David Overend
In association with The Arches, Glasgow.
Arts Club Revue Stage
Jan 15 to Feb 7th, 2015

Vancouver, BC: The infamous, occasionally lethal Bullet Catch is an illusion or magic trick in which the performer "catches" a bullet fired directly at him/her in the mouth or hand. Using the story of one such lethal performance told through notes from the man who unwittingly fires the fatal shot, Rob Dummond has created a performance piece for two people.

He selects his playing...

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