Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Right Apple

Nathan Schmidt waxed on about the importance of the right apple in rehearsals for The Diary of Adam and Eve the other day. So, I asked him to write it down for the blog. Some decisions are very important.

Alright. Let me tell you about apples. You got apple pies, apple turnovers, apple sauce, apple dumplings, apple fritters, candied apples, apple butter even apple computers... more apples than you can shake a stick at. Then you got MacIntosh, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Red Delicious and Spartan, to name but a few. So when Brad Graham asked me what kind of apples I thought we should have for our production of The Diary of Adam and Eve I had some choices to make. In my time doing this acting gig I have come to have some strong feelings about what is the best type of apple to use in a show. If I have to eat a whole apple in a scene then I don't want any big apples cause I won't get it finished. If you have to cut it with a knife then you don't want a really chalky apple flesh that is gonna crumble apart, nor do you want it too juicy so it gets you all sticky and the costume gets apple juice on it. You want the apple a bit tart so that it doesn't get your mouth all sugary and sticky but keeps the saliva moving so the tip of the tongue, the teeth, the lips move along trippingly. I also thought, "this is the most notorious apple ever eaten." This is the apple that prompted the term "Adam's apple" for the bump in a man's throat after the notion that it was caused by the forbidden fruit sticking in Adam's throat. The fall of man. The loss of innocence.
Not a light decision. But in all honesty, when it comes to picking an apple to eat on stage, nothing gets the job done like a Spartan apple. They have a good medium size, a nice red colour, the flesh is pleasingly dense and they give a satisfying crunch while remaining tart and delightful. The Spartan variety of apple was developed in 1936 in Summerland B.C. and will be crunched mercilessly all summer long in The Diary of Adam and Eve. Buy a bag and see how you like them apples!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Hope is on the way!

Here's a post from Paul Zacharias, the composer/Sound Designer for Jake and the Kid: Prairie Seasons and The Diary of Adam and Eve. He's a soulful human being - a big part of Rosebud's company and someone to be shared. The character in the photo is Jake (played by Nathan Schmidt), strumming one of Paul's tunes. You'll have to come to the show if you want to hear the tune.

"The last couple of months I've been fortunate to have written some music that is currently being set to Rosebud Theatre's production of W.O. Mitchell's Jake and The Kid: Prairie Seasons. Some time ago, I came out of a music rehearsal where I watched three of my friends: Nathan, Conrad and Glena singing my words in three part harmony. A gift to hear. A song filled with sorrow and leavened with hope. As with most things in life, the summer comes for a while and warms our bodies and our souls. It gives us strength and joy enough to make it through the winter. Surely, the winter will come:

Oh my love
The snow drifts line the roads
The Sun hides It's face
The stars seem a little less close
They're homeward bound on the way back to His hand
They're closer to Him
But farther from where I stand

At the heart of this beautiful story filled with laughter, love and loss is a truth: as we are forced to let go of one thing, we are thus enabled to reach out for the next blessing. There is pain in the interim but joy will eventually come back to us and perhaps come back all the more, in vivid colour and depth. I'm glad that not every season is summer, or winter for that matter. It allows us to appreciate the years so much more. To smell a first rain. To see the days get longer, or shorter. To see the first snowflake fall or to see the snow melting after a long and hard winter.

I'm so richly blessed to be part of a show that celebrates life lived right in the middle of that journey. A story that acknowledges the value of a life lived for a time in the valley as well as the mountaintop and their relationship to one another. This is a story that inspires us to take heart and be brave: hope is on it's way.
- Paul Zacharias, Composer/Sound Designer -

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Summer in Rosebud, and we're having a ball! The Diary of Adam and Eve

Rehearsals are underway for The Diary of Adam and Eve, adapted from Mark Twain’s short story. We’re having a great time remounting this student final project as a full-fledged Rosebud Theatre Show. Heather Pattengale is the Rosebud School of the Arts student who produced and is featured as Eve in the show. You may remember her as Chava in Fiddler on the Roof, Mary in Mary’s Wedding, Medlock in The Secret Garden, or Lilia in A Bright Particular Star. She’s a bright light on stage and off, and she’s paired with another bright light - the beloved audience favorite, Nathan Schmidt. He’s playing Adam to Heather’s Eve. It’s hard work figuring out what the very first man must have felt when a talkative Eve showed up in his garden. But Nathan is up to the task. He understands bewildered like no one I know. He’ll be popping back and forth from the Opera House stage where he is playing a quintessential Jake in Jake and the Kid: Prairie Seasons. And I’m playing director to a couple of very fine performers who entertain me far too much. It’s summer in Rosebud, and we’re having a ball!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Reviews are IN!

Homegrown Story Shines
by Louis B. Hobson - Calgary Sun
June 3rd, 2011

The whole experience of visiting the hamlet of Rosebud to see Rosebud Theatre's production of W.O Mitchell's Jake and the Kid is a bit surreal.

It's like entering a time warp.

Mitchell's classic story about a Prairie family in the 1940's feels completely at home unfolding as it does, just a stone's throw from the farms and wheat fields nestled around Rosebud.

It helps that under the warm and loving direction of Karl Sine, this stage adaptation by James B. Douglas has as much heart as it does humour.

We laugh with these people - not at them - and we shed a few silent tears as the young boy deals with loss.

Conrad Belau captures the young farm boy's innocence, naivete, fears and bewilderment at having to deal with his father fighting in Europe, his missing dog and the snow storm that might kill one of the farm cats and her kittens.

In the boy's mind little tragedies are definitely on a par with global ones and we see this every step of the way in Belau's performance.

It's difficult conceiving anyone being more at home in Jake's irascible skin than Nathan Schmidt, who makes sure the hired hand is never a caricature, but rather a very real Prairie character.

As the cantankerous neighbour and the boy's mother Mike Thiessen and Glenda Warkentin are the strong support Schmidt and Belau deserve.

Rosebud and W.O. Mitchell prove once again to be made for each other.