Monday, 12 September 2011

Queen Milli of Galt shimmering on stage

Queen Milli of Galt opened on the weekend, and the response to the show is wonderful. There is no greater joy than sitting in the back row on opening night, watching actor and audience respond to the story and to one another. A brand new creation shimmers on stage, and what is so wonderful about the theatre is that that new creation is never the same. Each night it bends to the response of the audience, the moments between actors, the discovery of a nuance in a line, or a new timing that sparks laughter or tears. The theatre is the most glorious of art forms. It combines the skills of so many people - craftspersons, technicians, writers, designers, performers, musicians and composers. It is precise in it’s creation, yet filled with spontaneity. And the audience is the final participant to be added to that magical mix. I would even go so far as to say that in the grand scheme of things, people participate in a kind of creative destiny together where what is offered is received and altered by each participant. It is all so gratifying.
There’s a Paul Simon song I’ve been listening to of late called Dazzling Blue.

Maybe love’s an accident, or destiny is true
But you and I were born beneath a star of dazzling blue

The mystic in me really believes in the notion that the experience we share in the theatre when the lights go down and the faces of the front few rows of audience are caught in the glow bouncing off the stage is a reflection of something called love. It’s that place where we’re welcomed to be whatever we feel.

There’s a brand new story on our stage, and it was invented for each one of everyone who comes to participate.

- Morris

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Queen Milli of Galt - What a script!

Heather Pattengale as Milli and Karl Sine as Prince Edward

We’re on stage and a week away from opening Gary Kirkham’s Queen Milli of Galt. What a script! The playwright deftly moves from scenes that are so funny that they’re cracking the actors up in rehearsal to scenes where tears are streaming down their faces. The writing is so deft that the story lifts off the page with an ease that is reminiscent of the best dramatists and humorists of the theatre. I love this play!

The cast gathered together around this show is superlative. They're generous and funny and almost always on time! Rehearsals are pure joy. The set shimmers in Becky Halterman’s lights. Scenes transform seamlessly from one emotional moment to the next, supported by Luke Ertman’s evocative soundscape. Somehow we’ve climbed inside the world of the play with a courageousness that looks a lot like faith in something bigger.

And the story really is about something very big, yet small and intimate. It’s about holding out for love, that “something” that passes between people, inviting them into the possibility of moments of joy. And I think our production might just be an incarnation of joy released through the love of creating something ridiculously funny, yet powerfully poignant in the same breath. And that certainly is something worth pouring the energy of cast, stage management, designers and this director’s waking moments into.

Finding a moment ... or is it finding Heather's light ... or both