Saturday, 20 December 2014

Introducing Guest Artist Julia Campisi

Julia Campisi from Calgary designed costumes
for The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.

We're proud to say that our audiences have been continually blown away by the creative and beautiful costumes worn by the Narnian creatures in our production of The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe. We're even prouder to say that our actors love wearing them too! This can all be attributed to the boundless imagination of one woman: Julia Campisi, costume designer extraordinaire!

Julia is a Calgary-based Set and Costume Designer who holds a BFA in Theatre Production and Design from York University in Toronto. Most recently she has worked in the costuming department for the TV series Fargo, as well as Hell on Wheels and Young Drunk Punk. Her recent theatre credits include James and the Giant Peach (Set and Costume Design, Storybook Theatre), The Knight of the Burning Pestle (Set Design, York University), and The Taming of the Shrew (Cutter/Stitcher, Canadian Stage).

When asked about her vision for the costumes in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe Julia says her aim was to create pieces that were "Celtic inspired, with subtle hints of 1940s, WWII and tribal/animalistic styles."

Below are some examples of Julia's costume renderings for the show:

The Witch White's dress is decorated with Celtic pattern and the long, wide sleeves are medieval in silhouette. 

Aslan is wearing a WWII inspired military uniform with a medieval inspired cape, while Maugrim is wearing a Nazi-inspired silver trench coat with a very animalistic headdress, bringing out his raw and untamed nature. The two styles work both with and against each other throughout the costume designs, speaking to the dichotomies between good and evil at the core of the story. 

Julia admits that some of her personal favourites among the designs are The Centaur, The Eagle, The Unicorn, The White Witch and Maugrim.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Introducing Guest Artist Andrew Legg

Andrew Legg from Lethbridge plays
Mr Beaver in The Lion, The Witch
And The Wardrobe.
It's always a pleasure having this renaissance man back in our little valley. You may recognize him from such Rosebud shows as It's A Wonderful Life, Jack's Giant Adventure, and Oliver!. He's currently playing the jovial and kind Mr. Beaver in The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe. Introducing the talented, knowledgable, friendly and hilarious, Andrew Legg!

What do you do outside of Rosebud?
First and foremost I am a Daddy and a Sexy House Husband. Outside of Rosebud have a handful of things I do that conspire together to make up my day to day doings including, but not limited to: 

1-Play music on an ever expanding family of instruments including Hung-Drum, accordion, harmonica, ukulele, banjo, guitar, concertina, tin whistle, jaw harp, mandolin, (not always great but with much a child in a sandbox.)
2- I perform in crisis scenarios. (telling policing students that they smell like a doughnut truck whilst they serve me with a search warrant.
3- I consult in specialty coffee most recently with Red Engine Coffee Roasters in Lethbridge.
4- I do some teaching, in the new year I will be teaching public speaking at the U of L
5- I direct and seek directing opportunities.
6- I write comedy
7- I make leather art journals and paint watercolours
8- I enjoy cigars
9- I collect graphic novels that do not feature superheroes
10- I cook. (literally and figuratively)

What have been some favourite shows you've been a part of?

I've tried to answer this question before and my answer seems either really weak or really zen-like and it would be that I always love the show I am in at the moment.

If you got to go to Narnia, what would you most want to do?

I love the adventure of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader and of the stories I think I would like to have lived that one the most.  How ever there is something that just injects myself into the Genesis/Apocalypse of the Magicians Nephew and the Last Battle that make me want to be one of the good guys that is on the right side at the right time. And........ of course I would love to meet the Great Lion himself but  really a beer at the beaver dam is about the coolest thing I can imagine.

What has been a highlight of being in Rosebud?

Is it a town? Is it a school? Is it a rag tag conglomerate of Theatre junkies? Is it Big C or little c Christian. Why do people come here? Who ARE these people? How dare they make art in the middle of no-where. They actually pray before the show?.....All of that.

What are some of your non-theatre related interests?

Please refer to question A subsections 1 through 10.

Is there anything else you'd like people to know about you?

My most important current project is a baby daughter that is due to be born on the last day of the run.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Introducing Guest Artist Cassia Schramm

Cassia Schramm from Olds, AB
plays Lucy in The Lion, The Witch,
And The Wardrobe.
We're delighted to welcome this young lady back to the fold. Actor, Musician and Rosebud School of the Arts graduate, Cassia Schramm, is currently playing the courageous and hopeful Lucy in our production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. You may remember her from her most recent appearances as Anne Frank, in The Diary of Anne Frank, or Corie in Barefoot in the Park.

What do you do outside of Rosebud?
I'm a freelance actor & musician. I also work as Company & Production Manager with Sandbox Children's Theatre. Sandbox tours through elementary schools bringing stories of Canada's history with strong themes of tolerance and acceptance. I'm also a Singer/Songwriter and spent this past summer playing both solo and with Edmonton's Fools Tongue.

What have been some favourite shows you've been a part of?

Anne of Green Gables with Rosebud Theatre was a great challenge and joy. The goodbye to Matthew, and the reconciliation with Marilla and Gilbert were always moving to me. It was also a joy to play someone beloved to so many people. I also loved playing Corie in Rosebud Theatre's Barefoot in the Park. She was nutty and so much fun!

If you got to go to Narnia, who would you most look forward to meeting?

I would be hanging out with Aslan. His walk to the stone table with Lucy & Susan has always been an important image to me. I hope that I would have the courage and innocence to walk with The Great Lion.

What has been a highlight of being in Rosebud?

The Lion, The Witch and Wardrobe has been such an exciting show to be a part of. I love taking audiences to Narnia. I love hearing kids (and the young at heart) laughing, and seeing them leap to their feet to cheer on Aslan.

I also love the final song. I love standing with the full company and offering the final song straight to the audience. It's one of my favourite feelings as an audience member - being blasted by the music - and I love being a part of that big sound.

What are some of your non-theatre related interests?

I love to travel. Last summer I went for a retreat in a convent in Lourdes, France. When I travel, I'm always amazed by the change in culture, but there's still a universal humanity.

Is there anything else you'd like people to know about you?

I have two recordings I would love to share with everyone. They are both available on iTunes and on bandcamp. My first album, 'Let the Music In,' was recorded in Rosebud by Kjel Erickson and many talented Rosebud musicians. And this summer I recorded 'In Memory Of...' with Luke Ertman, Jeff Ramsey, Nathan Schmidt, Joel Goundry & Sienna Holden.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Introducing Guest Artist Laura Gillespie

Laura Gillespie from Camrose plays The Centaur
in The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.
Rosebud School of the Arts graduate, Laura Gillespie, is back on the Opera House Stage and we couldn't be happier to have her here! You may remember Laura from such Rosebud Theatre Shows as Our Town, Anne of Green Gables or The Gifts of the Magi. She is currently playing the ferocious, battle-ready and trumpeting centaur in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

What do you do outside of Rosebud?
I act (surprise!).  For the past year I’ve been doing a mix of film and theatre. 

What have been some favourite shows you've been a part of?

Bitches & Money with NLT (Edmonton) and Zombie #1 (a Storyhive short, also out of Edmonton).

If you got to go to Narnia, what would you most look forward to doing?

I’d sail to the Islands!

What has been a highlight of being in Rosebud?

I have loved getting to know the cast - a lovely bunch of people have gathered together to tell this story.  I’ve also enjoyed getting to play my trumpet again.  

What are some of your non-theatre related interests?

I love snowboarding and water-skiing.  And reading.  Especially reading.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Introducing Guest Artist Glenda Warkentin

Glenda Warkentin from Rosebud
plays The White Witch in The Lion,
The Witch and The Wardrobe.
We are delighted to welcome Glenda Warkentin back to the Opera House Stage. Glenda first came to Rosebud as a student at Rosebud School of the Arts, and has since appeared in a number of shows; most recently Jake & The Kid, and On Golden Pond. We love watching her dominate the stage each show as The White Witch in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

What do you do outside of Rosebud?
I live in Rosebud, with my husband of six years. I have toured Canada with burnt thicket theatre's "She Has A Name" and worked on several films in the area. We own a Theatre Company called Suspension Of Disbelief with which we have produced Shakespearean plays down in the Badlands. 

What have been some favourite shows you've been a part of?

I have really enjoyed On Golden Pond, Talley's Folly, Jake & The Kid: Prairie Seasons, Troy Women, The Last Five Years.

If you got to go to Narnia, who would you look forward to meeting?

Of course my first stop would be to see my beloved Aslan. But after that I would love to have a close inspection of all the trees and learn how they communicate. As Mr. Beaver says, "Even the trees have ears", but I wonder how they would tell anyone what they heard?

What has been a highlight of being in Rosebud?

Even though I live in Rosebud, I feel a newness of community within the LWW cast and crew. It's like a smaller community within the context of the larger one. I appreciate getting to know my neighbour artists in this concentrated form.

What are some of your non-theatre related interests?

Before I came to Rosebud I was certified as an Interior Designer, so I am always looking for ways to exercise my skills and sense of aesthetic.  Sometimes that means finding new ways to decorate our little home, or help friends with their design questions, sometimes I get the chance to design costumes or sets for shows, sometimes it's just an in depth chance to enjoy  the beauty around me.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Introducing Guest Artist Troy O'Donnell

Troy O'Donnell from Edmonton plays
Father Christmas & Giant Rumblebuffin in
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

We are delighted to welcome Troy O'Donnell back to Rosebud for his second show on the Opera House Stage. He first joined us as Mr. Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank this past spring and now he's tearing up the stage as Father Christmas and Giant Rumblebuffin in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

What do you do outside of Rosebud?
I'm a freelance actor, director, educator, as well as Founding Member and Artistic Associate with the Freewill Shakespeare Festival in Edmonton. 

What have been some favourite shows you've been a part of?

The 39 Steps was an amazing experience. I played one of the two clowns who takes on multiple roles that the two leads play off of. It was non-stop action from start to finish: every second I'd be either on stage or changing costumes. 

If you got to go to Narnia, what would you look forward to doing?

I'd want to steal the White Witch's Turkish Delight. I have a huge sweet tooth. When I was in Turkey I was thrilled to find entire shops dedicated to Turkish Delight and Halva. Imagine a deli with nothing but sweets. Like the fudge shop in Banff. 

What has been a highlight of being in Rosebud?

The sense of community is easily the first thing that jumps out at me as an outsider. In the theatre and out.  

What are some of your non-theatre related interests?

I love to travel. Any kind. I'll backpack and hostel for months on end just as easily as I'll go to an all-inclusive and lay on a beach for a week straight. That's part of why I love working out of town so much. Everything becomes a travel adventure. Even getting groceries becomes a special trip.  

I love to cook. It's arts and crafts that I get to eat. If I'm working out of town I throw appliances like my crockpot into the trunk. Soups for days.

Is there anything else you'd like people to know about you?

Of course I have to mention the Freewill Shakespeare Festival:
(Also on Facebook)

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Introducing Guest Artist Neil Kuefler

Neil Kuefler from Edmonton plays
Peter in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
It has been a true pleasure having Neil Kuefler join our ranks on the Opera House Stage.  A recent graduate of the BFA Acting Program at the University of Alberta, Neil keeps quite busy creating theatre with a number of companies in Edmonton.  So we are fortunate to steal him away to play Peter Pevensie in The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe this Christmas.

What do you do outside of Rosebud?
I'm an actor.

What have been some favourite shows you've been a part of?

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Much Ado About Nothing, and Crazyface.

If you got to go to Narnia, who would you look forward to meeting?

I think I would really enjoy the Beaver's house. They are so nice and comforting and they eat like Kings!

What has been a highlight of being in Rosebud?

The community. I think that being involved with this show in this group of people has turned into the perfect storm of community. I have enjoyed myself so much and learned so much about the kind of community I want to create theatre within.

What are some of your non-theatre related interests?

I love science! I was going to be a Chemistry teacher before I decided to start acting for a career. Also History. I spend most of my summers at Fort Edmonton Park in Edmonton.

Is there anything else you'd like people to know about you?

Check out and to see what Neil might be up to!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Introducing Guest Artist Michael Dobbin

Michael Dobbin from Vancouver plays
Aslan in our production.

What do you do outside of Rosebud?
I am a free lance director and actor, based in Vancouver, working internationally, and travelling.

What have been some favourite shows you've been a part of?
As a Director, Angels in America at ATP is my fave. As an actor, Matt in Talley's Folly is my all-time fave.

If you got to go to Narnia, who would you be most excited to meet?
Every performance, during act I, I, as Aslan, am overwhelmed by my desire to meet the Children who have come to help make the Narnia of the future by fulifilling my prophesy.
It is the Children who I would seek out if it were me.

What has been a highlight of being in Rosebud for this show?
The joyful energy of the company, the deep quiet of the place, the enthusiasm of the audiences!

What are some of your non-theatre related special talents/interests?
My dog Clinton, my role as Chair of the Theatre at the Performing Arts Lodge in Vancouver where I live, my contacts with long-standing friends (friendships take effort as one grows older and people live further away), my wintering in Mexico at San Miguel d' Allende, another of the world's magical "thin places" where art-making, living, and God are very close.

Is there anything else you'd like people to know about you?
I am learning how to be a painter, taking lit-drawing classes in San Miguel d' Allende and I am directing Steel Magnolias there at the new San Miguel Theatre Company, in March 2015.

I love to ride my bicycle in Stanley Park in Vancouver, when I am there and I have a lovely balcony garden at my place at PAL in Coal Harbour.

I have an affiliation with W!LD Rice Theatre in Signapore and with The Hong Kong Repertory Theatre in Hong Kong. I am a Trustee and active member of St.Andrew's-Wesley United Church in Vancouver.

I am NOT retired!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Engineers and Storytellers

I’ve been in London for a week with Byron Linsey, our Head Set Carpenter, wandering about, seeing 5000-year-old mummies at the Royal British Museum, watching a play a night, talking about the theatre, our faith alive in the theatre, our kids and how fast they're growing up, becoming a grandparent, eating good food ... Byron has left to go back to not only work on sets for Jack’s Giant Adventure and The Diary of Anne Frank, but to learn lines, as he’ll be playing the Giant in Jack’s Giant Adventure, our Theatre For Young Audiences offering in March. 

One of the late night conversations we had upon coming back to our flat was this notion of a renassaince person and the fact that our modern world seems to have gradually squeezed out the possibility of living such a life with a need to define people by what their professions are. Further, the reason we have professions is so that the greater good can be served and we can make a living by serving them. Bridges get built because engineers are engineers in the employ of companies that build and design bridges. Families are provided for because Mom or Dad (or sometimes both) is an engineer that works for a bridge-building company. So life goes on and our time on earth is all of a sudden swallowed up serving a corporate good that many times leaves us hollow inside. I’ve had many a conversation with artist and patron alike about just such hollows and the heartache they hold. 

What if we were meant to live in community in a way in which all of the gifts we were given could be expressed in one way or another. Yes, those gifts which are most readily needed by the community would likely be the gifts whereby we made our daily bread - the gifts we have a particular aptitude for. But what if the community celebrated those particular gifts with appreciation and awe because we actually had eyes to see the miracle of them? 
Because Jo and I have older cars, we spend a bit of time at an auto mechanic. I’m fascinated when I watch him diagnose the workings of a car engine. I recognize the importance of this particular mechanic in the lives of our particular cars. I have expressed my awe at the work that he does (even though at times the wonder and awe are muted a bit by the size of the bill.) But I recognize the brilliance of the man. And then we have a conversation about a book he’s just read. It’s called The Shack, and he is filled with questions about his own evolving faith. And I feel like Philip in the Acts of the Apostles as he shares the wonder of God’s love to the Ethiopian Eunuch. And suddenly we are no longer mechanic and client. We are two dads talking about faith and family raising and more because he is so much more than a mechanic and I am so much more than a guy who can’t get his car started. Suddenly my mechanic is a scholar looking to discover the mysteries locked in a book - a renasaince person seeking out a spiritual elixir for life. It strikes me that in that moment, two or more have gathered in the name of the Creator of the Universe - the Mind that somehow engineered the whole of the story, the Maker of the laws of physics that rule the engine that needs tuning by the hands of a gifted human being created in His image. 
I’d like to believe that there is a way to participate in life that keeps the whole of us energized and awake to the possibility of contribution that each of us hold. It starts with a commitment to any person who happens to be a part of our community because of needs met, proximity, and some sort of shared understanding. Here I am, into a second week of much needed rest in London - Joanne and son Jesse having just joined me - and I am as inspired by the work of engineers as I am by moments in the theatre. There are at least as many museums celebrating the work of farmers and engineers through hundreds and thousands of years as there are museums celebrating poets and writers and painters. 

Byron has gone back to the shop and to learning lines. You see, what many may not know is that I knew him first as an actor and a man of ideas. He just happens to also have the skill to beautifully execute designs, putting his creative mind to work in the puzzle of scenic creation - the same mind that will figure out the most effective and entertaining way to create a Giant that will keep a theatre full of children laughing and learning. 

Some of you may have followed our Christmas in Alberta adventure on Facebook. The company was stuck on an impassable road for the better part of a night and a day. We had heat, so we could enjoy our little adventure without too much strain. Sometime the following afternoon after the night on the bus, a snow plough pushed past us, just inches from the bus. I watched a man operating a huge piece of machinery clear a path foot by foot through the quarter mile drift in front of us. I watched with awe the skill with which he maneuvered around the bus. I was so grateful for a larger community that included people with skills I do not possess in measures near great enough to do any good in a snow storm - not because I needed to get home for any particular reason, but because the storyteller was inspired at the wonder of it all. People are a wonder. They are so much more than meets the eye. 

Maybe that’s why I’m a storyteller. When you think of all the plays and poems and novels written, they are all in some way odes to human beings in many walks of life. The human experience is complex, but filled with common touchstones. Someone needs to tell the stories of the people who engineer and build bridges. And when we step past defining people by what they do, we find out that we all do many of the same things. Bridge-builders gathered in the pub after a day at work can be great storytellers, and storytellers bending their observational and physical skills to engineer and build can indeed be builders. ... Although, I’m not sure I’d trust a storyteller like myself to operate that snow plough without dinging the bus. Some things may well be best left to the professionals for the sake of common safety. 

- Morris -