Thousand Islands Playhouse Playwrights’ Unit
I am very honoured to be a part of the 2015 Playwrights’ Unit at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque ON. Myself and three very talented writers (Steven Gallagher, Rose Napoli, and Kaityn Riordan) will be developing our pieces over the next year, with dramaturgy, workshops and a retreat run by the Playhouse. For the Unit, I will be developing a new play called “A Summer in Newfoundland”, a play that’s been kicking around in my head for the last few years, about a small town in Newfoundland that is being changed by tourism, and how it affects the local residents. You can check out more about the play, the Playwrights’ Unit, and the Thousand Islands Playhouse here.
Bingo Ladies in Quebec!
So happy to announce a third production of Bingo Ladies this coming Summer, at the Hudson Village Theatre in Quebec! It’s part of really truly amazing season of Canadian Theatre, including Rebecca Northan’s Blind Date, Julia Mackey’s Jake’s Gift, and a production of The Glass Menagerie starring Martha Burns.
This production of Bingo Ladies will be a remount of the Port Stanley Festival production, but will also include one actor from the Calgary production of Bingo Ladies at Lunchbox Theatre, it will be a blast to have these actors working together! So come out to Hudson this summer, not just for Bingo Ladies but for an amazing summer of Canadian Theatre. Check out the Hudson Village Theatre website for more information. Cheers!
Demo, demo, demo…
Had a great time last week making demos of seven new songs of the new musical “The Moon in Autumn” that I’m writing with Richard Ouzounian (Richard is writing the book and lyrics, I’m composing the music). We were lucky to get the cream of the crop of Canadian musical theatre talent, and with the help of our musical director James Smith and recording engineer James Smith we turned out seven new songs that I’m very proud of- and now we send them out and get them heard!
Since I’m on a bit of a roll with the demos, I thought I’d keep it going and demo my Newfoundland musical “The Naming of Port Rexton”. As casting is coming together I’m amazed at the caliber of talent in this country that I’m able to connive into singing my tunes. We’ll be going into the studio in a week or two- should be fun!
And keep an eye out for new updates on this website- I’ve realized that since we launched a few years ago, I’ve written 3 new musicals- need to give them a home!
Writing, writing, writing… and show!
It’s been a great fall. I spent a lot of time catching up on all those things I left behind after a marathon of writing that started the summer before last ( you know… taxes and such). Also got started on some exciting new projects and continued to work on others- including a new song for “The Moon in Autumn”.
As well, I had the chance to write a song for Forte’s new production of “Naughty but Nice” which starts tonight in Calgary and runs until Dec 21st. I’m so honoured to have a song included in the show, and huge congratulations to Joe Slabe and his team at Forte Musical Theatre Guild for putting it all together! The show also features Katherine Fadum, who played Sandi in the Lunchbox Theatre production of “Bingo Ladies”. The song I wrote is called “To the People that We Lost Last Year”, a tribute to the loved ones we’ve lost and how their memory often comes up during the holiday season.
If you’re in Calgary, you can get tickets on the Lunchbox Theatre website here.
And in the new year, there will be some exciting news. Stay tuned. Happy Holidays!
The Naming of Port Rexton- Trinity NL
Look at all those beautiful people!!
There is an unwritten rule in musical theatre (actually, it’s probably been written down a few times as well), “Thou shalt not write a large cast show. At least not if you want the show to be produced.” What a joy it has been then to write a large cast full scale musical for Rising Tide Theatre in Newfoundland. Yes, it makes sense to write small cast shows, but what a thrill to have a cast of 18 people singing together!
The Naming of Port Rexton is loosely based on a true story I once heard while working at Rising Tide Theatre a few summers ago. In 1910 the town of Ship Cove needed a new name (there were already three other Ship Coves in Newfoundland, leading to much confusion with the Newfoundland Post and Telegraph service). With two large families in town, both descended from the original settlers John Rex and John Randell, it’s decided that whichever family has a child first will have the town named after it, be it “Port Rexton” or “Port Randell”. When a baby girl is born first to the Randell family, the Rex family has the rules changed so that the town must be named after a boy.
Having members of the community playing these roles (including my good friend Michelle Rex Bailey playing the role of Evelyn Randell and Carolyn Fowlow in the role of Nan) has been an incredible experience, and I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a cast and crew so behind the show. Thanks to everyone involved, Donna Butt for taking a chance on a large scale musical, Keith Pike our director for bringing it all together, Alex Abbott our musical director and Cindy Kendall and her team. If you’re at all in the area this summer, I hope you’re able to make the show! Tickets are available here.
BINGO LADIES in Port Stanley
The world premiere of Bingo Ladies opened in Port Stanley this July 1oth, and I’ve had the opportunity to see the show three times since then. Part of that is doing my playwright/composer work (should that line be cut? Hmm…) but mostly, I just enjoy sitting in the audience and hearing what they react to while watching this talented cast perform! What a great time this cast is having, and I’m so honoured to have so many talented people working on this production. Thanks Port Stanley Festival Theatre and AD Simon Joynes for mounting this production.
We’ve had a few reviews of the production which I will be posting some links to, but here’s a sample:
If you have a chance, get down to Bingo Ladies in Port Stanley before it closes on July 26th! You can get tickets at the website here– hope to see you there!
“THE NAMING OF PORT REXTON” Rehearsals in Trinity
Had the opportunity to spend a week at rehearsals of the new musical I’ve written, “The Naming of Port Rexton” with Rising Tide Theatre in Trinity Newfoundland.
The show is about the naming of what was once the town of Ship Cove (and the neighbouring Robin Hood), which in 1910 needed a new name. With two major families in town, the Rexes and Randells (both descended from original settlers John Rex and John Randell) it’s decided that whichever family has the first child will have the town named after that family (at least in my version of historical events). Things take a twist though when the first baby is a girl and the other family changes the rules so it must be a boy baby.
It’s so great to be able to write a show about a specific place and then have actors from that place in it. Especially thankful my good friend Michelle Rex Bailey is in the show (of the Rex clan)! It was a great week of reconnecting with old friends and getting to hear this cast bring the music of the show to life (while seeing Icebergs). If you’re around Trinity July 29th, come down for the opening! Check the Rising Tide website for more details.
The Moon in Autumn and new musicals
It’s a summer of new musical theatre.
First, in late spring (well, that’s almost summer) we had the workshop through Sheridan College of the new musical “The Moon in Autumn”. I’m composing the music for this new musical based on Uncle Vanya by Chekhov, with Richard Ouzounian writing the lyrics and book. We’re both so pleased with how the show is coming along and thankful for the time of the students (some of whom were returning students and had spent time on Broadway) to develop this show. If you’re curious, you can hear Chilina Kennedy (with Bob Foster on the Piano) singing the song “House on the Potomac” from the show at Hugh’s Room through an event called “Blame Canada!” put on by the CMTWC who are showcasing the works of Canadian Musical Theatre Writers. Watch the video here
I’ll be posting soon about the productions of Bingo Ladies at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre and The Naming of Port Rexton at Rising Tide later this summer. Check back for more details!
Bingo Ladies opening and review!
I’ve had a great time in Calgary. I was around for the opening of “Touch Me”, got to attend rehearsals for my one act musical “Bingo Ladies” (one night, Bingo Ladies was opening and Touch me was closing- a first to have two productions running at the same time!), and of course the chance to see family and friends.
I am so very proud of the Bingo Ladies cast and production, watching them and what they’ve brought to the piece was amazing, especially sitting among the audience and hearing their reaction. Thank you Lunchbox Theatre for a great experience!
We’ve only had one review so far, which was quite a rave- 4 stars! …for this “Greg Tilly” guy (see picture)- who the heck is he!? Seriously though, I’ve had the chance to meet Louis B Hobson (the reviewer) and sometimes these things happen. Luckily, it was caught before it made the online edition, which you can read the review at the Calgary Sun
And now, looking forward to some great artistic adventures for the spring and summer. Stay tuned!
TOUCH ME- songs for a (dis)connected age
There’s a great show coming up in Calgary that I’m very excited to have a song included in. TOUCH ME will include songs by Joe Slabe as well as other musical theatre writers from across Canada (like myself) about how technology affects or relationships (for better or worse!). The song I’ve written, “Just an Old Ford”, is one that I’m proudest of yet- a young woman is helping her father set up an internet dating profile. The show runs April 15 – 26th at the Pumphouse Theatre in Calgary, and has a great cast (including Christian Goutsis, who I have always been a huge fan of). Check the “shows” link to the right for more details. I’ll be there opening night as it happens to coincide with the first night of Bingo Ladies at Lunchbox Theatre. Hope to see you at one of the performances!