Monday, May 31, 2010

Associate Producer

Hi everyone and welcome to my first-ever blog! This is a big step for me, a somewhat technologically challenged twenty-something year-old. Case in point: my phone just dials phone numbers. That’s all. It doesn’t surf the net, have cool apps, play music, or even have a particularly original ring tone. I was the last of all my friends to join Facebook and I’m still navigating the intricacies of downloading music. So when Sabrina asked me to help with Twenty-Something Theatre’s social media this summer I was excited to try something new, but admittedly I was a little nervous as well. I still am! What could I possibly have to say that anyone, other than my mother, would read?

Well I do have a tremendous love of theatre. There’s something about watching or participating in a live performance that I find incredibly energizing. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy movies and tv as well, but I always find I feel more affected by live performances (in both good and bad ways).

When I was five years old my mom’s friend, Vanessa, was over at our place in Ottawa one day. She was going to be touring with The Phantom of the Opera and I remember asking her what it was about. I instantly became enraptured with this tale of a tortured soul, unrequited love, and the days of a bygone era in a country I didn’t know anything about. Months later, the show came to Ottawa and my mom and I went. I was hooked! I loved the watching the plot unfold in front of my eyes, how the sets could change seamlessly to create a new place and mood, and the drama of a chandelier crashing to the stage – all very cool to a five year old! Actually, the more theatre I attend, the more impressed I am with the stories created and what is done with the spaces in which they are enacted.

In the years since Phantom I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many wonderful (and some not-so-wonderful) musicals and plays. I’ve become far more impressed with everything Sondheim and Jason Robert Brown than Andrew Lloyd Webber (despite his clear success). I’ve also become much more appreciative, and often amazed, with theatrical initiatives that really push the envelope – regardless of whether it’s done on Broadway or by a group of students performing in a black box at UBC.

I think anyone who enjoys theatre will always carry a soft spot for the first show they ever saw. Love it or hate it, I will always feel that way about The Phantom of the Opera. As she entertained a five year-old with her story-telling, I doubt Vanessa ever thought she was initiating what has become a decades’ long love of theatre and the performing arts. Thanks Vanessa!

Currently I’m a third year UBC student studying theatre and commerce. It’s definitely not a common combination, but it’s one I hope will prove useful for me. I continue to love theatre and am hoping to build a career within the “business-side” of the industry. These days I bartend at a well-known restaurant outside of school, and while I can mix a mean martini I suspect that’s not what’s going to land me a job after I graduate. However it was through some guests who came and sat at my bar last fall that I met Sabrina. A special shout out to Derek and Lesley for that introduction!

This summer, along with blogging, I’ll be working with Sabrina as Associate Producer for the production of Blue Surge. It’s a great play and one I think audiences will really enjoy. I look forward to what’s ahead over the next few months!

~Sarah MacKay
Associate Producer

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