Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2012 Season Announcement

Over the next couple of years Twenty Something Theatre is going to be going through a bit of a transitional period and it starts with our 2012 Season. This past year we undertook a 3-show season that was massively successful but also a huge undertaking. So for our 2012 Season I am going to be paring back considerably and now having said that here we go:

SPOTLIGHT: The Bomb-itty of Errors by Jordan Allen-Dutton, Jason Catalano, Gretogy Qaiyum and Erik Weiner, April 3 – 22 at Studio 16.

Twenty Something Theatre presents Temporary Thing’s production of The Bomb-itty of Errors - a fast-paced, energetic, musical “ad-rap-tation” of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. Elizabethan times get pumped up with live hip-hop flavour, as the actors sing, rap and rhyme fun, catchy and laugh-out-loud songs that retain much of the Bard’s original text – all with a live DJ on stage and original music by Anami Vice. Starring Brian Cochrane, David Kaye, Nick Kopansis and Jameson Parker. Directed by Catriona Leger.

This year the Spotlight is on director Catriona Leger. Catriona's 15 years in theatre have taken her across Canada and abroad to act, direct and movement coach. Favourite directing projects include Romeo & Juliet (Theatre@UBC), Inclement Weather (MiCasa Theatre - Rideau Award nomination), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Torchlight Shakespeare), and she looks forward to directing A Midsummer Night's Dream for the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival in June 2012. She has also worked as movement director on several productions including the Jessie nominated Lentement La Beauté and La Perimetre (Theatre la Sézieme). Most recently Catriona played Cleopatra in Antony & Cleopatra (Torchlight Shakespeare) and was nominated for a Prix Rideau Award (Outstanding Actress) for her work in Someone for Everyone (NightHowl Theatre, Ottawa). A recipient of the JBC Watkins Award for Theatre from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Sidney J. Risk Award for Directing, Catriona is graduate of École Philippe Gaulier and holds a BFA in Acting and MFA in Directing from UBC.

SPRING DEVELOPMENT: Us & Everything We Own by Sean Minogue

In the Spring of 2012 Twenty Something Theatre will present a public staged reading of Sean Minogue’s new play Us & Everything We Own - a young man whose hunger to be successful ruins his once-perfect relationship. Blurring the lines between friends and business, he gets in over his head in a foolish investment scheme and discovers how much he’s truly been risking.

This public staged reading is phase one in a 2-year development plan that will culminate in the World Premiere production in 2013.

And, there you have it folks. Some of you are now asking, wait a second, what about the summer production?!?! In 2012 there will be no summer production. I know, I know…

However, I’ve been running Twenty Something Theatre for the past 6 years and most of my time and energy has gone into making the company a success and I think this past year has proved that without a doubt. So, it’s now time for me to take some of that time and energy and put it back into my own personal professional development and so as of June 2012 I am going to be taking a 6-month leave of absence, if you will, from Twenty Something Theatre to pursue other projects and ventures.

And, I promise to tell you all about these new projects and ventures as soon as I can. Right now I am still in the process of finalizing details.

2012 is going to be a great year. I am VERY excited about the projects that Twenty Something Theatre does have planned. There is incredible talent being featured in both projects and I look forward to sharing that with all of you next year.

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall Preview 2011

Ok, so I am more excited about this upcoming season of theatre than pretty much any other season ever. Sure, I’m usually particularly excited about a few specific shows throughout the season but this fall it just feels like there is an overwhelming number of things I need/want to see so I thought I’d make a list and share it with all of you so you can hopefully get out and see all the amazing theatre this city has to offer.

First up: Tonight I’m off to Opening Night of the Arts Club’s production of Next to Normal. And, I am SO excited for this I might cry. Literally. I saw this in NYC about a year and half ago now. It was I think, a couple of months before it won the Pulitzer Prize, and never in my life have I cried so hard at piece of theatre that there was actually snot dripping out of my nose. I know, pretty, right?! And, never have I seen a piece of theatre where not only was I sobbing uncontrollably but everyone around me was also sobbing and sniffing uncontrollably. This is the power of theatre. Never has it ever been so evident to me. If you want to be moved to tears, you need to see this show. If you or anyone you know has ever dealt with mental illness you need to see this show. It’s truly an incredible piece of theatre. And, I’ll apologize right now to anyone sitting around me. It’s gonna be ugly.

[Photo above: (Clockwise from left) Caitriona Murphy, Warren Kimmel, Jennie Neumann, Eric Morin in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Next to Normal. Photo by David Cooper.]

Next: Touchstone Theatre’s production of True Love Lies presented at The Cultch. I’m so excited for this production I’ve already bought my tickets. And, I’ll probably go more than once. Anyone who knows me or has read this blog knows that I am a huge Brad Fraser fan and I had the awesome privilege of seeing the North American premiere of the show at Factory Theatre in Toronto when I was there in 2009. It blew me away then and I’m sure I will feel the same about the Vancouver production. It’s witty, it’s real, it’s about the dysfunction of families yet all the while still loving your family, but not in a mushy-gushy way. It’s smart and it takes no prisoners. It’s why I love Brad Fraser. If you’ve ever loved AND hated your family members all at the same time (which I know you have) then you’ll appreciate this show.

Moving right along: To yet another Arts Club production (loving their programming right now). This time it’s Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker who is an up-and-coming young American playwright. I’ve been hearing nothing but amazing things about this play all over the twitter and blogosphere for the last couple of years. It won the Obie for Best New American play and Performance by an Ensemble as well as it was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Director of a Play as well as the cast was awarded a special Drama Desk Award for an Outstanding Ensemble Performance. Basically the play takes us inside a small town acting/dance studio where “group members pose as trees, beds and baseball gloves. They perform emotional scenes using only the words goulash and ak-mak. They pretend to be one another, telling their life stories. They write deep, dark secrets (anonymously) on scraps of paper and listen, sitting in a circle on the floor, as the confessions are read aloud” (taken from the New York Times review). If this doesn’t sound funny as hell, I don’t know what does.

[Photo above: Emilee-Juliette Glyn-Jones, Alex Diakun and Anita Wittenberg in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Circle Mirror Transformation. Photo by David Cooper.]

Shortly after: Opening up on the Arts Club revue stage is Atomic Vaudeville’s Ride the Cyclone which I am super stoked for since I am one of the only people I know that hasn’t seen it yet. When I was in my final year at UVIC I had the pleasure of seeing one of the very first incarnations of Legoland (Atomic Vaudeville’s precursor to Ride the Cyclone). Sitting in the Barbara McIntyre black box studio way back then I knew I was seeing something special. Ride the Cyclone is about a teenage chamber choir from Uranium, Saskatchewan that die in a roller coaster accident at a traveling fair and I am absolutely looking forward to being able to see what kind of crazy wonderful ride (pun intended) Atomic Vaudeville are going to take me on now.

Finally: We come to West Side Story with the Vancouver Opera. When I first heard that the Vancouver Opera was doing this show as part of their 2011-2012 season I thought to myself “uh, isn’t that musical theatre?!” I’ve been going to the Opera since I was 12 years old (my family are long-time season subscribers) and I’ve seen a lot of different stuff but I’ve NEVER seen what is traditionally thought of as musical theatre done by an Opera company. But then I paused and thought, who better to do West Side Story in the grand Broadway style it deserves than a company like the Vancouver Opera who has the resources to do it?! They’ve got opera singers in the lead roles singing what is some pretty darn tough music, actors and dancers from the traditional theatre community filling out the cast, and apparently they are doing the original choreography by Jerome Robbins (or so I’ve heard). I don’t know how it's all gonna turn out but I’m pretty darn excited to find out on Opening Night October 22nd.

And, there is a ton more happening across the stages of Vancouver throughout the fall but right now those are a few of the upcoming productions that I am personally most excited for.

Enjoy the fall theatre season! I know I will.

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer

Monday, September 12, 2011

What a Year (or Season)!

This year has been in no particular order:


In January, as the new year began, I had already set in motion a 3-show season, something Twenty Something Theatre had never done before. Not only was the company embarking on its first 3-show season we were also embarking on the rather daunting task of mounting of our first production where every single person was paid, not just a profit share or an honourarium, but a full contract fee. EXCITING, yes. SCARY, you bet. And, all this was done with minimal funding. For just that one show only alone approx. $4000 came from funding (thanks to the City of Vancouver) and the other approx. $16, 000 was raised through sponsorship, donations, & other fundraising initiatives/events. Plus we still had 2 other shows to mount and produce. So…STRESSFUL, uh yeah, that might be the understatement of the century. But, SUCCESSFUL, most definitely.

We opened the year with our Spotlight production of Nocturne by Adam Rapp where I had the great pleasure of finally working with a friend and colleague after talking about working together for 5 years.

Then after 2 and ½ years of development we presented our first original production and the World Premiere of Prodigals. I could write about this experience all day and still not do it justice. So, I guess I will just say that without a doubt this show, the people, the experience, will forever be in my memory as one of the best moments of my career. Without a doubt.

Finally we closed our season, literally just over a week ago, with Tough! by George F. Walker. And, what a great way to end a season! Such a strong show and I’m so proud as an Artistic Producer to be able to bring such amazing artists together to create a production of this calibre. Nothing gives me greater pleasure. Honestly. I’m not just saying that.

And, so with that we wrap up the year, and to close this post I just want to send out a huge thank you to all the people who have worked on, volunteered, donated to, came out to see & who just generally support our work. It has been an incredible year because of all of you. I am just filled with so much gratitude because I’ve come to understand that all the good stuff in life happens at the precipice of terror and bravery. And, this precipice between terror and bravery is in a nutshell how I would describe this past year (or season).

Thank you somehow doesn’t seem enough but there it is.

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tough: Reviews

"Twenty-Something Theatre displays a deft touch with this terpsichorean waltz of brutal words...director Tamara McCarthy happily has three solid actors to convincingly convey all this misery...Timothy Johnston's performance as Bobby is a marvel to behold. A confused kid who only wants to party has some sense slapped into him, but Johnston understands that Bobby didn't have much sense to begin with...Not to mention the playwright's gift for comedy, woven in to underscore everything. Katherine Gauthier gets to have a lot of fun with this yin-yang quality in Jill, who is both scary and hilarious...Since Tina's the one harbouring said bun-in-oven, Marlene Ginader digs deeper for a satisfyingly thorough understanding of her character's confusion...Tough! is well worth catching in its too-brief run." -- Peter Birnie, Vancouver Sun

[FYI: terpsichorean = "of or relating to dance"]

"Marlene Ginader is very good as Tina. Her solid, grounded performance makes clear how genuinely tough Tina’s choices are and how complicated her feelings about Bobby remain...Katherine Gauthier’s hyper-intensity suits Jill well...Johnston’s sweet, vulnerable quality works nicely for Bobby’s unusual masculinity...See Tough! with someone from the opposite sex and prepare for a good argument afterwards." -- Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Province

"There’s some terrific work in Twenty Something Theatre’s production of Tough! Under Tamara McCarthy’s direction, Katherine Gauthier nails Jill’s nasty humour, and a great deal of the wariness and pain that inform it. On many levels, Timothy Johnston makes a lovely Bobby. There wasn’t a moment in which I didn’t buy his compassionate characterization, and his comic timing is terrific." -- Colin Thomas, Georgia Straight

This is tough material extremely well directed by Tamara McCarthy... Timothy Johnston’s Bobby is a mass of nerves. He shakes, slaps his head and sobs uncontrollably. We alternate—as does Tina—between wanting to give him a hug or a kick him in the butt. No question that Jill, Tina’s best friend, wants to beat the crap out of Bobby. She has, unaccountably, hated him since kindergarten. With long strides, index fingers pointed and a wicked glare, Katherine Gauthier’s Jill is downright scary. As Tina, Marlene Ginader is soft, conflicted, hurt and angry, but shows just enough of Tina’s strength to lead us to believe she will make it somehow...Tough! is 90 uninterrupted minutes of compelling drama" --Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier

"As the confused and somewhat naive Bobby, Timothy Johnston comes out of the gates with huge conviction. My front row seat gave me a clear sense of his vulnerability: trembling lip clearly holding back his fear coupled with a wide-eyed stare like the proverbial deer. Easily capturing Bobby’s internal struggle between rejecting Tina and a misguided sense of honour, Johnston also provides small reflections from Walker’s deeper pools. As he literally beats himself about his head trying to fully comprehend the predicament or curls up under the physical and emotional beating he takes, we know there is much more here than meets the eye...Walker repeats this multi-layered hue with best friend Jill as well. Here Katherine Gauthier must make us believe she is putting the fear of god into Bobby for the sake of her best friend Tina’s future and the future of the unborn child. However, just like Bobby, there is something more to her visceral reactions than perhaps the circumstances require... Tough! is as much about sucking it up and doing the right thing as it is about being strong in the face of life-changing circumstances." -- Mark Robins, GayVancouver.net

Only 3 more chances to check out Tough! by George F. Walker before it closes on Saturday. Tickets are still available online at Tickets Tonight or take your chances at the door.

Hope to see you out over the final weekend!!

~Sabrina Evertt,
Artistic Producer

(All photography by David Cooper)