Vancouver Greenroom 5: The people! United! Will be involved in programming!

VANCOUVER GREENROOM 5

Vancouver Greenroom: the online gathering place for our community.

 

The York's Theatre Royal has an inclusive programming strategy.

Can the masses be trusted to help program a venue like this? Why yes, yes they can.

THE PEOPLE! UNITED! WILL BE INVOLVED IN PROGRAMMING!

 In England, the York Theatre Royal has launched a program that invites people who don’t go to the theatre to have a say in the programming. Are they nuts?

Apparently not. It’s working. And the company hasn’t ended up with a season full of Agatha Christie thrillers.

Go figure. Who knew that respecting the general public could be a viable strategy?

 

Jason Cochran writes about the Lincoln Centre production of South Pacific.

Danny Burstein and Matthew Morrison in the original 2008 cast of the Lincoln Centre South Pacific. (Less Glee, more context.)

DEPTHS OF THE PACIFIC

It’s easy to mount the argument that Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific is racist: Bloody Mary’s beautiful, young daughter Liat is a silent—and exotic—object of desire.

In this exquisitely contextualized article from his website, Jason Cochran offers another perspective: he places South Pacific, which opened on Broadway in 1949, firmly in its postwar context. At the premiere, audiences sobbed from the first notes the orchestra played, he says, because theatregoers knew that all of the characters they were about to meet were doomed.

Cochran cites a Lincoln Centre production that took the historical context into account. The show ended with the company members marching off in fatigues singing “Honey Bun”, the silliest number in the score, as a kind of soft lament—as if they were already dead.

Cochran’s piece is from 2010, but I appreciate the subtlety of its intelligence so much that I want to share it.

 

Theatre Conspiracy's Foreign Radical won a Scotsman Fringe First Award.

Happy Canadians show off in front of old buildings.

KILTED CANUCKS

Okay, so they’re probably not wearing kilts, but Canadian artists just keep racking up status points at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Theatre Conspiracy’s Foreign Radical and 2b theatre company’s Old Stock have both won Scotsman Fringe First Awards. (Since 1973, The Scotsman newspaper has used the awards to celebrate excellence at the Fringe.)

Both shows were part of CanadaHub, an initiative from Selfconscious Productions and the Canada Council that showcased Canadian content in Edinburgh.

Milton Lim, who plays the slick and sleazy emcee in Foreign Radical, announced the wins on Facebook with a subdued, “Holy Macaroni.”

If you want to take a show to Edinburgh next year, here are some handy tips from Lyn Gardner of The Stage.

 

Aaron Craven of Mitch and Murray Productions is offering a scholarship through the Working Actors Gym.

Aaron Craven is not one of those actors who’s just in it for the make-up. He’s giving back.

FREE. GRATIS. YOU DON’T PAY ANYTHING.

Are all actors self-absorbed? No!

Through the Working Actors Gym, Aaron Craven (Mitch and Murray Productions) is giving back to the community by offering a scholarship for a performer under 25.

The scholarship consists of free classes once a week for eight weeks, plus follow-up mentorship from Aaron.

This link will tell you how to apply.

Bonus: you’ll develop relationships with mature working artists, which is a very good thing.

 

Colin Thomas (www.colinthomas.ca) is a radical faerie.

You’d think the glamorous babe on the left would be tech-savvy, right? She’s not.

THE CRASH OF ‘17 

Last week, I enjoyed five miraculous days of radical-faerie fun in the Oregon mountains. (Don’t know about the radical faeries? Check us out; I go to the Breitenbush gatherings.)

The day before I left, I crashed my website. I won’t go into the gory details, but I did it all on my own, because that’s the kind of non-genius I can be.

The good news is that my tech guy managed to salvage the site itself. I am now repopulating—very painstakingly—19 months of posts that weren’t salvageable.

Public humiliation is usually more fun than this.

 

Russian director Kirill S. Serebrennikov has been placed under house arrest and accused of embezzlement.

Artistic director of Moscow’s Gogol Theatre, Kirill S. Serebrennikov has been critical of government corruption. Now he’s under house arrest. (File photo Alexander Zemlianichenko/Associated Press)

FROM RUSSIA WITH COURAGE 

Vancouver Greenroom is for the theatre cognoscenti—like you. Over on Theatre Wire, the Fringe Festival’s website, Colin Thomas’s Fresh Sheet is designed to welcome the general public. It is also fascinating.

This week’s issue, From Russia with Courage, which drops on Friday, includes: an item about Russian director Kirill S. Serebrennikov, who has criticized the government and who has been placed under house arrest; a piece about Wild Bore, a play in which critics’ opinions emanate from literal assholes; and an article about a trans Toronto actor who is playing a trans character in Charm on Broadway.

There’s also a handy little pointer about the hottest ticket in Vancouver’s fall season.

Check it all out on Theatre Wire on Friday.

About Colin Thomas

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.

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