Friday, June 15, 2018

Final Exam - Caption Contest!

I'm giving you the chance to rewrite the dialogue of the play, or at least the captions to these rehearsal shots.  The best entry for each photo will win a ticket to a performance of Final Exam during the Toronto Fringe (I will do my best to find a time that works from the shows that are not sold out).  I will be the sole arbiter of the contest,* and I must be at least somewhat entertained before awarding any tickets.  By the same token, if your caption entry makes me laugh so hard that tea shoots out my nose, then 2 comp tickets will be awarded.

Contest ends June 29 at 7:30 pm (ET).

Here is an example.

"I don't care.  No Ghost Bike Rides inside the school."

Now it's your turn.  (Surely you can do better.) 

Submit your entries through the comments.

Photo #1

Photo #2

* P.S. Please keep it reasonably clean...

More action from Final Exam

Getting very close -- we are down to blocking the last 4-5 pages of script.  We should wrap that up next week and then can work on polishing.

A few photos and then a short video clip.  I've tried to avoid anything too spoilery.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wild weather

Anyone in Toronto (and most of the GTHA) Wed. experienced some crazy weather.  I had known there was going to be a storm, but it was supposed to be over by 3 or so, so I biked in, but left my bike in the bike storage room (which I don't usually bother doing).

Around 4, the rain just came down in sheets.  It was actually going sideways most of the time (since there were gusts of wind close to 100 km/hour).  I didn't see it, but apparently it rained so hard that the Eaton Centre sprung a leak and it rained inside the mall and some of the stores!

I was getting pretty antsy, as I had to leave early to pick up a big t-shirt order (which is a story for another day perhaps).  However, the rain came down hard and fast and was done by 4:30 or so.  That said that were still big puddles everywhere, and I definitely felt in some danger, since I wasn't willing to hug the right hand curb (and go through the puddles), which wasn't too popular with some of the drivers.  But I tried to stick to streets with bike lanes as much as possible.

As I came into Riverdale, I started seeing some big branches down on the street, but then I saw an entire street blocked by tree branches that had fallen.  I thought I might be able to scoot around on the sidewalk, but saw that some wires were down as well!  Very scary.  I managed to detour around this using a back alley.

On my street, there were some mid-sized branches that had fallen, including this one on a neighbour's roof!  Not quite sure how they will get that off, but hopefully there is no actual damage to the roof itself.

I still had to finish picking up the t-shirts.  Going under the viaduct at Logan was actually a real problem due to flooding (and the wind was still strong), so I had to work around that, but I eventually made it.  I suppose it could have been worse, particularly if I had been caught in that crazy rain.  What a storm!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Dueling posters

We have the official poster (also used on our postcards).  This is actually the third or fourth time I've remade the image, but it is fairly sharp this time.

We have an alternative poster (or at least an image) here.

I've found that for some reason polls don't work for those viewing the blog on phones, but feel free to weigh in on which one you like better in the comments.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Even more rehearsal photos

We managed to get through 20 pages of script in two rehearsals.  Way to go crew!  At this rate, we will get through the whole script by the 20th and then will have a few dates to just tighten and review.  So exciting!

BTW, ticket sales have just opened on the Fringe website.

We have had the first sale already.  Thank you to whomever that was!  Still good availability, but there are a maximum of 30 seats per show (fewer than many of the shows in the main spaces), so if you have a specific date in mind, you might want to book sooner rather than later.  Just saying...

Digging deep for a silver lining (new theatre seasons)

I am so incredibly depressed about the state of Ontario and the broader world.  However, I will focus on something that I enjoy, which is tracking down obscure productions before anyone else knows about them.  Partly I do this just because I like being in the know, but also because the more established theatre companies just are not putting together slates that interest me.

Factory Theatre has Bears, which to be fair was interesting, but I saw it already at the Theatre Centre.  Theatre Passe Muraille isn't doing anything of interest to me.  Tarragon has one play about Marshall McLuham (The Message) that I might catch, but that is it, so I definitely won't be subscribing.  (I really wish they had transferred The Breathing Hole from Stratford, but they are doing another play based on an Inuit legend, which isn't as compelling.)  I don't even know what Soulpepper is up to in the fall, but I've already decided I won't be subscribing again for a couple of years.  Canadian Stage still is going in a direction that doesn't appeal to me, though I'll probably check out their silent play, Bigre, playing next April.

The only company I might subscribe to next season is East Side Players.  They open with 4 short plays by Christopher Durang (including The Actor's Nightmare).  Then their middle play is a drama, Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies.  Then they end with Ann-Marie MacDonald's Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet.  Now I don't absolutely need to see this, since I saw it at Brock a few years back, but it was pretty entertaining.  If my friend wants to go, then I'd probably go ahead and subscribe.  Otherwise, I'll just see the Durang shorts.

There are always a few plays I just check to see if they are playing anywhere.  One is Samuel Beckett's Happy Days.  It will be in Boston, but at a time that I really can't make it.  Maybe next year...  Dietz's Yankee Tavern is another one I've really hoped to catch.  It's going to be in Rochester, NY in Feb. 2019.  I think I will try to swing it and catch the Greyhound out there, so I'll sort of pencil this in.  It would be really great to cross this off my list.  I'd actually like to see both American Hero and Lobby Hero (both sort of about the ubiquitousness of security guards in the U.S.).  Supposedly, Lobby Hero will be playing in Mississauga this Sept., but I suspect this may turn out to be a phantom production.  However, I will keep my eyes open to see if it becomes real.

Staying in Mississauga, but turning to productions that are more likely to go forward: in August, Calliope Sound Productions will be doing The Glass Menagerie and P's and Q's Theatre will be doing Neil LaBute's Reasons to be Pretty.

I was so excited to find that Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton was apparently doing Lynn Nottage's Sweat, but they have something else in the slot (Crees in the Caribbean), which just cannot hold a candle to Sweat.*  I'll check in one more time, but definitely a missed opportunity...

In Toronto proper:
Late June 2018 - Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph will be presented at Eastminster United Church.  (I just was not able to see this in Vancouver, perhaps because the movers showed up a day late, but I can't recall any longer.  I'll probably go see this black comedy.)
Sept 2018 - Solar Stage presents A Number by Caryl Churchill
Sept-Oct 2018 - Hart House is doing Heathers: The Musical 
Oct 2018 - Toronto Irish Players present Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel
Nov. 2018 - Crow's Nest performs Middletown by Will Eno.  (I'll probably pass on this, having seen the premiere at Steppenwolf, but this will be of interest to the broader community.)
Nov 2018 - Hart House performs Atwood's The Penelopiad.  (Kind of an odd choice, since George Brown just did this.  I will pass, having seen this twice now.)
Feb 2019 - Studio 180 will do Oslo by J.T. Rogers
March 2019 - Hart House is doing Kat Sandler's Retreat
March 2019 - Eclipse Theatre Company is doing Kiss of the Spider Woman -- in the Don Jail!  I will absolutely have to see this.  Just wonder when tickets will go on sale, since I want to get in early on this show.

Overall some interesting things to look forward to.

* Assuming that Sweat isn't coming to Hamilton or Toronto next season, I did a bit of poking around.  It will be in Vancouver, which is often a tempting destination.  Also, in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, both of which would be very suitable for its focus on the working class.  Porter no longer makes direct flights to Pittsburgh, but it does offer some service, and I've always wanted to check out the museums in Pittsburgh, so it isn't inconceivable that I might go.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Rehearsal - live action

Just a couple of teasers from tonight's rehearsal.  (Again, we covered a lot of ground and the energy stayed high, which was great.)  The students are debating the pros and cons of going along with the Process and becoming part of the hive mind.  Interestingly, most of the students are on board with the idea (not truly valuing privacy much) with only one who strongly objects.

I particularly like the second clip, since it justifies this tagline: #HivingItUp

But maybe I'm the only one that really finds that funny.