Friday, October 15, 2010

Back on Stage - in Nova Scotia!

Two shows coming up, at St Margaret of Scotland in Halifax (Nov 13) and Christ Church, Dartmouth (Nov 14).  Both shows at 7:30 and these will be the last chance to see Roots Among the Rocks in Canada.

We will also be facilitating workshops and plenary sessions at the Diocesan Youth Conference in the Diocese of Nova Scotia/PEI.  Participants in that event will see scenes, monologues and excerpts from the show and engage with various themes and ideas that the show explores.  They will also be part of a youtube rap video, which we think is pretty cool.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Not 'Church Drama'

Here is the most frank feedback received to date on our show.  This was spoken by a 4th year university student, after our show in Vancouver:

"So awesome.  You know, honestly, I had low expectations.  I've seen a lot of church drama.  And most of the time, church drama really blows, you know?  But this was so powerful.  I bet a lot of people are surprised when they see it.   There's so much in it.  It's really, really good."

That's the gist of what he said.  I hesitated to put this on the blog, given that I was not sure if I could get away with putting into print the quote "Church drama really blows, you know?"

So, maybe that's a word to the wider church, or youth ministry, that when we do 'church drama' we need to make it good.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

HOW did I miss THIS???

The company at...

THE BIG GOOSE - in Wawa, Ontario.

I mean, really, how could we have left out evidence of such milestones on the tour ! ? ?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Look What We Saw!

This happens only occasionally on the BC Ferries, and we were really excited that we were right there on deck when this mum and her kids showed up off the port side!  Especially cool for Magdalena, who has never been to BC or the Pacific Ocean before!

So, now we're on Vancouver Island for:
   Sunday morning (excerpts) at St Dunstan's church - 10:00 am
   Sunday evening at St Mary the Virgin, Oak Bay, 7:00 pm
   Monday evening at Camp Columbia on Thetis Island, 6:30 pm 
         (so folks from the mainland can catch the last ferry at 9:15)
   Tuesday evening at St Mary's Church, Nanoose Bay, 7:00 pm

Personal Pylons

Our own pylon?

    ooooooohh, stardom!


From the Atlantic to the Pacific....

June 11, 2010:

July 23, 2010

Remember this sign from Signal Hill in St John's ??

The one that says "Vancouver 5,031 km" ?

we made it.


Lunch at a Japanese restaurant with the Dean of New Westminster AND the Diocesan Youth Coordinator...
....seeing downtown and the waterfront...
       ...technical runthrough...
....  and a fantastic show in an amazing space at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver - over 100 people in the audience, and an engaging 'talk back' with them afterwards

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rocking the house in the Central Interior of BC

Kamloops... July 20

    Sorrento .... July 21

Two back-to-back shows, both of them well attended by FABULOUS audiences who were really excited to see the play.  Hats off to Louise Peters, Melissa Green and Christopher Lind who organized these two venues and ensured that we were well-fed, well-housed and well-advertised.

Sorrento was our first outdoor show - in the Kekuli, which is a dome shaped covered space.  Fantastic! It was really fun to feel like we were doing summer theatre; being outside on a warm, sunny July night surrounded by mountains, lake and trees.   Because we were staying at the Sorrento Centre over a couple of days (thanks for your hospitality!) we had a chance to meet most of the people for whom we were performing, and it seemed the change the energy of the show, and the response of the audience.  It was like performing for a group of many many friends, rather than strangers.  After the show, the chaplain, Rev. Dan Hines commented "This was truth-telling at its best. It was a rare voice for the church; it's what we need to hear, but so seldom hear."  

We've been joined by our producer Judy and her son William for the last leg of the journey. William is rapidly learning how to be 'crew' for a travelling theatre company.

And now, the recent photos: 

A vibrant sign out on the road advertises our show in Kamloops:

Karyn and William discover the electronic drum kits at "Lee's Music" in Kamloops while Judy and Jenny get the rental of the lighting board and lights sorted out:

Jenny transforms from Director to Technical at each venue.  In these two locations, she had a lighting board to play with too!

The Kamloops show, at the cathedral:

After the show we pose for a photo with the Dean, Louise Peters:

William our budding Roadie helps do the load after the show:

Next day, setting up for the show at the Sorrento Centre:

On Tuesday morning, we joined the community for Eucharist at the Sorrento Centre in their beautiful outdoor chapel overlooking the lake.

A packed and overflowing house!  135 people saw our show in Sorrento as we rap the house down in the final number:

The Big White Van hits the road through the lower Fraser Valley, on the way to Vancouver for Friday evening's show at the Cathedral.  (We are currently travelling with the van and a rental car):

From Cranbrook

After the Cranbrook show an older man came up to me and, without saying a word, gave me a big long hug. He whispered, "Thank you" and I said, "Thank you so much for coming!" He smiled and said quietly, "You're welcome". And then he left.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stampeding to Calgary

Calgary show was last night - about 75 people came and we had a lot of great conversations with folks at the meet n' greet sesssion afterwards.

What an awesome welcome sign!

In every space, we need to re-create the layout of the show to fit into the space available.  In the large movement piece, such as the reflection on St Augustine's Confessions, it's always good to rehearse this at the tech runthrough.

After checking sound, setting up props and set, and running through a couple of scenes, we often have supper with members of the host congregation.

After that it's warm up, costumes, make up and - we're on!

Tomorrow morning we're off to Cranbrook for our Sunday performance there: an excerpt of the show in the morning during worship, then the show at 2:00 pm.  Monday we head up to the Central Interior and a show Tuesday night in Kamloops at the cathedral, then Wednesday night at the Sorrento Centre.  
Vancouver and Victoria are coming up next weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting Educated in Saskatchewan

While in Regina some of us took the opportunity to explore another science centre.

And when we were in Saskatoon, we visited 1910 Boom Town.

A genuine steam powered engine!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Regina and Beyond

Hello There!

In Regina we stayed in a lovely home owned by a lady who wasn't there, and so we had a whole home to ourselves. The house was filled with really good books, travel magazines, and small statues of birds, and had a piano, a large television, and a beautiful, sun-lit kitchen. What more can you need?
We found we had landed ourselves in the middle of a film set, with the CBC filming a new TV series called "InSecurity" in the house right across the road. We couldn't park on our street and had to constantly tiptoe in and out of the house while the lights and cameras were rolling. We were welcomed very heartily to Regina by all sorts of people, including the bishop, who had us out to dinner not once, but twice! The space in the church was beautiful, with lots of lights and plenty of room. We had a great audience come out, as well! We met a very nice lady named Erika who complimented us on our German and wished us well for the rest of our trip.
We spent our time off roaming the streets of Regina, going to a Fringe play produced many of Melissa's acquaintances, shopping the cute boutiques along 13 Avenue, watching Serenity and FIFA soccer matches, and amusing ourselves with the TV shows Extras, The IT Crowd, and Doctor Who.
Ah, what leisure! HA!
On the road out of Regina we stopped in Craik, Saskatchewan, for their Farmer's Market. There were three vendors, one of which had sold out, and so we bought spinach and cinnamon rolls from the other two.

And off we were to Saskatoon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Saskatoon times

The schedule didn't have the right times for the shows in Saskatoon this coming weekend.  Times are:
Saturday,  8:00 pm
Sunday, 2:00 pm

If you told someone the other times, please let them know the correct ones (sorry for that error!)

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Well, we've had our show in Winnipeg, now we're just kicking around for an extra day or so until we move on to Russell Manitoba.

Overall I would say Winnipeg has been fairly good to us, despite the intense heat and mutant mosquitoes,  I've really enjoyed my time here.  Seeing old friends, making new ones, and getting to see a lot of the city, especially when we take our "scenic routes".

On the day of our nation's birth, several of the cast drove out to Lower Fort Gary, explored the grounds and saw how people once lived.  I think working at a fort like that, in costume as a character from the time would be a fun summer job, but of course, it can't compare to my summer job right now!  After a lovely dinner with friends, we took in the fireworks, although some of us got absolutely eaten alive by mosquitoes.

Our show yesterday was at an awesome theatre, with a nice big stage where we had lots of room, something we're not quite used to anymore, but we made the most of it.  The audience was phenomenal and I felt a bit like royalty at the end, as we all got flowers from the same man who made the Queen's bouquets!

Keeping our flowers cool in the fridge so they don't wilt in the heat!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Ignace or Bust? 

This was a phrase that was coined early on, way back in Cronyn house. We also thought of doing the Ignace show naked and adding our inside jokes we came up with during rehearsal. We decided to forgo the nakedness and just do the show the same way we did it in Marathon and St. John’s, to name a few. 

After our wonderful Ignace show, we had dessert with some members of the audience and got to chat with them over delicious macaroons and brownies and kool-aid, which I haven’t had for years but I digress. After dessert, we were treated to an amazing homemade dinner by the ladies of Ignace. These women were so good to us and their kindness and hospitality is something I will not forget for a long time. Every city or town we go to, there are always people willing to help us in any which way, from feeding us to giving us a house to ourselves, I was unaware that kind people still existed but this tour has shown me otherwise. 

The support from everyone makes me love this process more and more each day. I also had the pleasure of meeting two younger people in Ignace and one of them was involved in every type of performing art there is and she was thrilled to meet us. We also bonded over our love of Adam Lambert and our giggles were heard throughout the church hall. I feel so blessed that we were able to do this show and young people came and saw it  and liked it. I will remember Ignace for a long time and all the fond memories I have so thank you Ignace!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Northern Ontario

Magdalena, JD and Carolyn at the mouth of the Pic River.  We did three shows in Northern Ontario - Sault Ste Marie, Marathon and Ignace, with truly AMAZING billets all the way! These folks have all redefined hospitality.  Winnipeg is up next over the Canada Day weekend - our first show in a professional theatre space at the Park Theatre on Saturday night.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A story from Sault Ste Marie

We had an audience of twelve - a lovely, intimate, warm, interactive audience. After the show, I met a 94-year-old man, a retired vicar, in a wheelchair, who had come to our show. He sang along with the music he recognized and after the show I went down to meet him.

He said he liked it very much, only he didn't understand the singing and the dancing. Not the he disliked it, only that he couldn't quite understand what was happening. I told him that it was alright that he didn't understand it, that confusion was a valid response to some of our scenes, and that some, especially the movement piece, weren't meant to be understood in a certain way but simply received as one does individually. He nodded and smiled, and gave me the impression, in a very friendly way, that there was something about the world that he understood and that I hadn't quite. But he liked me, and asked me to help him with his coat and hat.

Later my billets told me that he had come on his own to our show - arranged for the parabus to bring him and pick him up, had organized his trip entirely on his own. I marvelled at this independent spirit, this 94-year-old man, to whom coming to our show was so important that he arranged for himself to be brought there, alone.

I wish now that I had asked for his name.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Science North

While we were in Sudbury, some of the cast took the opportunity to venture to Science North.  There we saw animatronic dinosaurs, lay on a bed of nails, tested our fitness and much more!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

SSJD and Toronto

Since our drive from Ottawa we have stayed with the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine in Toronto. They opened their doors, their hearts, and their hands, and let us in to their lifestyle and community. We have been deliciously fed, and allowed (deliciously) to sleep in, to wander labyrinths, to attend services, and come and go at all hours... We feel rejuvenated, I think, ready to go on with the tour after a much needed rest. A most sincere thank you to the sisters for their love and care.

Yesterday was our day off and we first wandered in the distillery district (beautiful and quaint and very expensive), then went to the beach and enjoyed the sun. Last night the ladies went to Tryst for a bra party (exactly what it sounds like) and learned a lot about ladies' underwear. For example, did you know that it takes 25 hand sewn parts to make a bra? That's why the good ones are so expensive. While we tried on lingerie, JD and Melissa went to see Robin Hood. It got a good review!

 At the Distillery District in Toronto

Today we are off to Sudbury. It is raining again. It has rained absolutely every travelling day since the beginning of this tour. We arrive somewhere in sun, get sun for the days we are there, and it begins to rain the morning we leave the place. By the time we reach our destination, we are out of the rain, until we leave again.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Westward Bound!

Props? Check. Sound system? Check. Suitcases? Check. Full tank? Check. Carolyn? Check!
Okay we’re good to go!
Barring any unforeseen delays, such as, pointless traffic jams, excessive rain, or car accidents, and rushing through those few foreseen ones, including but not limited to, the diminutive size of Karyn’s bladder, we should be in Toronto by 17:00 tonight.
During our second stay in Ontario’s capital, we will be performing at St. Ansgard’s, enjoying silent meals with the Sisters of St. John the Divine, having a night out on the town, going to the beach, and going to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame! No? Anyone? *sigh*
At any rate, it will be a fun filled, if slightly busy, few days before we ship off to Sudbury on Tuesday morning continuing our westward trek. There will be some sadness as we leave the East farther and farther behind. We’ve created here, premiered here, half of us live here, and the reception we’ve had has been great! Parades, parties, penthouse suites... okay, okay, it hasn’t been quite so extravagant, but the people we’ve met here have been wonderfully kind, extremely hospitable, and lots of fun to be with. We had the most amazing time, and we thank you all profusely!
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that there’s this woman on youtube, and you should come see our Toronto show, and you should come see our Sudbury show, and hockey is awesome, and if you are receiving us out west, the bar has been set pretty high, but no pressure!

                                                           On the road again...


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On The Road!

We worked hard last night and this morning, sorting out tour responsibilities, packing lists, assigning roles and tasks.  We finally have a full tour schedule too - link is on the left column.

It was fun tracing it out across a big map of Canada and thinking - 'that's where we're going!' (or, 'that's how FAR we are going???')

Look for this Big White Van - coming soon to a city/town near you!  Thursday night, June 17 is our performance in Montreal at St James downtown, followed by Ottawa on Friday night, and Toronto on Sunday June 20.  Look for details and addresses of the different venues in the tour schedule.

Destination - Vankleek Hill.  We wonder if we will be THIS excited to be in the van in 5 weeks time?