Archives for February 2016

Going to the theatre with kids: I highly recommend it

Carousel Theatre, Shizuoka Kai, Go, Dog. Go!

Shizuka Kai’s design creates a stylish, magical world for Carousel Theatre’s Go, Dog. Go!

Yesterday, I took my six-year-old neighbour, Abraham, to see Carousel Theatre’s Go, Dog. Go! It was the first time that Abraham had ever seen a play.

The script is very simple. Based on P.D. Eastman’s book, it’s a lot like the old Dick and Jane readers, or the more basic material on Sesame Street: the author uses repetitive text and simple interactions among a group of dogs to introduce vocabulary and simple concepts that are often related to colour and space: “The red dog is in. The blue dog is out.”

But that description doesn’t begin to capture the fun. [Read more…]

Cats: the pleasures of feline drag

Cats, Fighting Chance Productions

It’s not that I’ve become a furry or anything, but I’ve begun to understand the appeal of dressing up like a cat.

I never thought I’d live to hear myself say this, but the show to catch this weekend is Cats.

I have never been a fan of Cats, which has always struck me as commercially gimmicky—and mostly tuneless. But seeing Fighting Chance Productions mounting in close quarters at the Jericho Arts Centre has made me reconsider.

With the harmonies rolling over you in waves of sound you can practically feel, and with the talented, exuberant cast having a whole lot of fun right in front of you, the musical becomes much harder to resist.

In fact, I got into that “Everything is beautiful at the ballet” mindset. Yes, Cats is totally weird—a revue with existential feline overtones—but, viewed from the right angle, that oddness is charming. There are a bunch of adults playing dress-up, purring and preening, and coughing up hairballs—essentially for the fun of it. Cool.

You know that screenplay you’ve got kicking around?

story editing, screenplays

You might not be able to tell from this image, but screenplays are REALLY fun to edit.

Recently, I received a testimonial from screenwriter Douglas Ronald Ellis.

Yes, this posting is an ad, of sorts. But, if you want to write a screenplay, or you’ve got one  knocking around, I can help.

Here’s what Doug had to say. (It’s very, very nice): “Colin is a creative collaborator of the highest order – and the answer to a screenwriter’s prayers. He provided the most thorough, insightful, useful, appreciative and encouraging critique I can imagine – or have ever received! He offers detailed feedback on the smallest beats, while keeping the broader strokes foremost via his analysis of the three-act structure. Drawing on key elements from McKee’s Story and Buchbinder’s The Way of the Screenwriter, Colin has synthesized a wonderful diagnostic tool that he employs with scalpel-like accuracy, enthusiastic praise, cogent suggestions (‘Might the character do this?’), keen insight into human behavior, and his own warm sense of humour. The magic elixir for a writer who’s wondering: ‘How bad does this suck?’ or ‘Is this as good as I think it is? The answer: Get Colin to have a read.”

Live—really live—theatre at faerie camp

Radical faeries, Breitenbush, why theatre matters

Helvetica Bold (my pal John) in action

As I listened to the gay trans man read his zombie porn, I realized that I was getting a hard-on under my dress. There is such pleasure in writing that sentence! And there was such delight in the experience.

This past weekend, I attended a radical faerie gathering in the mountains in Oregon. To do so, I had to miss seeing some big shows here in Vancouver—including Robert Lepage’s 887, which I’ll catch this weekend—but, let me tell you, talent night at faerie camp was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.  [Read more…]