What everyone should know about Edinburgh Festival
...using my own tours and preps as lessons.by Joan McBride
Inspiration for making a career in acting came when Joan McBride saw a touring production of The Sound of Music at the old Her Majesty’s Theatre in Montreal. She was 12. Educated at Mount Allison University and McGill, she married, had two children and in the mid ’70’s found herself living across the street from a CEGEP that had a DEC in Professional Theatre where she enrolled and successfully completed her training three years later. Since then Ms McBride has been a Montreal-based actor, director and acting teacher in the Professional Theatre program of John Abbott College for near 30 years. She has staged successful productions including The Owl and The Pussycat, The Gin Game (directed by Montreal’s Elsa Bolam) and Anglo! –a musical cartoon based on the hit book An Anglo Guide to Survival in Quebec, which she conceived and directed. This wildly successful production ran in Montreal for 2 ½ years and played to an accumulated audience of about 35,000. Her film career began in the 80’s and she played opposite Mare Winningham in God Bless this Child, as well as as Tommy’s teacher in Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveler and the nurse in love with the robot in PIN. Since then she counts among her film performances roles with Benjamin Bratt in Abandon and Natasha McElhone in feardotcom. Ms McBride was also cast in two award winning Canadian films: Cherry Fruitbread (Laura Turek) winner of the People’s Choice award at the Montreal Film Festival 2001 and End of the Line (Maurice Deveraux) winner of several international awards. Ms McBride has three grown children and two grandchildren with a third scheduled to arrive this September.
ICTF /WorldStrides were expanding their successful AHSTF (American High School Theatre Festival) projects to include colleges and universities that offered training programs for theatre. The main thrust of the project was to bring one of our department’s productions to the pre-eminent performing arts festival in the world: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe! I was at the time a core acting instructor and my class was about to graduate (Spring 2010) after three years of intensive training. I proposed the idea of participating in The ICTF/ Edinburgh FRINGE 2011 as a kind of first year alumni reunion-performing Edward Bond’s Tin Can People, our 2nd year studio project. The response was a unanimous “YES!!! “ I then spoke to the chair of our department, Chris Brown and we submitted a proposal to ICTF which was accepted. Now this vast project had the beginnings of a vast idea and our project, which came to be known as JAC’N’Burgh2011, was formally launched.
Remember: no half-vast ideas.
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