Saturday, July 30, 2011

Theatre For Thought, July 30, 2011

Are programmes a thing of the past?
joel fishbane

Thursday, July 28, 2011

CPC's Picture of the Week, July 28, 2011

The gorgeous Cameryn Moore from Slut (r)Evolution, now playing at the Calgary Fringe. (Photo credit: Caleb Cole)

CPC's Video of the Week, July 28, 2011

A little blood and guts from Stratford for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

After Dark, July 26, 2011

Theatre, Cooperation and the Fragile Creatures
PR has to be considered from the very start of the process of creation and someone has got to be assigned to deal with it.
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois

Thursday, July 21, 2011

This Is The CPC - Episodes 1-29


Episode 29, February 28, 2012 (Direct link to the podcast)
Packed show in which we, once and for all, sacrifice our iTunes "clean" rating.  Joel Fishbane comes on to discuss what we like, don't like and wish for from opera in a new occasional segment called Shoot the Shit. In an Off The Cuff Review, Dave Ross discusses the novel War Horse, on which the show is based. A tribute to Matt and Kyle and Matt, who are leaving The Charlebois Post, follows. Finally, in Opening This Week, a new segment, we discuss openings across the country (including God of Carnage in Edmonton, August: Osage County in Winnipeg and Dancing With Rage in Toronto). 
Discussed links:
Edward Bond video interview
Prong Hallucia's A Child's Eyes (Matt and Kyle and Matt)
War Horse ticket site

Episode 28, February 21, 2012  - Risk (Direct Link to podcast)
Two stories on opera companies braving the storm are discussed which also have some resonance with theatre companies who now have to assess risk and decide what sells tickets and what does not (a fool's challenge). Also discussed are the TV shows Glee and Smash and who they might be aimed at. Finally a new segment: Openings - a brief overview of openings across the country.
Discussed links:
La Presse article about L'Opéra de Montréal (in French)
Edmonton Journal on the opera companies in Alberta
The Guardian on assessing risk in theatre

Episode 27, February 14, 2012 - Grab Bag (Direct Link to Podcast)
Opening with more discussion on the Tarragon Theatre business or what has become know as The Healey Affair. Stories from past episodes and their upshots are dealt with. An interesting case, in the States, of a children's company presenting an all-white version of the musical Hair Spray, precedes a discussion of The Rise and Fall of Punchdrunk, a British company coming to Canada to give workshops this year; in this context we also discuss mainstream houses and their relationships with experimental or cutting edge companies (i.e.: Sidemart and Segal Centre or Centaur Theatre). Music from Matt Raudsepp is followed by a discussion of Actors Equity and their stance on non-equity shows like In The Heights and Shrek.
Discussed Articles:
Brad Fraser on the Healey Affair
After Dark on the upshot of the Healey Affair
Sergei Polunin loses work permit
Marina Nemat responds to the Canada Reads debacle
White Hair Spray
Michael Billington on Experimental theatre
The Guardian on Punchdrunk's foray into New York
The arrival of Punchdrunk in Alberta
Lessons of successful seduction of audiences by arts organizations
What do opera audiences want?
Equity on non-Equity shows

Episode 26, February 7, 2012 - The Healey Affair (Direct link to podcast)
The Charlebois Post addresses the Michael Healey Affair directly. After maintaining a certain silence on the subject while waiting for Tarragon Theatre artistic director Richard Rose to respond to recent articles about the non-programming of Michael Healey's latest play into the next season, CharPo has decided to offer its information and editorial stance on this podcast episode.
Discussed links:
The story from the Globe and Mail
The response from Tarragon from The Toronto Star
The Brad Fraser letter to Richard Rose
The Steve Galluccio letter to Richard Rose
Anna Maria Tremonti - The Current
Joel Fishbane's article on Carmen Aguirre
Simone Osborne's article
Cameryn Moore's article
Richard Burnett on Black History Month

Episode 25, February 1, 2012 - BitchFest (Direct Link to the podcast)
We talk about the strange case of dancer Sergei Polunin and how this illustrates the fact that the arts tend to beat its young creators up. Then, do critics have an effect on box office and the pernicious effect of "consumer reviews" and how they can and should be controlled. Finally, we discuss a series of articles which demonstrate a love/hate for the theatre and discuss many aspects of theatre which do, indeed, aggravate.
Discussed links:
Polunin article 1
Polunin article 2
Polunin article 3
Macleans article on critics
Curtain critic chart
Selling reviews (NYT)
I hate Theatre (Michael Musto)
Parabasis a brief request
5 awful things about being an actor (Cracked)
Ten things I hate about theatre (Charlebois Post)

Episode 24, January 25, 2012 - The State of Things (Direct Link to the podcast)
We celebrate Oscar noms, then news of a controversial director taking on Cirque du Soleil. A discussion of difficult plays, notably Taming of the Shrew, follows. Zoe Daniels recounts a story of victory (from Confabulation), and we conclude with discussions on the state of theatre and whether theatres are competitors or partners. 
Discussed links: 
Oscar nominations
Diane Paulus and the Cirque
Taming of the Shrew
Theatre losing its appeal
Theatres: Partners or competitors
You've Cott Mail

Episode 23, January 17, 2012 - Double-down on Directors (Direct Link to Podcast)
More on Twitter in the theatres, more on sex between teachers and students. Discussions on Plummer's Golden Globe, Galluccio's Genie, and the hosts double-down on their bet for the next AD at Stratford. A discussion of good and bad things in Edmonton theatre leads to one on creativity, imagination and technology on our stages.
Discussed Links:
After Dark and teachers and students (CharPo)
Kelly Nestruck's Stratford contenders (Globe and Mail)
Twitter in the theatres (New York Times)
Things we Like (Vue Weekly)
Imagination in Theatre (Guardian)

Episode 22, January 10, 2012 - Singing in the New Year (Direct Link to Podcast)
Discussions include the arrival of Twitter and Facebook into theatres and what companies are doing to prepare for it. Also, a news story of a theatre teacher's sexual involvement with a student prompts a discussion of the touchy relationship between theatre students and actors and their teachers and directors. Also, Kelly Nestruck's controversial blog about the national anthem sung before shows is debated. Music from soprano Simone Osborne.
Discussed Links:
After Dark on new tech in theatres
Kelly Nestruck's blog piece
Simone Osborne's website

Episode 21, December 21, 2010 - Year End (Direct Link To Podcast)
Estelle Rosen and Gaëtan Charlebois wrap up their year with discussions of shows they have loved and the phenomenon of RAW theatre. A discussion with blogger Howard Dai about what it's like to be a highschool theatre geek and how he sees his future. Christmas music by Jason and Dave at Village Sound House with vocals by Melanie Stone and CPC Halifax editor Steward Legere.
Discussed links:
Editorial on RAW theatre
Howard Dai's CPC blog, Theatre Night Fever
Howard Dai's Twitter feed

Episode 20, December 13, 2011, Episode 20 - Big Plans (Direct link to podcast)
An in depth discussion with writer/director Jeremy Taylor about his piece Big Plans. Taylor talks about his work with director Tanner Harvey and his cast in preparing a production which, from the beginning of rehearsals to closing night, would last a mere two weeks. The play, based on the true seduction-by-cannibalism story in Germany, is an object lesson in how to work with what you have.
Discussed link:
Jeremy Taylor and Tanner Harvey's piece on the creation of Big Plans

Episode 19, December 6, 2011 - Stories of the year (Direct link to the podcast)
Estelle Rosen and Gaëtan Charlebois talk about the big stories of the Canadian theatre year: Canadian Stage, SummerWorks grant cut, Occupy Wall Street, Recession, the Conservative majority, the Bertrand Cantat affair, artistic directors - Peter Hinton and Des McAnuff - leaving. Clips from interviews with Joel Fishbane (Episode 1), Nanette Soucy (Episode 12) and Arden Ryshpan (Episode 2) and music from Prong Hallucia (AKA: Matt and Kyle and Matt).
Discussed Links:
Review of Red - Now
Review of Red - Richard Ouzounian
Review of Red - National Post
Kelly Nestruck in defence of Matthew Jocelyn
Article: How Not To Fix The St. Lawrence Centre
Editorial: Stories of the Year
Prong Hallucia/Matt and Kyle and Matt video of A Child's Eye

Episode 18, November 29, 2011 - Bloggers (Direct link to the podcast)
Estelle Rosen and Gaëtan Charlebois come back to some of the subjects from last week, including the Manitoba Theatre Centre's Romeo and Juliet. They also discuss the plays ANA, Cornered and the work of Marie Brassard. The discussion then turns to arts organizations in trouble including Opera Lyra and the Royal Winnepeg Ballet. Music by Against the Grain Theatre, from La Bohème, which they are reviving this week. Then a discussion of Michael Kaiser's posting at Huff Post about the death of criticism and the rise of the blogger as critic and the subequent reaction to his post. Finally, a discussion of playwrights and which are worth defending and which not.
Discussed links:
CBC review of Romeo and Juliet in Manitoba
Maclean's article about the Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Michael Kaiser's lament on the death of criticism
The Guardian's reaction to Kaiser
Several other reactions to Kaiser
Michael Billington engages Stephen Sondheim
"Is Theatre a Matter of Taste"

Episode 17, November 22, 2011 - Politics (Direct link to the podcast)
Estelle Rosen and Gaëtan Charlebois discuss the politics of certain plays, notably The Merchant of Venice and The Poster. Guest, Adam Capriolo-Morris, who is playing Shylock in a theatre school production, joins them to expand the essay he wrote as he prepared the role. The cohosts then discuss the Philippe Ducros play, The Poster, and the politics of the piece and its stance on Palestine. Also: Music by the Buck Wheaton Trio and a reading by Mark Leiren-Young from his play Shylock.
Discussed Links:
Mark Leiren-Young's website
Article about playing Shylock by Adam Capriolo-Morris
Review of The Poster
Website for Whiteman's Whiskey Comedy Revue (in which the Buck Wheaton Trio will be performing)

Episode 16, November 15, 2011 - Plays (Direct link to the podcast)
The talk is about plays: My Pregnant Brother's new production in French (Montreal), the colour-blind casting of The Rez Sisters (Toronto), the phenomenon of God of Carnage (Sarah Deshaies discusses the play), the weirdness of two productions of Annie in St. John's and the bravery of a highschool presenting the musical version of Spring Awakening. Also: music by Shayne Gryn.
Discussed Links:
CharPo Review of Mon frère est enceinte
CharPo Review of God of Carnage
CharPo Review of Rez Sisters
Kelly Nestruck's discussion of the casting of The Rez Sisters
Annie (X2) in St. John's
Spring Awakening at St. Andrew's College
Shayne Gryn's website

Episode 15, November 8, 2011 - Musicals (Direct link to podcast)
The news determined the theme. Estelle Rosen and Gaëtan L. Charlebois first talk about what they have been doing - watching films - with discussions of M. Lazare, Funkytown and Beginners. Discussion of who to blame when a show goes wrong - director or actor? - and how Death of a Salesman and other works reflect the current feelings of despair as exemplified by the Occupy Wall Street movement. The cohosts discuss their appreciation of the comedy team Matt and Kyle and Matt before playing music by HonheeHonhee, a band in which Matt Raudsepp performs. A discussion of musicals: why Les Miz in Toronto had to be postponed, why there is no training for musical theatre in Canada (a conversation with columnist Joel Fishbane) and new musicals Ride the Cyclone and The Passion of Adéle Hugo. 
Discussed links:
HonheeHonhee website
The Cirque du Soleil gives $1m to NTS (article in French)
Actors or directors, who to blame? (The Guardian)
Willy Loman and Occupy Wall Street (The New York Times)
No Cast for Les Miz (The Toronto Star)
Joel Fishbane on the deplorable situation with musical theatre education
The Passion of Adèle Hugo (Chronicle Herald)
Ride The Cyclone
Billington review of The Sweet Smell of Success

Episode 14, November 1, 2011 - Opening Nights (Direct link to podcast)
Estelle Rosen and Gaëtan Charlebois wrap up stories from last week and then tackle the question of why theatre companies across the country cannot seem to coordinate their opening nights. Also discussed is the controversy surrounding the film Anonymous (Shakespeare authorship) and "Aha! Moments" in theatre. Listeners are invited to submit their Aha! Moments. Also, several selections of music by Dmitri Marine, composer for the Segal's The Play's The Thing. 
Discussed links:
Vancouver Opera's West Side Story YouTube
The Director of the Marat/Sade at the RSC and the walkouts
After Dark editorial about opening nights
Joel Fishbane on Anonymous
Keir Cutler on Anonymous
Antoni Cimolino on Anonymous
Jonathan Jones (The Guardian) on Anonymous
Aha! Moments (Times-Colonist)
Website for The Play's The Thing

Episode 13, October 25, 2011 - The Audience (Direct link to the podcast)
Estelle Rosen and Gaëtan Charlebois talk news and a lot of the news seems to involve the audience: audiences displeased with musicals in their opera season; audiences walking out of a play in England; will audiences like Soulpepper's 2011 lineup?; do audiences need a star-rating system. With a musical interlude from Stratford's Twelfth Night.
Discussed links:
The Georgia Strait at opening night of West Side Story
Jacob Wren's articles in Charpo: Theatre Reminds Me Of Politics; Theatre World Which Looks To Us Like a Bad Film
It's easy to criticize (freely adapted)
Soulpepper's season
Walk-outs at the Marat/Sade
Kelly Nestruck's no-star rating
The Stratford Store to purchase the soundtrack of Twelfth Night

Episode 12, October 18, 2011 - Occupy Wallstreet (Direct link to the podcast)
Estelle Rosen joins as cohost of the podcast with discussion of the Occupy Wallstreet movement and, especially, how this may effect theatre in Canada. Interview with Nanette Soucy, theatre person (director/writer/actor) and activist who has been supporting the movement from the start and who tells us discusses how it can now move into theatre.

Episode 11, October 11, 2011 - Critics (Direct link to podcast)
Conversation with J. Kelly Nestruck, critic from the Globe and Mail: opening night conflicts, editors, Cirque du Soleil; what is a review?; arrogance; copy editors; junkets; black-listing; Red; War Horse; Mary Poppins; all you ever wanted to know about the country's most important critic. Also, music by Andrew Zadel, director of Closer.
Discussed links:
Closer details
Andrew Zadel's music
First-person piece for CharPo by Kelly Nestruck
Kelly Nestruck's blog at the Globe and Mail
Guardian article on critics, young critics and Kenneth Tynan
Kelly Nestruck's article in This about Tomson Highway

Episode 10, October 4, 2011 - Ride The Cyclone (Direct link to podcast)
Interview with Jacob Richmond about the musical he co-created and which won awards at SummerWorks and is now touring the nation to some of the hottest buzz in the last decade. Also: several music clips from the show.
Discussed Links:
Jacob Richmond's first-person piece about the show's creation
The Ride the Cyclone Website

Episode 9, September 27, 2011 - Comedy (Direct Link to Podcast)
Mark Leiren-Young tells us about the season in Vancouver and the West Coast. Music from Ride the Cylcone. Dan Bingham talks about his life as a standup, the milieu and his transformation into an actor with his solo/theatre work, Adopt This!
Discussed Links:
Arts Club Theatre
Electric Company Theatre
Sin City Improv
Western Edge (Nanaimo)
My Mother's Story
Theatre at UBC
Push Festival
Adopt This!

Episode 8, September 20, 2011 - The Playwright (Direct Link to the Podcast)
Stewart Legere talks to us about the upcoming season in Halifax. Brad Fraser discusses his career, this week's two productions of True Love Lies, sexuality, turning 50 and the future as he sees it. 
Discussed Links:
Neptune Theatre
Eastern Front Theatre
Vile Passéist
Plutonium Playhouse
Theatre Nova Scotia
Brad Fraser's essay on censorship
Brad Fraser's web site
True Love Lies at ATP
True Love Lies at Touchstone

Episode 7, September 13, 2011 - Those Magnificent Amateurs (Direct Link to the podcast)
We talk to Natasha Gauthier on the upcoming season in Ottawa then move onto a discussion of amateur theatre. Glynnis Brassil, from the North Vancouver Community Players, explains the machine behind the company and its upcoming six-play season. Anna Fuerstenberg discusses her time at the iconic Montreal Children's Theatre.
Discussed Links:
Gladstone Theatre
North Vancouver Community Players
Nouvelle Scène
Muriel Gold's book on The Montreal Children's Theatre

Episode 6, September 6, 2011 - Boards (Direct Link to episode)
We talk about the concept of theatre boards (boards of governors) - the good, the bad and the ugly. Interview with Guy Spring, artistic director of Infinitheatre in Montreal, about his experiences with boards and what he considers to be a good board and who is responsible for bad ones. Glynnis Brassil and Joel Fishbane do a dramatic reading of one of the most important documents in Canadian theatre, the letter the famous "Gang of Four" wrote to the Stratford Festival board when they were fired. Also: Isabelle-Ann Charlebois talks about the new season of theatre in Quebec City.
Discussed Links:
Editorial (After Dark) about Hudson Village Theatre with links within the body of the letter and Guy Sprung's response in the comments section following it.
Letter from the Gang of Four
Théâtre du Trident
Salle Albert-Rousseau
Théâtre de la Bordée

Episode 5, August 23, 2011 - Organize (Direct Link to Podcast)
Conversation with Jacoba Knaapen, executive director of the Toronto Alliance for The Performing Arts, about what the organization does and what lessons it has to offer to the rest of the nation. Talk with Estelle Rosen, editor-in-chief of CharPo, about what to look forward to in the upcoming French and English seasons in Montreal. This is the first of a series of conversations with CharPo editors from across the country.
Discussed Links:
Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts
Hyena Subpoena
Oulipo Show
Haunted Hillbilly

Episode 4, August 16, 2011 - Solo (Direct link to podcast, click here)
Conversation with "Fringe god" TJ Dawe about solos: his, others, advice to the first-timer, the personality solo work requires. Michaela di Cesare talks about approaching solo work and what to do with her piece - 8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived - now that it has been up and running. Clips from Dawe's Totem Figues, Di Cesare's 8 Ways and Keir Cutler's Teaching As You Like It.
Discussed Links:
Monologues article at
TJ Dawe's web site
Keir Cutler's web site
Edmonton Fringe web site

Episode 3, August 9, 2011 - Fringe (Direct link to podcast, click here)
The Edmonton Fringe gets under way this week and we explore the phenomenon of the Canadian Fringe Movement with two interviews. Steve Galluccio, a veteran of the Montreal Fringe, speaks about his career now (Mambo Italiano - the play and movie, Funkytown, and producing The 39 Steps). Shayne Gryn, a composer and musician, provides Fringe-y music and Keir Cutler, off to the Edmonton Fringe, talks about the machine that is the first and biggest Fringe Festival in the country.
Discussed Links:
Edmonton Fringe
Steve Gallucio at Talonbooks
Shayne Gryn's website
Keir Cutler's website
iTunes Analog Hole Gaming (explicit)
iTunes This American Life

Episode 2, August 2, 2011 - Survival (Direct link to podcast, click here)
Discussion with Arden Ryshpan, executive director of Canadian Actors Equity Association, about the new political realities and lessons learned from the last time we had a Conservative government; survival strategies, education, culture policy.
Discussed links:
- Canadian Actors Equity
- Gaëtan L. Charlebois's editorial after the election of the majority Conservative government
- John Doyle's Globe and Mail article about the CBC and its transformation
- Frank Moher's Back of The Book
- Carolyn Fe's CD, Original Sin

Episode 1, July 26, 2011 - Beginnings (Direct link to podcast, click here)
Introduction. Discussion with Joel Fishbane on the national readings of Catherine Frid's Homegrown and Quebec's non-participation. Discussion with Estelle Rosen on CPC (CharPo-Canada).
Discussed links:

News: Stratford extends Superstar

Before the mega-hit Stratford production of Jesus Christ Superstar goes to La Jolla Playhouse (Stratford AD Des McAnuff's old haunt) it will pull the Canadian festival's season into November.

Read the press release.
See a video from the production.