Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Feature: Laura Moore on The Matchmaker of Montréal

Finding the Find
by Laura Moore

Laura Moore, Associate Producer of The Matchmaker of Montréal, is a Vancouver based Stage Manager and Freelance Writer who has worked with numerous theatre companies within the Lower Mainland, and has had the privilege of touring with several Vancouver productions across Canada and internationally. When not working in theatre, Ms Moore works for NBC Olympics in their Engineering department, making sure that Team Canada has a cheering section no matter where in the world the Games are held.

I fell in love with theatre at a very young age, and when it came time to decide on a profession, I knew exactly where to look. While my younger days were mostly spent onstage, I discovered stage management during my time as a student at Simon Fraser University, and after graduation I began working in Vancouver’s theatre community as a stage manager. I quickly learned that this job description required a general knowledge of every aspect of theatre, and therefore over the past several years I have worked in many departments, including lights, sound, sets, costumes, projections and special effects. However, there was one job title I had never tried: Producer.

It quickly became apparent that producing is not just opening night parties and cocktail meet and greets

Last January I was in Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival when I received an email asking if I would be interested in helping to produce a brand new Canadian play that was being presented at the Firehall Arts Centre in May. At the time, I was meeting dozens of film producers every day, and I was so inspired by their creativity and determination to bring an audience to their films, that I jumped at the chance to try producing myself. Upon my return to Vancouver, I met with playwright Shaul Ezer and producer Art Kitching, and signed on to produce The Matchmaker of Montréal, the first in a trilogy of comedies written by Ezer.

It quickly became apparent that producing is not just opening night parties and cocktail meet and greets, but rather an enormous task with hundreds of little details to track and carry out. We held our first production meeting in February, and soon we were off and running, assembling an amazing team of designers and casting an incredible group of actors. Rehearsals began at the end of April, and it was wonderful to watch everyone come together to forge a brand new piece of theatre. Actors David Adams, Lisa Bunting, Robert Moloney, Kirsten Robek, and Juno Ruddell have brought such life to the words on the page, and their characterizations brought us all to laughter from Day 1.

Opening Night is set for Thursday, May 23rd, and we are all counting the days.

Today we are down to our final preparations, as we have moved into the theatre and are eagerly working towards Opening Night. Designers Itai Erdal, Christopher David Gauthier, and Steve Charles have worked hard to create the world of this play, all under the guidance of our Director, Sarah Phillips, and I know that I for one can’t wait to share this project with an audience. Opening Night is set for Thursday, May 23rd, and we are all counting the days.

As I look back at the past couple of months, I still marvel at what we have been able to accomplish in such a short period of time. Producing a play is an extraordinary job, as you get to be a part of the production from start to finish, with every little detail eventually making its way across your desk. There were times when my to do list was four pages long, and my inbox would accumulate over 30 emails in an hour, but with each passing day the show would come into sharper focus, and the list of items that were completed eventually overtook the list of items still left to do. The stream of emails hasn’t slowed down, but I suspect that won’t occur until about a week after the show closes on June 2nd.

Until then, I will keep making my way through my inbox, knowing that Opening Night is just around the corner, when I can watch the fruits of our labour and know that I had a part in creating the World Premiere of a brand new Canadian play. I may not have been entirely sure of what I was getting myself into when I came onboard this project, but I know that on Opening Night, all the planning, preparations, conference calls, meetings, and emails will have been worth it. On that night, I plan on turning off my phone, and sitting back and laughing at the antics of the actors onstage. On that night, emails can wait.

The Matchmaker of Montréal is the World Premiere of an original Canadian play. It runs May 23 to June 2, 2013, at the Firehall Arts Centre. 

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