Friday, December 30, 2011

Outlook for 2012: Still Stage Crazy!

This weekend marks the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012.

This year, there were auditions and performances for the Diary of Anne Frank at the Palace Theatre and Chicago at McManus Studio. Rehearsals have begun for Treasure Island going up at the Palace Theatre in February and Jenny's House of Joy going up at McManus Studio in February as well. There has also been talk about Arsenic and Old Lace going up at the Palace and I am anxious to find out when the auditions are going to be.This year also was a quiet one for Maybles' Theatre Productions. Since producing Norm Foster's "the LOVE LIST" in 2010, there has not been another production. In 2012, we WILL have another production and you are NOT going to want to miss it!

"Miss. Twiddle and the Devil" and "Miss. Twiddle Meets an Angel" are two one-act plays written by Maurice Hill. They are light-hearted and pure fun. Before I get into some of the MANY pre-conceived notions and ideas surrounding these titles, let me explain why I chose this script for our next production:

In 2001, when I was in grade 8, I was asked to step-in as Assistant Stage Manager for a high school production of Miss. Twiddle and the Devil. We performed this production at the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts in Brantford, Ontario for the SHAW festival. We won Best Actor and were nominated for Best Actress. We had an actor break his wrist during the dress rehearsal and he had to perform with his arm in a cast. The director, Rae Brown, was a teacher at the high school where it was performed and he showed me what a comfortable rehearsal space could and should be. All of the actors became close and confident in each other. Everyone built trust and the relationships that were made during those rehearsals lasted years.

Earlier THIS year, I started reading scripts online and at the library to try and find that perfect combination of characters and story to bring to life in 2012. I've always loved the script for "Miss. Twiddle and the Devil" but I was set on doing a full-length production as I did not want to put so much work and time into a half-an-hour show. Then, magic happend! I had a close friend of mine read the Twiddle script to have her opinion and, while she was researching the production, she found a second one-act play written by the same playwright and with the same characters which takes place immediately after this one! I ordered a copy of "Miss Twiddle Meets an Angel" right away and fell in love with it the very first time I read it. It was decided. These were the plays I was going to bring to life.

This was a play people could get excited about but I knew I wouldn't be able to pull this off alone. After producing one play before, I knew that I would need to find a small group of people I could depend on, confide in and trust to back me up and help to breathe life into these scripts. I am proud to announce that Amber McMitchell, Heather Heywood, Lisa DesGroseillers, Jenny Stapleton, Mike Ge and Trish West have all come on board to help with props, costumes, make-up, advertising, lights, sound and the production as a whole.

A very special "Thank-You" to each of you.

Now, let's talk about the "Devil" and "Angel" words in the titles. In a time when people strive to be accepting of all religions and beliefs, I think some people can forget to just 'chill'. These plays are not meant to convert anyone into believing in guardian angels or the devil. These plays are not meant to be taken as any form of preaching. These plays are strictly fun, light-hearted and are meant to entertain. Yes, there is strange chanting in the play. Yes, there is a battle (of sorts) between good and evil. Yes, there are horned figured dancing around in smoke - BUT - I cannot stress enough that these are tools of comedy and are meant to be laughed at. Nothing more.

For this production, I hope to have on board a cast of 11 actors who want to have fun, learn, grow and work hard to being the best they can be. I hope that my production team remains strong through my emotional ups and downs and times when life gets tough on all of us. I hope to build strong relationships between the actors as well as the characters they portray on stage. I hope that the audience leaves at the end of each night feeling light, entertained and satisfied. Above all, I hope that the actors finish the production feeling like they have learned something new, built new friendships and are more confident in themselves both on stage and in their lives.

Stay Strong. Stay Stage Crazy!

A Very Happy New Year to you all!