28 November 2011

Dramaturgy in Sackville

CCTC director Kim McCaw travelled to Sackville, New Brunswick last month
to serve as dramatrug for a Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre (PARC) script development workshop of John Spurway's Help Desk.

The CCTC and PARC have dynamic history of collaboration. The above photo is actually from the 2010 PARC Playwright's Colony - the rugged ambiance is due to the event's setting in Hessler Hall, a rehearsal space/prop storage room on the Mount Allison campus. Kim is sitting with Saskatoon-based playwright  Jennifer Wynne Webber, who was in Sackville as part of an exchange between PARC and the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre.

CCTC Director Kim McCaw has been a guest dramaturg at the PARC Colony for the past four years. Two of the plays he's worked on there, The Woodcutter, and The Cave Painter, both by Don Hannah, have been produced by CCTC as part of our annual Working Title Festival. The Cave Painter featured PARC Artistic Director Jenny Munday.

23 November 2011

TYA Playwrights Circle 2012

The CCTC and Kompany Family Theatre are presenting a playwright's circle in the new year, open to those interested in writing theatre for young audiences:

2012 New Works for Young Audiences Playwright’s Circle 

Appropriate playwrights:
This circle is for playwrights (emerging or established) who are interested in developing work suitable for young audiences and/or families. The play can be at any stage of development – a full draft, a few scenes or even just an idea. A small group of no more than six playwrights will be selected to participate in this workshop based upon the suitability of their proposed work, their goals around developing their work and their desire to share the development process with others.

Playwright Circle elements:
Over the course of the full circle playwrights can expect to develop their plays under the guidance of established playwright, educator, director and dramaturg, Kim McCaw, as well as through feedback from other participants, readings by professional actors and reaction and feedback from your intended audience.

Acceptance & participation in the Playwright’s Workshop will include:
  • Six ‘playwright’s circle style’ sessions lead by Kim McCaw (Canadian Centre for Theatre Creation) on Wednesdays from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. from January 18 to February 22, 2011 (Edmonton). 
  • Workshop readings of your play (or scenes) in development by professional actors for a school and/or family audience. You will be given an honorarium for the use of your piece in this part of the process. 
  • Consideration for future development and/or production by Kompany Family Theatre. 

Application Process:
Interested playwrights are invited to respond to the Artistic Director of Kompany Family Theatre (kompany AT telus.net) by January 4th 2012 with a short description of your play/idea, what you would like to accomplish over the course of the workshop as well as relevant background information about yourself. Chosen participants will be required to pay a fee of $150.00 for the workshop process and will be eligible for an honorarium for the use of their work with a school and/or family audience.

16 November 2011

Daniel MacIvor is What Happens Next

Our Lunchbox Chat with Daniel MacIvor is tomorrow at 1pm! The location has changed slightly - it is still taking place in the Timms Centre for the Arts, but instead of the lobby, we'll be in the main theatre. Bring your lunch, bring your friends, and get ready for some great conversation. Remember, if you can't make it, you can use #LunchboxChat on Twitter to follow along.

Necessary Angel's production of MacIvor's new play, This is What Happens Next, opens this week at the Citadel Theatre. The trailer is below. If you're in Edmonton, be sure to catch the show while it's in town!

7 November 2011

Tweet Your Lunchbox Chat Questions

As you know, Daniel MacIvor, who's in town performing his latest solo show This is What Happens Next at the Citadel from November 12 to December 4, is our next Lunchbox Chat guest of the season. We look forward to sitting down with one of Canada's greatest theatre makers for an intimate conversation about his craft on Thursday, November 17 from 1:00 - 2:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event!

But we haven't forgotten about the MacIvor fans in the CCTC community who can't make the chat, be they non-Edmontonians or local folks who have to work. Those of you who won't be able to attend can participate virtually by following the hashtag #LunchboxChat on Twitter. We also welcome you to tweet your questions to @theCCTC, tagged with #LunchboxChat. We will pass a few of them along to Daniel and relay the responses to the Twittersphere.

Lunchbox Chat with Daniel MacIvor
November 17, 1pm-2pm (Mountain Time)
Timms Centre for the Arts

Don't forget to follow the CCTC on Twitter and "Like" us on Facebook!

2 November 2011

Nov 17: Lunchbox Chat with Daniel MacIvor

The CCTC is excited to welcome Daniel MacIvor, one of the most celebrated theatre artists in Canada, as our next Lunchbox Chat guest of the season. MacIvor will be in town performing his latest solo show This is What Happens Next at the Citadel Theatre from November 12 to December 4.

A Cape Breton native, Daniel MacIvor is an actor, playwright, and director, whose work has been produced all over the world. Between 1986 and 2006, MacIvor’s company da da kamera premiered many of his works, including Monster, Here Lies Henry, The Lorca Play, The Soldier Dreams, Insomnia, In On It, and A Beautiful View. He also created the feature films Past Perfect, Wilby Wonderful, and Whole New Thing. MacIvor's new show This is What Happens Next, a "scary comic fairy tale", opens next week at the Citadel Theatre.

MacIvor has won a Governor General’s Award, two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, and the Siminovich Prize - the largest award in Canadian theatre.

CCTC director Kim McCaw will lead a public interview with MacIvor, after which audience members are encouraged to ask their own questions. Bring your lunch, bring your friends, and enjoy a great conversation about theatre!

Thursday, November 17th
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Timms Centre lobby

This event is free of charge and open to all.

26 October 2011

A Morning with PGC President Elyne Quan

The CCTC is excited to help welcome celebrated Canadian theatre maker Elyne Quan back to Edmonton, her hometown. Elyne, president of Playwrights Guild Canada, is in the area for the upcoming Playworks Ink conference, and our friends at Theatre Alberta have organized a session where theatre enthusiasts can gather to hear Elyne read some of her work and then ask questions. The event is free and open to the general public.

A Morning with PGC President Elyne Quan
Thursday, October 27th
Board Room, Timms Centre for the Arts
87th Ave & 112th St, Edmonton
A bit more about Elyne from Playwrights Guild of Canada:
Elyne is a writer, actor, director and dramaturg. Originally from Edmonton, she now resides in Toronto.  She holds a MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University and a BA Honors degree in Drama from the University of Alberta. Writing credits include the Sterling Award winning Lig & Bittle (with Jared Matsunaga-Turnbull), Stray, Look Both Ways, Souvenirs of Home, Trust, What (Part III of Rice, Concrete Theatre), One Block Radius and a radio play, Direct Dial (CBC Radio). She was a KCACTF Region II New Play Winner and David Mark Cohen award - runner-up for Souvenirs of Home. Her latest play, Retrospective, was commissioned by the Canadian Centre for Theatre Creation (CCTC) in Edmonton and received workshop assistance from the Playwrights Theatre Centre in Vancouver. She is currently working on three new full-length plays, a TYA play, a TV series, and a graphic novel.
In addition to being a proud member of PGC, Elyne is also an alumna of the Prime Time TV program at the Canadian Film Centre and a member of CAEA.

21 October 2011

Ronnie Burkett: from Fringe Freak to Marionette Master

By Nikki Shaffeeullah
On Thursday, October 6, the CCTC sat down with Ronnie Burkett for what proved to be a dynamic and engaging Lunchbox Chat. Kim McCaw publicly interviewed the internationally renowned puppeteer and theatre maker, with attendees from the University of Alberta Drama Department and the Edmonton community gathering both to listen to and ask their own questions of the Alberta-born creator.
The conversation spanned a range of topics, including the role of puppetry in the theatre, the role of marionettes in the puppet theatre, arts funding in Canada, life as an independent artist, and of course, Burkett’s unique brand of theatre creation.
This year is the 25th anniversary of Burkett’s Theatre of Marionettes, which debuted right here in Edmonton at the 1986 Fringe Festival with his first full-length show, Fool’s Gold. Of these early days, Burkett reflected: “When I was a kid, self-created work wasn’t something theatre knew.” He remarked fondly that the Fringe served as a space where “all the freaks” could do their shows.
As the “freaks” that practice performer-driven creation are slowly but surely becoming a norm on the Canadian stage, their process has become a focal point of many contemporary theatrical discussions. With a veteran creator working in an unusual form as the featured guest, this Lunchbox Chat was no exception. On his writing process, Burkett disclosed that he begins the creation of each piece by shaping three key elements: “A title, an opening image, and a closing image.” As other elements are negotiated, these three pieces remain the pillars of his process. 
Burkett also revealed his approaches to some of the unique creation challenges that present themselves to a puppeteer. For example, when building marionettes, he is not merely constructing props but rather he is creating the actors he will later direct and the characters he will eventually play. He noted that when building a puppet, he tries to identify the character’s voice in his own. If he cannot, he will go back to the construction stage, rework the Plasticine, and search again for the sound until at last the puppet’s body and voice harmonize. 
It is this very experience of bringing the puppet creations to life, giving them character, that kept Burkett working in this niche. He described how a brief stint in acting school led him to realize that as an actor, he would be destined to play only male characters within a few years of his own age. As a puppeteer, however, he could play any age, gender, or even species that he wanted: “Why would I want to be just an actor? That’s so limiting!”
Burkett was in town for the world premiere of his new show, Penny Plain, which closed last weekend after a successful run at the Citadel Theatre. It plays next in Calgary.

3 October 2011

October 6: Lunchbox Chat with Ronnie Burkett

The first CCTC Lunchbox Chat session is almost here! Internationally renowned theatre maker and master puppeteer Ronnie Burkett is in town for the Citadel's world premiere of his new show Penny Plain, and Edmonton is abuzz with his visit. Ronnie will take a break from performing his new apocalyptic gothic comedy to do a public interview with CCTC director Kim McCaw at noon on October 6.  Don't forget to also add the highly anticipated November 17 Lunchbox Chat to your schedule, when we'll sit down with famed playwright/actor/director Daniel MacIvor.

For more information about Ronnie Burkett, check out his bio in the Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia and his agency page.

30 September 2011

The CCTC takes on the blogosphere!

Welcome! The Canadian Centre for Theatre Creation is very excited to jump into the blogosphere. We will use this space to share news and foster dialogue on the themes of theatre creation, play development, and the Canadian theatre ecology.

Thanks for stopping by, and check back soon!