Friday, May 30, 2008

The Grinder Store is now open

The Grinder Store is now open!

Click on the titleof this post and check it out on the website.

Just another way you can support your friendly neighbourhood theatre company.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tip Cards

There's a new document in the sidebar today marked "Tip Cards." This is a handy sheet of several small slips of paper you can use. The front of these cards contain the Grinder logo and information about how to find out about our shows and what's going on at the company. But on the back you'll find a chart that will tell you the appropriate amount to tip your server when you're out at a restaurant. No more trying to figure out what's expected, no more tricky math, it's all there for you. Don't want to print it off? Look for hard copies at the shows this summer. Just one more way to make your life a bit easier, courtesy of Grinder Productions.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Final Rehearsal Draft of Farmer's Daughters now online

We've almost finished our rehearsal process for Farmer's Daughters. In just over two weeks this wonderful little show will make its debut. We've made quite a few changes and additions over the course of rehearsals, and I thought that I would put the updated script online for your perusal, feedback and enjoyment. I'm still open to any thoughts and suggestions, and once the show is over I will sit down and write a final draft that will be for sale through the Grinder Store and other outlets.


What? You haven't heard of the Grinder Store? Tune in on Friday and find out all about it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pictures on Website

Just thought I'd let you know that the website now has an extensive photo gallery, containing all the images I can find from our past shows. If there's anyone out there who has pictures from shows that aren't represented, I'd love to get copies of them and post them in a future update. To find the photo gallery, just go to the "Past Shows" page and click on the link.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sneak Preview on the 2008 - 2009 Fall-Winter-Spring season at Grinder

Here's your exclusive sneak preview on the 2008 - 2009 Fall - Winter - Spring season at Grinder - there's going to be one!

If you want to know what shows we're doing, you'll have to come and see one of our shows this summer. The Fall line-up will be listed on the back.

...come on, you didn't think I was going to give it up that easily, were you?


Friday, May 23, 2008

Website Updates

I've updated and revised the website again. We now have a comprehensive links page, and the photo gallery has been completed. Click here to check it all out!


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Season Tickets Still on Sale!

Just in case you were wondering, I still haven't reached my bet with The Cat Whisperer. And you know what will happen if I don't make it. No more Grinder, at least not the way it is these days. We have made so much progress over the past few months, bringing this company back from the dead, I don't want to see it go all for naught. I will continue to work tirelessly to promote Grinder, and I am urging all of you to do the same. Your support and encouragement over the winter has been wonderful, and for it I am truly grateful, but you don't need to tell me how great Grinder Productions is, it's the people who don't know that you and I need to tell, in the coming days and weeks and months. We have seven great shows, priced well below anyone else this summer, and getting tickets has never been easier, so there's nothing standing in the way of our success except our own reluctance to toot our own horn.

So let's sound the charge!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Belle of Amherst

I've been talking quite a bit about Farmer's Daughters recently, the first show in our summer season. But I thought today I'd mention our second show at Ennotville which is now on the cusp of starting rehearsals, William Luce's The Belle of Amherst.

As some of you may already be aware, The Belle of Amherst is a biographical portrait of the great American poetess Emily Dickinson. Reclusive, eccentric, some would even say crazy, very few of her poems were published during her lifetime, and it was only after she died and the bulk of her poems were discovered that her true genius came to light.

The action of the play is set when Emily is 53 years old. We have only one photograph of Emily, and that is from age 17, so it is merely conjecture as to what she looked like at that time in her life. Indeed, by age 53 it had been many, many years since she had even ventured outside her father's house.

This play was first made famous by Julia Harris, who performed the role on Broadway and in London. As a one-woman show it demands not only a very fine actress, but an engagement with the audience, and I feel that the intimate, nostalgic atmosphere of the Ennotville Library will be perfect for bringing this play to life.

Reading the script, I found this to be a remarkably accessible play - it's not dowdy intellectualism, and Emily is a character with so many facets that it's impossible not to be intrigued, amused or inspired by her words. The playwright has incorporated as much of Dickinson's poetry as he can into the story, resulting in a blend of poetry and dialogue that is very engaging.

This production will break new ground in Ennotville, with a "cabaret-style" seating arrangement, with tea and treats to enjoy during the performance. It will be like Emily herself has invited you over, and you are sitting in her living room as she regales you with the story of her life.

The show opens July 3rd. Just click on the "Buy Tickets" link in the sidebar to get your seats now!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wanted: Hosts for the summer season

Would you like to see some theatre for free this summer, and help out Grinder Productions at the same time?

I am looking for people to act as "Hosts" for each of the performances in Ennotville and Belwood this season. The duties would be similar to that of a house manager or usher: taking tickets, handing out programs, seating patrons, selling refreshements at intermission and generally co-ordinating the smooth, safe, efficient operation of the show in conjunction with the stage manager.

With 60 performances scheduled, there's no shortage of opportunities. I'll try and fill things on a show-by-show basis, but I'm putting this call out first so that anyone who wants to get on board now has the chance.

Please email me at or cal 519-780-7593 if you are interested.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Grinder is now a member of Eyego to the Arts!

After several months of playing e-mail tag, it has finally happened. Grinder Productions is now a member of Eyego to the Arts, a very cool program to encourage secondary school students to experience the magic of live theatre. Please check out the Eyego website at for all the details, but here's it in a nutshell - if you are in high school and you come to any play put on by any theatre that supports Eyego and present a valid student card you will get your ticket for that show for just $5. It's that simple. And with Grinder Productions, Eyego tickets are even available online.

Live theatre, cheaper than a movie. Does it get any better to be a teenager these days?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The List

I have begun sharing the following list with all the new casts this summer. I've also put it in the newsletter. It's a list of all the people we can ask to come and see a Grinder Productions show. Some are funny, some are serious, all are potential sources of audience members that shouldn't be ignored. If you're in a show this summer, please help us by using your presence in that show to get people to come. You are the best promotional tool we have, and every ticket we sell brings Grinder Productions that much closer to becoming a strong, vibrant, self-sustaining theatre company.

Just in case you were stuck for people to ask to come and see our play... who on this list haven't you asked yet?

What can you say to them? How about this:

I'm in a play! It's amazing! It's called ______________(name of show), and it runs _________________ (dates) at the ____________ (name of theatre). Here, have a flyer!

Your family members?
Your extended family members?
Your step-family members?
Your half-family members?
Your estranged family members?
The people that live at your house and might as well be family members?
Your best friend?
Your worst enemy?
All your friends?
All your enemies?
Your church congregation?
Your students?
Your teachers?
Your professors?
Your doctor?
Your dentist?
Your hair dresser?
The pool boy?
The landscaper?
The contractor?
The house painter?
The person that fixes your car?
The person that reads your meter?
The person you sit next to on the bus?
The person who sets up your cable?
The person who fixes your computer?
The person who rang through your groceries?
The people in your car pool?
The people where you work?
Your boss?
Your boss's bosses?
The board of directors?
Your local member of parliment?
Your local municipal councilor?
The actors in that other play you're doing?
The people in your choir?
The people in your service club?
The people on your sports team?
The people who have kids on your kids team?
The coach of your kids team?
Your neighbours?
Your neighbours where you used to live?
The cute waitress at the bar?
The ugly waitress at the bar?
The policeman who pulled you over for the RIDE check?
The bagel guy?
The people in you professional association?
The people in your union?
The people on your sales list?
The people on your prospective sales list?
The people on your e-mail list?
Your Facebook Friends?
The convenience store clerk who sells you a lottery ticket?
The person who puts gas in your car?
The people you were in your last play with?
Anyone you've ever been in a play with?
People you know that are interested in going to plays?
Your priest or spiritual adviser?
Your roommate?
Your boyfriend/girlfriend?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Farmer's Daughters Photos

I thought today I'd post a few pics from Farmer's Daughters. If you're on Facebook we have the show listed as an event there, so you can see even more pics, but here are some of the best! Featuring Ashley Goldsmith as Lee, Zoe Dunbar as Kat and Joanne Hader as Tabitha.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Auditions Announcement

Audition Notice:

Elora Community Theatre will be holding auditions for the return of Dr. Norman Craig's 1933 play "You're Lucky if You're Killed".

Auditions will take place at St. Janmes Anglican Church in Fergus on Sunday June 22nd at 2PM and Tues June 24th at 7PM

The directors, Bronwyn Hill and Gary Bryant are looking for a number of young men ages 17 to 25, as well as several young women of similar ages. The ability to sing is an asset, but not essential.

This play was performed in Fergus at the Grand Theatre for three performances in the summer of 1933, and it was a milestone in Canadian theatre history as well as in the history of Fergus. The play will be presented in November ‘08.

For more information call Bronwyn Allen Hill at 519 846-9612

Friday, May 9, 2008

Single Tickets now on Sale - Get them Here!

I'm pleased to report that after much hand-wringing and fiddling around I've managed to get the entire season's shows listed for sale at our online box office. These are the single tickets - specific tickets for a specific performance, but we are also still selling the season passes.

The season passes, in case you haven't heard, are those handy pieces of paper that will get you into all seven shows for one low price. I would ask those of you who want to come to a number of shows this summer to seriously consider purchasing one for you and one for your significant other - you'll save some money, and I'll be one step closer to making my bet with the cat whisperer.

But if you are looking to come to a specific performance those tickets are now available too, either for individuals or groups (get 10 or more people together and take advantage of the $12 group rate tickets!).

Purchasing has never been easier. Simply click on the "Buy Tickets" icon in the sidebar here on the blog, or you can also access the box office through the website under the "Buy Tickets Now" link, or just click on the title of this post. That will take you to a list of all the shows and their performance dates this summer. Simply pick the performance you want to come to and click on the "Get Tickets" button. With the online box office all major credit cards are accepted, so it's very quick, simple and convenient. You print off your e-ticket and bring it to the box office on the night of the show (though if you forget we can cross-check your name with the attendees list online).

I'm so happy that Grinder Productions can now offer this to our patrons. I encourage everyone to take advantage of our new box office service, and most of all I encourage everyone to come out and see some great theatre this summer! If last night's rehearsal was any indication of what's to come, this could be our best summer of theatre ever.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

May Newsletter now available

Click on the title of this post to get the May newsletter if I missed you in the e-mail.


Taking a look in the mirror

As long as theatre artists maintain a disdain for normal human beings, theatre will remain an irrelevant, unsupported coterie art form that is unable to "hold the mirror up to nature," but instead will "hold the mirror up to the mirror" and thus reflect infinite emptiness.

-Scott Walters

I couldn't have said it better myself. Words of wisdom to live by for all who partake in this silliness known as theatre.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Farmer's Daughters want to hear your opinion

I'd like to try something today that I don't know if anyone has ever tried before.

As some of you surely already know, this summer we're kicking off the Ennotville Season with a world premiere, a new play written by yours truly, entitled Farmer's Daughters. It's a comedy about a mother and two teenaged girls, growing up on a modern-day family farm, through all the trials and tribulations of raising crops, livestock and families.

Well, I'm happy to report that the play is finally finished, and we have just started rehearsals this week. This is where I need your help.

I'm inviting each and every one of you to become my editors for this play. It's sitting on the sidebar, and you can download it as a PDF file. Please take a look at it, and tell me what you think of it. Did you like it? Did you hate it? What worked? What didn't? Not funny? Too funny? Post your responses here, on the blog, or e-mail them to me at I'll take any and all feedback I receive and give it serious consideration when I sit down to do rewrites, both during rehearsals, and in a final draft after the show has closed. You may choose to remain anonymous if you wish, but if you include your name with your comments then I will be sure to thank you in the program for show, regardless of whether or not I have incorporated any of your suggestions.



Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Foibles

Well I wasn't going to get a chance to post today, but here I am - a little late but on the web and ready to post!

I wasn't sure what I was going to write about, but I think that the topic of choice today will be family. The theatre family, that is.

For those of you who have been involved with Grinder over the past little while, you'll know that the company has undergone some monumental changes in the past 12 months. Some have been good (a few even wonderful) and some have been bad (a few even disastrous), but all have come about because the bonds that are formed when you do a play create a unit that mimic, in almost every way, the dynamics of a family unit. And as you know, there are strong, stable, thriving families, and there are dysfunctional families, and there are families that rest somewhere in between. So too with doing a play - some shows have been so special that I would happily do them all over again just to work with the same people. Others I wake up at night in a cold sweat over, even years after I have put them behind me.

I used to hope and pray after every bad show that it would be my last, and that I would learn from my mistakes and ensure that such a disaster would never happen again. And it is true, I have learned a few lessons over the years, and as a result I don't have disastrous shows for the same reasons quite as often as I used to. But I have learned that there will always disastrous experiences, even when you do everything possible to prepare for them, even under circumstances that you would never in a million years expect to be problematic. So the challenge, it seems, is not to avoid bad shows, but to learn to deal effectively with them when they arise, and create conditions under which a bad show does not lead to greater troubles for the survival of the company at large.

Friday's foibles. Who knew?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Grinder Awards

This will be in the newsletter as well, but I thought I'd post it here as well. Congratulations to all of this year's nominees!

It's that time of year again...Even though there weren’t as many shows (hence the reason we only have 3 nominees) there is still a lot of talent to honour this year. The following productions were considered for this seasons’ awards: Dirty Work at the Crossroads (DW), I Ought To Be In Pictures (IOTBIP), Talley’s Folly (TF), Soccer Moms (SM), The Melville Boys (MB), Noises Off (NO), Future Stars 2 (FS2), Frankenstein (FR), The Stage 4 Sampler (S4), Eleemosynary (Elee), and The Hollow (so it’s not totally a Grinder show, but there’s too much talent to ignore!)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

David Lamble – Matt Friedman – TF

Shane Monaghan – Owen Melville – MB

Eric Regimbald – Victor Frankenstein - FR

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Mike Sutherland – Henry Clerval – FR

Dean Dunbar – DeLacey – FR

Kenton Kruger – Lionel Mueller – FR

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Rachel Lehman - Nellie Lovelace - DW

Kimberley Young – Sally Talley - TF

Rachel Behling - Justine Moritz - Fr

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Georgie Landry - Ida Rhinegold - DW

Mary Alies - Widow Lovelace - DW

Alyssa Wright - Doris - The Hollow

Best Design (any discipline)

RD Branton - Sound - MB

Tracy and Ray Woodhouse - Set - MB

Sara Dunbar - Costumes - FR

Best Stage Manager

Alyssa Merrick - Noises Off

Julie Kennedy - Frankenstein

Judy Faires - The Hollow

Best ASM or Backstage Crew

Erin Ingham - Crew - Fr

Stacey Ingham - ASM - DW

Rachel Behling - ASM - The Hollow

Best Technician (any discipline)

Andy Robillard - Props - TF

Sara Dunbar - Costumes - Fr

Dani Danyluk - Make-up - Fr

Best Newcomer to Grinder and/or theatre (any discipline)

Jennifer Prine - Midge - The Hollow

Sonia Ingriselli - Nancy - SM

Jim Pritchard - Gudgeon - The Hollow

Best promoter, promotional event or promotional design

Sarah McGoldrick - The Hollow

Jim Pritchard – The Hollow

Best youth (18 and under)

Evan Supple - FS2 - Dance

Gavin Baumbach - William - FR

Brendan Linwood - Penny - The Hollow

Best Director

RD Branton – The Melville Boys

Georgie Landry – Frankenstein

Arlene Callaghan – Talley’s Folly

Best Ensemble

Dirty Work at the Crossroads

The Melville Boys

Talley's Folly

Executive Director's Outstanding Achievement and Service Awards

Stacey Ingham for a last second casting replacement – Dirty Work

Becky Branton and Lynne Morgan-Canning for maturity and patience – I Ought to be in Pictures

The cast and crew of The Melville Boys for demonstrating grace and professionalism under extreme duress

Danielle I. Szlawieniec-Haw for “near nudity” – Noises Off

Jason Macrobbie for a last second casting replacement – Noises Off

Lifetime Acheivement Award

???? (To be announced in June newsletter)

Grinder's Angels

???? (To be announced in June newsletter)