Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Congrats to ECT

Just a quick note of congratulations to Elora Community Theatre on the acceptance of Anne of Green Gables into the Western Ontario Drama League regional festival. Under Deb Stanson's capable direction they are going on to compete for the right to represent our area at Theatre Ontario. It's been a while since ECT had a show that made it to festival, and from my own fond memories of festivals past I know it's going to be a great experience for everyone involved. Best of luck from all your friends at Grinder Productions.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Midsummer Night's Dream

For Immediate Release

Shakespeare Brings Summer Early to Elora

Grinder Productions is pleased to present William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Elora Centre for the Arts for a one-weekend run March 12th – 14th, in an uplifting production, staged in much the same way as it would have been originally performed.

The story itself is well-known to many; two pairs of young, misguided lovers, a rousing gang of hopelessly comical players, and a forest filled with bickering but ultimately helpful fairies all come together in a sweet, enchanting evening’s entertainment.

While this particular play has earned many devoted fans in its 400+ year history it’s also a perfect introduction to Shakespeare’s work for those who have never seen his works performed before. Far from the often-dreary readings in high school English, Shakespeare’s plays truly come alive on the stage.

The play is directed by Grinder’s Creative and Executive Director Eric Goudie, and features many of the company’s newest members, including some who have never appeared onstage before.

“I’ve wanted to do this show for a long, long time,” says Goudie. “You can’t get any better material to work with than this, and I’m confident ‘The Dream’ won’t be the last Shakespearean project we undertake.”

Tickets for this show are available from any cast member, or by calling 519-780-7593. The show opens March 12th and runs March 13th and 14th at 8pm, with an additional 2pm matinee on March 14th. For more information on this or any other Grinder show please visit www.grinderproductions.org.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Week that Wouldn't be

Yikes it's been a long time since I last blogged!

Sorry for the long silence, my friends. It's been absolutely insane at Grinder lately, and while I hope to be back on track with regular daily posts for next week this is all that I'm going to be able to write this week. However, I do believe that taking time for yourself is an important thing, and that's a lot of what this blog is for me, a chance to think out loud about what we're doing, how we're doing and where it all goes from here.

We've got several irons in the fire at the moment. A Midsummer Night's Dream is well into rehearsals, and it looks like we're going to have a great show. It has been very refreshing for me to work with so many new members of our company, and the future looks very bright indeed, as anyone who can pick up Shakespeare and run with it, comprehend it, and make it their own is a pretty capable actor, at least in my books.

We're also in preparation for the Winter 1-Acts, going up at the Fergus Grand Theatre March 19th - 21st. Now I'm still looking for a couple of willing bodies to help us out with these little shows, so please, anyone who's interested please get in touch with me - these are little gems of shows, they kind of stuff you don't get to do everyday.

And the Hopeless Romantics are finally getting underway as well, for their debut on March 27th and 28th at the Ennotville Library. I hope you will be able to join us for these shows and give us your feedback on them as we launch our newest division.

Perhaps the biggest thing, and what I'm most proud of, is that we have been able to sustain our operations through the winter months. As many of you know, last year we were basically on hiatus from November to June. This year we've managed to overcome the lack of rehearsal space, the lousy weather and even the economic downturn and kept the doors open through the darkest time of the year for theatre. While we didn't enjoy blockbuster success at the box office, just being able to say we got two shows to the stage in the month of January, and three shows into rehearsals in the month of February represents a giant leap forward for this company.

And it's all thanks to all of you, your hard work and dedication making possible things that I couldn't possibly make happen on my own.

But all your work will be for naught if I don't get backt to my work, so I had better do so, and as such I will talk to you again on Monday!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

I've picked up the lighting design for this show from Touchmark Theatre, Guelph's resident professional theatre company. R and G is the story of two minor characters in Shakespeare's Hamlet, and their inability to comprehend the "real" world that is around them. Written by British playwright Tom Stoppard it is a show that has a lot of the elements of Theatre of the Absurd, with echoes of Beckett's Waiting for Godot visible throughout.

I've seen Touchmark's shows before: this is top-notch theatre that you don't have to travel miles to see. The show runs February 19th - 22nd in the Co-operators hall at the River Run Centre. Click here for the link to the Touchmark website.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Anne at the Grand

Just dropping everyone a quick note to let them know about the non-musical version of Anne of Green Gables, going up over the next two weekends at the Fergus Grand Theatre. This is an Elora Community Theatre Production, and tickets are available through Ralph Basset Associates at 519-843-4852. There are a lot of Grinder members in this show, so come on out and support your local theatre!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Reaching Out

I've been talking a lot lately, in the newsletter, on the blog and to my friends and family, about reaching out. I'm trying to re-connect with a lot of the people and places in my life that I had forgotten, missed, or rejected in the hubbub of life as a small-time theatre producer.

I don't know what is propelling me to do this. Maybe I'm getting older, and placing greater value on relationships. Maybe I've figured out that it's better for business to have lots of friends than it is to have any enemies. Maybe I'm just sick of being periodically bitter and depressed, and shutting those sources of bitterness and depression out of my life hasn't seemed to effectively remove their ilk.

Whatever the reason, I am reaching out. I'm starting very tentatively, but I'm making myself open to at least the idea of letting some people back into my life that I wouldn't have otherwise had the time of day for.

I believe that everyone can change, and that in fact they do change: change is inevitable, and the only thing that doesn't change is everything changes. People can change for the better or for the worse, but regardless they are not the same people now as they were one, five or twenty-five years ago. Thus we have second chances.

I've held my grudges long enough. I'm reaching out. I don't know if it will work, but somehow I feel better just in making the attempt. I'll see how it goes. Perhaps there's someone in your life who could use some reaching out too - maybe it's something we all should take some time to consider.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Summer's Coming

Just thought I'd let you know as we all struggle through a bitter cold snap that yes, summer is coming.

I've begun work already on our summer season, finalizing plays and securing directors. While I'm not ready to announce the season just yet I thought I'd give you all a couple of tantalizing hints about what's in store:

1. Shows at the Ennotville Library and the Belwood Hall (but you knew that already!)
2. More roles for women. Many more.
3. Some returning directors, some new directors.
4. One show that will make over the Ennotville library in a way you've never seen...

There will be much more on the summer season in the weeks and months ahead. For now, stay warm, stay dry and keep thinking of the sunny days ahead!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Winter Blahs Wrap-up

It was a dark and stormy night. There was way too much snow falling all day. It was way, way too cold outside.

Inside the Grand, though, something magical was happening. The first ever Beat the Winter Blahs Comedy and Variety Cavalcade went off without a hitch this past Saturday.

Now it's true, I would have liked to see a few more people out, but the response from the audience that was there was as much as I would expect from an audience three times that size. That just goes to show you how great these talents were that we had onstage.

Whether it was Peter Schofield's Elvis, or Herbert Chamberlain's dead-pan puns, or tiny Alice Kennedy's dainty Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies, this was an incredible night of Grinder talent, with many of the performers onstage with us for the very first time.

I was pleasantly surprised at the calibre of talent that we had onstage last Saturday night. It's only confirmed what I have been believing all along: the best days for Grinder are those that are still ahead. With talent like that, combined with the talent we already have inherent in the company, it looks like 2009 is going to bring our most exciting performances ever.