In Calgary, I never really though about my network, and it included creative people of all kinds. My regular course of activities was developed naturally over time, and so it resembled an old meandering river. In Vancouver I started out alone, so I built a set of activities around my goals as an artist. In keeping with the river metaphor, this was a highly controlled river you might find between two large walls in a city.
Now many of the friends I made in art school are far-flung across the country or elsewhere, and my interactions with non-visual artists is a bit limited in Calgary as well. Somehow I have got out of the habit of seeing live performance. I am inspired by the performances I saw recently, and have resolved to make a better effort to get back in the habit. Interacting with different art forms and artists working outside your medium allow a greater understanding of what art can be, and that is always beneficial.
I saw Peter and the Wolves at the Ship and Anchor in Calgary. I hadn’t been in a while, and I hadn’t expected the music. My friends and I had drinks, a meal, and a good chat, and then we noticed the stage was being set. The band soon took the stage and excellently played a 50s-inspired rockabilly set with some Elvis covers. The 3-piece band included an upright bass, which is a great sound. I hope they keep at it, and I recommend seeing them play if you are in the area.
Peter Cormier – Vocals/Guitar
Theo Waite – Upright Bass
Angela White – Drums/Vocals
I went to the Cultch and saw All That Fall, a 1956 play written by Samuel Beckett. I’m glad say the play passed the Bechdel test. Beckett wrote the piece with the intention that it be heard as a radio play, and he refused any requests to allow stage performances. His estate recently began to allow stage productions, but with the restriction that it be presented as a radio play, and so that is what I saw.
The director, actors, and production team did an excellent job making use of visual cues while sticking to the restriction. The play follows an old Irish woman named Maddy Rooney, as she makes her way to the train station to meet her husband as a surprise for his birthday. When she finally gets there, the train is delayed, and her husband won’t tell her why.
I enjoyed use of different sound filtering and lighting for Maddy’s internal voice. It seemed that it was a challenge for the actors to not use their bodies to express the emotion and experience of the characters they played. The dialogue became quite dark at times, which was balanced nicely by the great energy of the actors. There were humorous moments, including mention of a sermon delivered on the subject of ‘how to be happy though married.’ I recommend seeing this play if you are in the area.
Leanna Brodie played Miss Fitt and Jerry
Chris Cutress – Sound Design
Duncan Fraser - Director
Jeff Harrison – Lighting Design
Adam Henderson played Mr. Barrell and Mr. Slocum
Gerard Plunkett played Mr. Tyler and Tommy
William Samples played Dan Rooney and Christy
Joanne P.B. Smith – Stage Manager
Lee Van Paassen played Maddy Rooney
Marti Wright – Set/Costume Design