I’m not sure how it happened exactly, but somehow all the stars have aligned and I am making a re-entrance into the theatre community after a long absence. This time as a reviewer for (Cult)ure Magazine. You can check out some of my reviews of the Fringe Festival there under the theatre tab. Writing for (Cult)ure has been a pretty sweet gig and I’m fortunate to be working with my friend Kevin who is a fantastic editor. I’ve really enjoyed attending the Fringe and writing about theatre on behalf of (Cult)ure and I look forward to doing more articles/reviews for this excellent publication
You might be interested to know that way back before I even started this blog I wrote a comment at the Ottawa Arts Newsletter about theatre criticism/review (Link).
As you will see from my reviews, I’ve since come around to both Jessica and Sterling’s approach to criticism. Thank you both for informing my thinking on this issue. I am now one of the enlightened 🙂
I am also taking the less conventional approach of inserting myself directing into my reviews and writing about the chance encounters and conversations that make theatre special. If anyone has any comments on the approach I’ve taken or other review feedback I would be interested to hear it. Enjoy the Fringe while it lasts! Go out and see some shows!
Life is a sweet fruit.
Well my summer as a man of leisure so far has been nothing less than fantastic. I’ve fully taken advantage of the various festivals that have been going on in this city including Magnetic North and Westfest. Ottawa Fringe is almost here as well, and I plan to attend at least four performances.
I haven’t done as much writing as I originally planned. Hanging out on coffee shop/beer patios and walks beside the river have taken up most of my afternoons. I’m fine with this of course. It’s great to finally have some gorgeous weather to enjoy. Summer is way too short in this town and I’m thrilled that I’m not stuck in a cubicle or office for this one.
I’m doing a ton of reading, in fact, I have three books on the go at the moment.
The Director’s Craft a handbook for the theatre by Katie Mitchell: This is an excellent resource for directors and aspiring directors. Books on directing that are practical and outline a clear process are rare. This is somewhat bizarre when contrasted with the sheer amount of literature available to assist actors with their craft. This handbook is a very good one and I recommend it.
Valis by Phillip K. Dick: I haven’t read this in years so I am enjoying the re-read. A little gnosticism goes a long way. 🙂
The Devil’s Picnic by Taras Grescoe: This is fun piece of non-fiction. A little foray into all the forbidden foods of the world and an investigation of societal prohibitions.
How about you? What are you reading this summer?
There is something about the creative process that always feels like a slightly dysfunctional relationship. We put our faith in it out of love and our time into out of duty, yet many times all this effort leads only to heartbreak, pain, and sorrow. This can sometimes be nothing less than sheer anguish until we once again gather our resources to try again.
I’ve been there. I’m pretty sure many of you have as well. Whether it involved hours spent rehearsing in band that never made it out of the garage,
months spent on a novel that only your significant other has read, or… well you get the picture. Imagine how much more painful it must be to be on the verge of a success only to have the carpet pulled out from under you.
Josh Friedman, a fellow blogger, and one of the creators of the TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a screen writer who has recently had his show cancelled. Josh has written about this recently on his blog and his candor (read pain) is nothing less than compelling. Bridges are burnt here and the overall tone, despite attempts at comedy, comes out as raw and ragged.
It’s a bit of a train wreck, but anyone who has engaged in the creative process will undoubtedly be familiar with the pain/self pity if not the financial success. It’s a good read. Here’s the link to Josh’s blog:
As I am about to launch myself back into several creative endeavors (playing an open stage, directing, acting?) after a seven year break, I actually find this post reassuring. It’s easy to get caught up in the pain (as Josh is here), but it’s important to remember (for me anyway) that the reason it is so painful when creative projects fail is because of, well… Love.
(Gathering my resources and preparing to try again)
Recently a fellow blogger, The Snarky Optimist, posted a fun link to a neat little browser game called Auditorium. As you know, I love games so I thought I would take the opportunity to share this one with you. I hope you will enjoy it as well.
This game is essentially a puzzle game that combines the use of colours, music, shapes, and patterns. The goal is to create a little melody by manipulating a stream over various square “targets”. You do this by using various circles that direct the stream (up, down, right, left etc.) By clicking and dragging on the edge of the circles you can expand or contract them to further control the stream. Later on, the game gets more complicated and colour is introduced as another variable.
For me the game gets more interesting when the colours are introduced. Unfortunately, it takes quite a few levels to get to this point. This might just be the result of a personality quirk of mine, since I have a tendency to want to skip through the early “learning” stages in most games I play.
Overall, I am really enjoying the game and have been playing the demo quite a bit recently. Let me know what you think.
Here’s a link to a demo of the game: Link