Feeling a little motivated today, so I wanted to write a quickie post, about the reason I’m feeling motivated. It’s a bit of an anniversary this week, or as I like to call it, a Sadiversary…it was a year ago now that my second home at the Ottawa Theatre School closed its doors forever, and left the Theatre scene in Ottawa the poorer for it. I treated myself to a nostalgic breakfast outing today at our unofficial OTS eatery the Newport, then swung by the old alma mater for a teary look back. I still miss it, and always will.
BUT, as doc Leary reminded us, nostalgia is the surest way to stifle growth, so I cling to my rallying cry of Onwards and Upwards. Because looking back is all well and good on occasion, but it’s the horizon where I’d like to fix my eyes for this post, and see what some of my fellow OTS gangsters are getting themselves up to these days. We’ve lost a few to different shores, of course…good old Drew Moore and Ridergirl Colleen Sutton have both answered the call of the bright lights of Toronto recently, and I hope they own that town within the year (Jonah Allingham has already been softening them up, doing some comedy work at the venerable Second City). And many, including my beloved classmates Kathryn and Dania, are continuing their theatrical education elsewhere…but I know they still think of us from time to time. 🙂
Caitlin Corbett, who with her company HERE BE DRAGONS put on such productions in the past as MORNINGSTAR and IMMOLATION is breaking new ground and putting together a new mini-festival to happen in April, featuring original works based around the common theme of mental illness. This amazing and exciting venture, called THE EDGE OF THE MAP, is currently seeking contributors, and I hope Caitlin and company won’t mind me republishing their open call here:
Call for Submissions!
Attention all local established and emerging theatre companies! Here Be Dragons Productions will be hosting a three day festival of plays this April (dates to be announced) entitled The Edge of the Map. This festival will be an exploration of the taboo subject of mental illness and mental health. This is a subject that will touch all of our lives at some point or another, whether we ourselves or someone we love suffer from anxiety or depression, OCD or bipolar disorder and many others.
Our hope is to spark conversations about mental health by portraying it as another common aspect of life and by humanizing those touched by mental illness by showing them as complete, fully-rounded people. They live, they work, they laugh, cry, love. They’re just like us. They are us. 1 in 5 Canadians will directly experience mental illness in their lifetime, and all Canadians will be affected through a family member, friend, partner or colleague.
What are we looking for?
We are looking for 6 pieces that are approx. 10-15 minutes in length. The pieces must focus on the topic of mental illness but otherwise we give you total freedom. They can be comedic or dramatic, can take the form of fables or rock operas or slam poetry or movement or anything in between. Submissions will be chosen based on creativity, entertainment value, emotional honesty and respect for the subject. Please be aware that our venue (Club SAW) has only basic lighting. Keep sets and technical needs as simple as you can.
What’s in it for you?
Here Be Dragons operates under a profit sharing module. All door sales will be spilt up amongst the participating companies with proceeds from the bar going to cover the costs of the event.
What should you send us?
A script roughly 10 pages in length. If your work is more movement based or otherwise unconventional and non-script friendly then send us a performance treatment or a one page description of what you plan to do or perhaps a video of past or present work or what ever else you deem appropriate. Please also send us the resumes of any and all artists you wish to involve in the project and a main contact.
Where should we send it? And when?
Please send all submissions or inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 2nd (Groundhog Day).
So join us in charting a course off The Edge of the Map!
Elsewhere, I know the brilliant Michelle LeBlanc can be seen this month in TWO at the Gladstone Theatre. In February, the legend Bobby Robert will be gracing the Ottawa Little Theatre stage in SABRINA FAIR, and Diego Arvelo will be hitting the Gladstone stage running in BANKRUPT. And come April our own Victoria Luloff will be rocking to some very packed houses as Janet in Vanity Project’s highly anticipated ROCKY HORROR SHOW.
This isn’t even touching on Fringe, where I know a gaggle of OTS alum will be turning up, including yours truly who will be debuting a new show with my Fresh Meat collaborators and OTS superstars Jodi Morden and Madeleine Hall (Madeleine and I also will both be appearing this March/April in Chamber Theatre’s THE HAIRY APE, I should gleefully mention). And of course, our teachers from the school are popping up everywhere as well…super excited for Andy Massingham’s turn in Daniel MacIvor’s BEST BROTHERS coming up at the GCTC!
This is almost certainly not a complete list…in fact, any gangsters reading this who have an upcoming project they’d like me to add to the list on this page, drop a comment to me somewhere and it shall be done (likewise if I got anything egregiously wrong so far). Mad love to all my schoolmates, and I hope you’re keeping your heads held high wherever you are. Very, very proud to be counted among you. Peace, love and soul,
Kevin Reid, OTS (and Winston, honorary mascot) email@example.com
PS when you’re done here, go and check out good guy Henry Lee’s new Blog, chronicling his life as a late-blooming theatre practitioner, something I can very much relate to. 🙂