STALKYARD

APRIL 6TH????  What???  Has it been so long?  I mean, I knew I had been absent, but April 6th???

Anyways, as I sat down tonight to unwind from a long day of hard work, glass of red wine in my hand, the IANA blog flittered across my mind.

It keeps getting shoved aside, pushed back, left in the dust, as I prioritize it completely out of my mind.

But I miss you blog.  I think about you often.  And I know you’ve probably been wondering where I’ve been, and who I’ve been hanging out with, but let me tell you, I’ve had good reason to be away.

That good reason was a new show called STALKYARD HURTS.  And that great reason is the only thing I want to talk about in this post.

Let’s start at the very beginning.  This season was planned before the first leaf fell off the first tree last fall, but come late October, plans suddenly changed when we found out we couldn’t in fact do one of the shows we had planned.  I was stumped.  We were a couple weeks away from announcing our season, and now there was a gaping hole in it.  What could fill this void?  Where would our Canadian Musical Theatre inspiration come from.

And then I flew to New Brunswick to visit with a few of my good friends who were running an improv company in Sackville.  I took a couple short bumpy plane trips, and arrived at the Sackville airport where I was picked up by two of those fabulous friends, Justin Collette and Karine Berube.  We weren’t in the car more than five minutes when the question was raised about what we would be doing for our 2012 season.  So I blew through our big drama, and how we had no idea what would be a good show to take that slot, etc, etc, when Justin simply replied ‘Well, why don’t we write one?’  Now, had that car been driven by anyone else, or had that question come from any other source I probably would have laughed it off as not even a possibility, or shrugged it away with a maybe, or a we’ll see, but coming from that man, my quick and easy response was ‘Okay’.

And so, the process of STALKYARD HURTS began.  We sat down at a pub in Moncton and started throwing around ideas.  It was a few ideas in when Justin pitched a live Rock band Mockumentary.  Sorry blog, but I fell immediately in love.  The more we talked about the idea the more my faith in it grew, and the more I was convinced it would be a fantastic concept.

As soon as we arrived at the house, I was given a quick tour, I blew up my bed, and we immediately enlisted the help of the amazingly talented and hilariously funny Danielle Leger.  Danielle and Justin began working on the music immediately and obsessively, and within days of my arriving in New Brunswick they had several pieces to show me, most of which remain in the show today.

While I was there we figured out the bare bones of the script, continued to write some music, and build on ideas we had for the show.  Also we watched a bunch of rock band documentaries.  Very informative and very entertaining if you get the chance.  By the time I left I was confident we were going to have a hit on our hands.

Months went by…the writing continued, the planning progressed, and the cast began working on the show.  At the end of April, we sent a young man, one Colin Jones, one of the BEST singers I have ever heard out to New Brunswick to begin working on the show with them.  I then didn’t see anyone until we started rehearsals in Stirling the first week of May.

The first day I walked into that theatre, and they played the bare bones of the first couple songs for me, I literally fell in love with this show.  The more I watched this group rehearse and the more I sat back and listened to these songs, the more I fell.

Then, the time came to share our work.  To present this incredible product that Danielle and Justin had created to the world.  We were doing a show at Revival bar in downtown Toronto.  The doors were opened, the house started to fill up, the opener went on, the audience was riled up, and when the time came, STALKYARD HURTS took the stage.  And they literally TOOK the stage.  That night was pure magic.  The audience was blown away.  I was blown away.  I think the band was blown away.  What happened in that bar that night was one of the most exhilarating things I have ever experienced.  This group of people set fire to the stage, and wowed a group of people to a point of pure excitement.

We trucked it back to Tweed.  We rehearsed for our final week, and we finished building the show.  The show opened.  The audience sat enthralled for the entire 2 hours and 45 minutes that is STALKYARD HURTS.  And at the end, they stood, they cheered, and STALKYARD HURTS was born.  The first band to have a reunion tour before they even began, the first band to release a greatest hits album as their first release, the first band to create from scratch, in a matter of six months, one of the most remarkable, moving and exciting shows I have ever witnessed.

Although STALKYARD HURTS has now closed at the Marble Church, I have the most faith that this show will live on, and on, and on.  I can promise you that you haven’t seen the last of STALKYARD HURTS.

This show needs to be shared with the world, so watch out, cause STALKYARD HURTS is coming for you…

Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for our promo video from the show, as well as our Flickr to see all the great production shots courtesy of the wonderful Kelly Brazeau.  Thank you to everyone who came out to check out this show, and for everyone else, we look forward to seeing you in the front row next time around.

So Blog, I’m sorry I’ve been cheating on you for the past couple months, but I promise I will do my best to be faithful from now on, although with how well GODSPELL is coming along, I can guarantee you I’m going to be cheating with her as well.  She’s hot.  Just wait.

See you at the show!

Tim

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Building Quality: IANA Steps Forward

It is one of our goals to constantly increase the quality and entertainment value of our productions.  This year, we will be taking many more huge steps forward in this respect.  But before I go into them, I want to take a quick look at where we started.

We founded this company to provide opportunities to Canadian creators, performers and audiences, and a big part of that was making sure we started by doing the best work that we could, and that we grew on that every year.  In our first season we asked the most talented people that we knew to come on that journey with us and we have never looked back.  We are lucky enough to count some of the best young creative minds in the country as part of our team, and we add more people to this list every year.  This list includes people like writer/videographer/actor Joel MacMeekin, who you can read all about in an earlier post, choreographers Emilee Nimetz, Stephan Dickson and Ashley Earl, and some of the best actors in the country.

We pride ourselves on finding the best people for the job, and giving them the opportunity to shine.  And then come all the other elements of a production.  We started out with 8 lights, no microphones, and essentially no stage.  We now have a fully functioning stage, twice the lighting instruments, and this season we will be purchasing a full set of microphones.  We will also be adding additional lighting effects, and enhancing our stage space yet again.

And of course, we can’t forget our sets and costumes.  We have built a large portion of our costumes since the beginning, but this season will see our biggest set and costume budgets to date, with additional time and materials being put into all of our costuming.  We are also very lucky this season to be joined on a regular basis by incredible set designer David Butler.  Dave worked on our set for ‘Tweed: The Musical’ last year, and we don’t plan on letting him get away any time soon.  His designs for ALECK BELL are going to blow the audience away.  I am so excited to take that huge step forward.

We believe in being the best that we can be, and constantly pushing our boundaries and making more of our work.  We are so excited about all of our productions this season, and we can’t wait to show you everything that we have in store.  2012 is going to mark another major season in our development, so come on out and check out some quality original Canadian Musical Theatre!

See you at the show!

YAY Canadian Musical Theatre!!!

I am very inspired, excited and happy right now.  Tonight, myself and general manager Emily Mewett went to see RIDE THE CYCLONE, and we absolutely loved it!  What an incredible show, incredible performances, and terrific staging.  Even with all the huge hype, and great press, the show totally lived up to its great reputation.  It is so exciting to see a great new show, and more than that to know that it is getting the respect and attention it deserves.  My only question is, WHY ISN’T IT RUNNING FOREVER?  Maybe there are forces behind the scenes, or things we don’t yet know about, but when a show this good comes along, that sold out its run, still has a huge demand for tickets, and is this good, why don’t we sit it down in a downtown theatre??  Eh Canada?  WHY!  I, for one, want to go again, my roommates and friends all want to go see it, and I’m sure countless strangers are dying for it as well, so why are we depriving them of the pleasure?  Get more people out to see live theatre in the city.  This show is good enough to go for a long time, and I am very sad to see it go.  And if it does come back, I recommend that everyone go and see it, and have a fantastic night!  Good luck RIDE THE CYCLONE, hope to see you again soon!!!