MOVIES AT THE MAC!

elvis-viva-las-vegas-deluxe-edition-dvd-1964-140832301IANA THEATRE COMPANY and the TWEED AND AREA ARTS COUNCIL are thrilled to present:

MOVIES AT THE MAC!

Officially partnering for the first time ever, IANA and the T&AAC are thrilled to be presenting NEW RELEASE FEATURE FILMS at the MARBLE ARTS CENTRE in Actinolite for the next twelve months, on the big screen with big sound!  Starting this August, we will present some of your favourite films, movie marathons, brand new films just out of theatres and more!

MOVIES AT THE MAC is a brand new venture and we could not be more excited about it!  No more driving to Belleville for dinner and a movie, or heading as far as Ottawa or Toronto to see films not shown at major theatres.  We will be programming features throughout the year, and want to hear from the community of Tweed and the whole county to get your input as well!

The program will begin at the end of the month with the classic Elvis feature ‘VIVA LAS VEGAS’ to coincide with the culmination of this year’s ELVIS FESTIVAL.  It will show Sunday, August 25th at 7 PM at the Marble Arts Centre.  Tickets will be $5.00 for adults, and $2.50 for youth (under 18) or anyone with a pass to the Elvis Festival.

MOVIES AT THE MAC will continue in September with a MOVIE MUSICAL MARATHON & CANADIAN CULTURE EXTRAVAGANZA as part of Culture days 2013!  Come and see the best movie musicals ever made, as curated by the staff and ensemble of IANA Theatre Company, as well as some of the decades best Canadian Feature films that you may have missed in theatres.  This event will be the OFFICIAL OPENING of MOVIES AT THE MAC and will be an all-day event on Sunday, September 29th.  In honour of culture day’s mission to have everyone EXPLORE, DISCOVER and PARTICIPATE in arts and culture in every community across the country, admission to this event will be by donation only.

Come and witness some of the best films the world has to offer, right here in your home town, in the beautiful atmosphere of the Marble Arts Centre (with a little extra flair) on the BIG SCREEN!  Popcorn and Pop will also be available at our concession during the events.

The proceeds for the entire MOVIES AT THE MAC program over the next twelve months will be divided evenly between IANA and the T & AAC, allowing both organizations to continue to grow and develop the important work they do throughout the community.  Come on out and see some great films, and support two fantastic local organizations at the same time!

We would also like to graciously thank our first sponsors of MOVIES AT THE MAC, BUSH FURNITURE, POPLARS GOLF CLUB, TWEED IDA & THE GREAT STOCO AND MOIRA FOOD COMPANY.

Thank you for your continued support, and we can’t wait to see you at the next MOVIE AT THE MAC!

Big Movies, Big Screen, Small town!

WHAT DID THE AUDIENCE THINK?

Although this post isn’t even really a blog, I thought what better way to share some of the great reviews that we got from both the audience and the critics than through our great blog!!!  GODSPELL was our most attended show to date, our biggest tourist audience thus far, and was a creative and artistic success beyond our imagination!  So, without any further ado, here’s what the audience had to say about our recent production of GODSPELL!!!

“As good as anything I’ve seen in Toronto and on Broadway”.

-Bill (Tweed, ON)

“Outstanding”

-Richard Turtle (EMC)

“Saw #godspell was AMAZING! Maybe one day ill be on that stage 🙂 @IANATheatre”

-@wickedlyinlove

“If you have attended IANA productions in the past but have yet to watch their rendition of Godspell, you are in for a treat.  The first thing you will notice is the rise in production value in everything from the set to the seats.  While this adds to the performance greatly, it is in fact the dynamic cast that really puts this show a step above IANA’s past productions.  This show has amazing choreography, humour and a healthy splash of drama that adds up to a show you will not want to miss.”

-Lacy Meeks (The Tweed News)

“A must see!”

-Delima (Belleville, ON)

“Saw Godspell last night it was hot, crazy and delightful all at once.  What a talented bunch. Didn’t even mind staying up late.”

-Robert (Madoc, ON)

“Congratulations on a fantastic production.  Your Godspell was energetic, beautifully performed, and innovative.  My friends and I loved it, and we were so glad that I stumbled across your website.  I saw the original Chicago company of Godspell, the movie (of course,) a local church production, and a production done by a group of my former drama students (and considering my favorite people did that, it was hard to beat in my eyes.)  I think your production was the best of all I’ve seen.  You breathed new life into the show.  Kudos! I was particularly blown away by the accompaniment.  Your pianists seamlessly took over from each other without a hitch.  Wow!  And to see the other actors play so many instruments…you are indeed blessed with a talented group!”

-Russell (Houston, TX)

“@IANATheatre Great Show tonight!!! What a performance. Very talented cast….. #Godspell”

-@morningman09

“Just returned from Godspell…what a wicked performance and to a full house…yeah Tim and another hit!!!. At intermission everyone was raving about all the actors, their energy and their wide variety of musical and acting talents. You got to get out and see this musical. Congratulations to one and all”

-Don (Tweed, ON)

“You have a VERY TALENTED & lovely troupe!!! ~ CONGRATULATIONS to each & every one of you for all your hard work, your dedication & committment to your craft…it shows!!! WELL DONE!!! Thank you for sharing your exuberant hearts, your talent & passion!!! You really “brought it!” ~ Blessings & Cheers to you! =)”

-Tammy (Stirling, On)

“Godspell was terrific! Amazing job as always! @IANAtheatre”

-@missalyssaross

“Well Porter, you’ve done it again (with tremendous help from your wonderful cast and crew)! Great show!”

-Katherine (Tweed, ON)

“WHAT A TALENTED CAST!!!!!  I know very few bible stories, but I know that this cast is so talented.  I was impressed by the way Tim made full creative use of such a small stage.  I was extremely impressed by the crucifixion scene.  “Oh God, I’m Bleeding”, brought me to tears.  James King did a beautiful job.  This talented cast could easily be in any Mirvish production based on their talent.  Their voices blew me away once again.  They were all just so very, very talented.  Amazing AGAIN.   It’s obvious that Tim knows talent.  We need to show Iana our love.  We need to show them that we appreciate their hard work, and extreme talent so that Tweed continues to be blessed with high quality theatre.”

-Tristan (Tweed, ON)

“@IANATheatre saw Godspell last night. Amazing show put on by amazing people. Everyone should go experience professional local talents!”

-@BMewett

“The youth and energy of the IANA team under the able direction of Tim Porter provided a compelling performance at the Marble Church Art Centre. The audience experienced live theatre as good as one would have in Toronto or New York at a small fraction of the price. They rewarded the casts’ delivery with a substantial standing ovation. Bravo IANA!”

-Wayne (Tweed, ON)

Hashtaging Hastings?

Recently, I attended one of the cultural planning meetings for Hastings County.  It was a great discussion, with some great people, and some great ideas and opportunities came forward.  Some other things became increasingly apparent.  So I thought I would write a quick blog post and get those creative juices flowin!

I am so excited with all the fantastic things that have been happening in Hastings County that are right in tune with the new Cultural Plan, and with all of our economic development.  The Creative Hastings Events, the Arts Route, packaging workshops, and more!  We are right on track to be a premiere ranked tourist destination!

I am also excited by all the live theatre and performance that has been thriving in the region.  From the Stirling Festival, to The Classic Theatre Festival in Perth, and the Elvis Festival in Tweed, we are quickly becoming a hub of live performance, and that is only going to grow!  We are in fantastic shape.

This year we are striving to have our most successful season in IANA’s history and we are right on track to reach that goal.  We have a fantastic season lined up in Tweed and across the province, and I’m very excited to continue our improvements to the Marble Church Arts Centre, and to continue to build our relationships in the community.

Now, really, this is only a very small portion of things that are happening in Hastings County.  Our county has been blowing up the press lately, winning awards, and gaining recognition across the country.  So let’s help spread the word about this great region!  Spread this post, check out www.ontariohighlands.ca to find out everything that’s happening in the region, tweet about something great that you know from the area, and get social!

My great hope is that everyone in the region will get on social media, start tweeting and blogging, and help get the word out about this fantastic tourist draw.  If you’re a local cultural enthusiast and your on the TWITTER, or the Facebook, drop us a line, and lets connect!

If you’re one of those people who has never been to Hastings County, then come on out this season, check out a show, buy some antiques, see some art, get some cheese, check out a farmers market, head to a winery, go kayaking, go golfing, go fishing, the list is endless!!!  Check us out today!!!  We look forward to your visit, and we’ll see you at the show!!!

So Much is Happening!

IANA has a big meeting tonight, and as I sit in my office, reviewing things to go over, I realize that because they may not constitute a whole blog post, there are a huge number of things that I have not talked about!  So, heres whats been going on!!!

First off, we were so excited to learn earlier this month that IANA Theatre Company had won the Best Independent Production of 2011 at the BroadwayWorld.com awards!  We are incredibly honoured to have won, and would like to thank everyone who came out and supported original Canadian Theatre this year, and we would also like to thank our fantastic sponsors who made all of this possible.  We couldn’t have done it without you!  Thank you so much! (Music starts playing, Tim is ushered offstage).  And congratulations to all the other winners, especially former IANA performers Melissa O’Neil for her Jesus Christ Superstar win, and David Light for his nomination as part of Billy Elliot.

The award has helped us get a lot of press coverage, you can read some of the articles here, and here, or you can check out the Municipality of Tweed’s website here, where we are currently the homepage story!

We are getting ever closer to our production of STALKYARD HURTS, and preparations are well underway.  Starting soon we will be looking for willing participants from Hastings County to be a part of the audio-visual elements of this production, watch out for that!  We are going to be including a lot of local talent in these videos, so watch out for your favorite area celebrities!

We will also be holding auditions in the next couple of months for our upcoming season.  We are always thrilled to meet and work with new talent, and we are so excited to add even more fantastic performers to our already incredible ensemble.  Here’s to 2012!

I also have a meeting tomorrow with our ALECK BELL set designer, the amazing David Butler, who has some colour renderings for me that I can’t wait to check out!  Maybe he’ll let me take a teaser photo…who knows.

And coming very soon we will be announcing our final production dates and venue for ALECK BELL in Toronto!  We are so excited to be bringing this show around the province.  If you are in any of the cities we are coming to, let us hear from you!  We are going to be doing quite a bit of promotion in Brockville, Stirling, Brantford and Toronto, and would love for you to be involved.  There are lots of great surprises in store for this year’s tour, it’s gonna be the best!

IANA will also be taking over the Canadians for Canadian Musical site on facebook and carrying on the great work that Robert Missen started over there.  Robert has been growing busier and busier (which is fantastic considering he represents all Canadian work!) and we are very excited to be continuing this great group.  Watch for lots more to come with that!

It is a great time for theatre in Ontario right now, with a tonne of shows extending and selling out, theatres announcing their very exciting seasons, and people gearing up for a great summer of theatre adventure!  And on that note, we are also incredibly excited to be members of ASTRO for the first time in 2012!  ASTRO is the Association of Summer Theatres Round Ontario and they do amazing work to promote regional theatre in the province.  We could not be more excited to be joining them.

What else, what else…I’m sure there is so much more, but it will have to wait for another time!  I’ve got to get back to work, and this is getting long-winded!  Check in at our website for loads more info about our upcoming season, and be sure to head out and take in some Canadian Theatre this month!

See you at the show!

Tim

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!

Exploring Our Audience…IANA’s 100KM Reach

This weekend I am going on a great adventure.  Thursday morning the adventure begins.

We want to make sure that everyone in the area knows about our season this year and has the opportunity to visit us at the Marble Church.  For that reason, we are starting a 100km reach from Tweed.  Our new posters have been designed and printed, the routes all planned, and the rental car is booked.

I have to say I am incredibly excited to see many towns that I have never had the reason or opportunity to visit, and go on a little mini vacation road trip around Ontario.  I also plan on stopping in at many local theatres (Some I have coffee dates with) and seeing how we can all better promote our events and get more people in the theatre!

At the end of my trip, or possibly throughout, I will write another Blog post to tell all about my grand adventures, and what I discover on my trip.  Thursday will take me from Tweed, to Napanee, to Kingston, to Perth, to Sharbot Lake, to Tamworth and everywhere in between!

Friday will start in Actinolite, head to Kaladar, Queensborough, Bancroft, Peterborough, Hastings, Campbellford, Marmora, Madoc and again, everywhere in between.

Saturday begins in Stirling, heads to Frankford, Trenton, Carrying Place, Bloomfiled, Picton, and finally ending in Belleville, and, you guessed it, everywhere in between!

I am very excited, and can’t wait to see all these little hamlets, visit with the people there, shop at local stores, eat at unique restaurants and put up our great new posters!  I would love to hear any suggestions of favourite haunts of yours and hear about your favorite spots in Eastern Ontario.

I will be tweeting regularly during my adventure, and writing a big blog post about the trip.  And if I don’t see you this weekend then I’ll see you at the show!

Tim

Company Profile: JOEL MACMEEKIN!

Over the course of the coming year I would like to take several post opportunities to highlight members of our company who have been with us for a while, and who have contributed significantly to the development of this company.  To our vision, our mission and our mandate.  Joel MacMeekin is one of these people.

Joel was actually one of the first people to work for IANA in any way, and has actually worked for us in almost every way.  Depending on how much you know about IANA, you might know that we like to work in an ensemble style, and we like to utilize and explore the many talents of our casts and crew, and give everyone the opportunities they deserve.  Joel is the epitome of this concept.

Joel’s first interaction with IANA was at the very inception of the company.  True, there was a foray into producing before Joel’s involvement, before we were technically a company, but since we’ve had our papers, he has been on that journey with us.  Our first ever anything was a staged reading of Joel’s play ‘Missing in Action’.  Joel and I went to college together, and sometimes we would get to hear or read Joel’s written work, and I was always moved, inspired, and entertained by it.  I asked Joel to pitch me a couple of his scripts, and see if we might produce one as a staged reading.  He readily agreed, and after perusing a couple, we chose ‘Missing in Action’.  This hilarious play was a lot of fun, and a great experience with a group of eight very funny and very talented people.

The next production IANA did was ‘The Last Five Years’.  Now, although this is a two hander, we decided to include video elements to stitch the show together, and make the transitions from song to song more relatable and easier to follow.  Joel is also an incredibly skilled videographer, so I asked him if he would be willing to direct and produce these videos.  Again, he agreed to come along for the ride, and the result was overwhelming.  The videos were one of the most talked about elements of the production, and really put the professional touch on what was already a very satisfying show for us.

The next year, when we decided to produce our first ever full season in Tweed, ON, I asked Joel to come on board yet again, and in another whole new light.  This time, as a performer.  Joel is a talented actor, beautiful singer, and riotous comedian.  He played the Priest and Pomeroy in our production of ‘TWEED! A New Canadian Musical’ and reprised his role in that production again this past August.

And then came what is quite possibly Joel’s greatest contribution to the company to date.  I had decided last fall that I wanted to create an original production based on the life of Alexander Graham Bell, I had a concept all ready, and songs picked out in my brain.  However, I knew that with my time constraints for the year, and my already fairly full plate, I wouldn’t be able to pull off this project alone.  I knew Joel to be a very talented writer, and so I asked him if he would help me create the show.  Not only did Joel gladly accept the opportunity, but he brought a passion, a dedication and a talent to the task that I couldn’t have found anywhere else, and that led to the production of my proudest moment to date.  Joel wrote the book for ALECK BELL, and it is truly remarkable.  His timing, sense of character and his integrity have made this show a truly amazing thing, and something that I think will have a life and legs long after I originally planned for.  For those of you who don’t know, Joel was also the assistant director on the show.

And all of this is not even what makes Joel so great.  He does all of this, and has all of this talent, but what makes him truly stand out is his incredible personality, his love for his fellow creators, his personal passion and his absolute willingness.  Joel is ‘it’ when it comes to kind, caring and dedicated professionals, and I count myself lucky every day that I get the honour and the privilege of working with him on a regular basis.  I love this man, and I can’t wait to keep working and creating with him in future.

Watch for Joel this season as active as ever in most of our productions.  Joel is creating all of the original Audio-Visual elements for STALKYARD HURTS, and will be back this year as writer and co-director of our tour of ALECK BELL.  Joel has also designed several of the pages and elements of our website.  And who knows what else the season might have in store…stay tuned…

How we’re doing things differently…and how that involves you…

As 2011 winds down, I thought we would take a little retrospective on our season, and look at how we’ve changed, where we’re headed, and new things that we’re trying in 2012.

2011 was a massive year for us.  We produced our second full length original Canadian Musical ‘ALECK BELL: A Canadian Pop Rock Musical’ which received much critically acclaim, and is going on to tour the province next year.  As I have already said in a previous blog post, it is my proudest accomplishment to date.  Then, we took a huge leap, and brought our production of ‘TWEED: A New Canadian Musical’ to the Papermill Theatre in Toronto.  This show has meant so much to me over the last four years, and I can’t even describe how it felt to bring the show to the city.  Huge.  It felt amazing, and I loved every minute of it.

This year saw our highest attendance ever, it started the great tradition of our GALA opening nights, another great tradition that we will hopefully see in many future seasons our Dark Night Cabaret series, the addition of a stage, dressing rooms and bar to the Marble Church Arts Centre, Our first foray into the world of Toronto theatre, the most actors/creative/crew we have ever employed, and our nomination for 20 BroadwayWorld.com awards.

And now, before the year even begins, our preparation for the 2012 season has already seen another round of drastic changes and accomplishments.  We now have a huge social media presence (Check out our blog-obviously you are, our twitter, our facebook group and fan page, our YouTube channel, our wicked new website, and our presence on hundreds of tourism sites and event listings).  We have also started partnerships with the Stirling Festival Theatre, the Brockville Arts Centre, and the Sanderson Centre in Brantford, all of which will hopefully lead to lasting lifelong associations.  We are also working on our third full-scale original Canadian Musical which is so exciting.  Every time we get to work with hilarious, dedicated, incredibly talented new teams I get overwhelmingly excited.  We are also so happy and so fortunate to have Jon Deighan join us as a permanent member of our team.  This Communications wiz, and awesome guy(seriously, he’s the best), will make all the difference in our continued success.  And, we are so happy to be working closely with the municipality of Tweed this season to take things to the next level, and ensure the success of our community and our company.

And possibly even more important is our good fortune to be able to continue to work with our fabulous team, members, sponsors and friends who will be joining us again this year.  We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our patrons, and of our fabulous General Manager Emily Mewett, our incredible ensemble of actors and creators, and our amazing volunteers!  We consider ourselves so lucky that we will once again have the assistance of so many incredible people in putting together an incredible season of Canadian Theatrical Entertainment!

We have a lot of really cool new initiatives starting this year, and I’m going to fill you in on one of the things I’m most excited about.  This year we are introducing a new way of supporting IANA, and a fun new opportunity to be involved in our productions.  It’s called a Show Sponsorship, but it is so much more than that.  We wanted to find a way this season to really get our patrons in on the action, and we came up with a real cool idea, that I can’t wait to continue to build on and grow in the future.  We are the only company that I know of that does this, and I think it is the most fun!  This year, for very small amounts of money, you can sponsor a specific element of a production.  SO say you have always been fascinated with the sets of plays, and say you are so excited for our brand new Canadian Musical STALKYARD HURTS.  I know I am.  Well, for $350 you can become the set sponsor for Stalkyard.  That means that you can take sole credit for the amazing new pieces we are creating for that production, and you can tell your friends, ‘Hey, that set?  Yeah, I sponsored it.’  Or something along those lines, how you gloat is up to you.  And then, the coolest part.  IANA will find some way to incorporate your name or something about you or your personality into the element you sponsor.  For example, part of the STALKYARD HURTS set is going to be the addition of several of the bands old show posters, maybe one of those posters features you as a model?  Maybe the title of that album just happens to be your full name?  Possibilities are endless, and you literally get to see you name up in lights!  AND..yes, there’s more…every single one of our show sponsors will receive a poster signed by the cast.

There is a lot of cool and exciting stuff happening right now, much of which I can’t discuss at the moment, but that is going to take this company to the next level yet again, and bring Canadian Musical Theatre right along with it.  We hope you’ll join us this season as we continue to build, grab life by the horns, and put it on stage!  Happy holidays, have a fun and safe New Years, and..we’ll see you at the show!!!!

Tim

IANA on Tour: ALECK BELL Takes to the Road

In 2012, ALECK BELL: A Canadian Pop Rock Musical is going on tour.  Here’s where it all began…

At the end of 2010, when I sat down to plan our next season, I knew it had to be big.  We were coming off a really amazing year, with our first full season of production in Tweed, and our first full-scale original Canadian Musical.  We had already decided that we would be bringing our musical ‘TWEED!’ to Toronto, and we wanted to create another new show for our season in Tweed.

I had been wanting to do a musical using Canadian pop rock music, but as of yet had not found the right subject.  As it got closer and closer to the time to settle on a season, I still hadn’t really come up with much.  I was scanning through a list of famous Canadians one afternoon, and stumbled upon Alexander Graham Bell.  For some reason, out of all of the amazing people on that list, Aleck Bell jumped out at me.  The next day I went out and bought a biography of Mr. Bell.  What I found there was amazing.

Alexander Graham Bell led a fascinating and incredible life.  He was an incredible man with a brilliant mind, and his story was meant to be told.  I decided that this was the show I wanted to do.  I began to make notes about what we would want in the production, and almost immediately approached my good friend Joel MacMeekin to help me write the show.  We sat down shortly after and started to figure out a plot line, and choose music from the huge Canadian Pop Rock Cannon.  Before we knew it we had a solid story line, some great tunes, and a beautiful story.

Joel took that away, and over the course of the next couple months wrote a brilliant show.  We sat down a few more times, figured out some details, polished the show, and finally had something that we were ready to put on stage.  We had our auditions, we booked our dates, we rented the instruments, and we were ready to start.

How we found the cast that we did, and how they all agreed to do the production will forever be beyond me.  This group of people is really better than we could have ever imagined, and we were instantly, and continue to be, in love with them.  They took every little bit of this story to heart, and told it with a truth, talent and integrity like I have never seen before.  The brilliant Emilee Nimetz agreed to choreograph the show, and exceeded our expectations.  All around, this production is my proudest moment to date.  The show came together like magic, and blew Joel and I away.  We knew instantly that this show would be going places.

Over the course of our run, several members of the Stirling Festival Theatre’s board and staff came to see the production.  We are lucky to count Stirling Theatre as our friends, and shortly after our production had closed, Stirling approached us to include BELL as part of their 2012 season.  We were honoured and excited and of course ecstatically agreed!

We then began the process of booking other venues and planning where else we would like to take the show.  We already knew we wanted to bring the show to Toronto after our success there with TWEED, so that was an easy one.  We then sat down to think where else the show would fit, and where else we would like to take it.

The next easiest choice was the beautiful city of Brockville.  Joel and I both attended St. Lawrence College and had done all of our productions there at the Brockville Arts Centre.  The BAC was like a second home to us, and we were so excited when the whole team there jumped on board with us.  We are thrilled to be spending four days at the beautifully renovated Brockville Arts Centre.  I think this show is really going to hit home there, and I literally can’t wait to show it to them.

Next, came our last stop, and again, a fairly obvious choice.  When the Bell’s first crossed the Atlantic and came to Canada, they settled in a beautiful little town in regional Ontario.  That town was Brantford.  I have performed at the Sanderson Centre in Brantford on numerous occasions, and it has got to be one of the most stunning, well maintained, kindest venues in the country.  We pitched the show to them, and again, they were very excited to welcome us in.  We set the dates, and confirmed the production there.  I can’t wait to bring this show to the city of Brantford, and tell the story of this remarkable man in his Ontario home.  I think it is going to be a really magical experience.

So the tour was set, and now it’s time to get the show ready!  We are incredibly lucky and excited to be welcoming back most of our original cast, with a few new people who are sure to blow your mind.  We also have a really exciting new set designed by Mr. David Butler.  Dave has created something that is really going to be the perfect home for this production, with lots of surprises and stunning inclusions.

And there’s lots more in store as well.  We have already purchased our first beautiful antique piano that will be touring with us, we have our wicked new drum kit, and there is loads more in the works!  New lighting effects, microphones, additional costumes, this show is going to be huge!  The biggest we have ever produced!

We are so excited about everything that is happening this season, and we are insanely excited for this tour.  We are going to four theatres that we love, four towns that we love, with a show that we couldn’t love more.  This production means the world to me, and hopefully you will have an opportunity to come and experience it with us.  See you at the show!!

Our Beautiful Home

I have so many things that I want to write about and share with you all, but one of the things a want to talk about most, especially for those of you who have never been to one of our productions in Tweed, is our beautiful venue there.  The Marble Church Arts Centre.  As late as three years ago there was no theatre in Tweed.  There is actually a beautiful little historic building downtown that was a theatre, until it was bought by some unfortunate people who have decided to lock it up never to be used again.  A huge shame.

But luckily, an incredible group of community volunteers gathered together to form the Tweed and Area Arts Council, and they bought a beautiful old Marble Church in nearby Actinolite.  Since that purchase only three years ago, the arts council has slowly been turning it into a state of the art theatrical venue, and each season it gets better and better.  The Church was built in 1864.

And it’s not just a theatre!  The best part about the arts centre is that it truly is a multi use venue.  The studio space in the back allows a great space for us to rehearse, and is a beautiful art gallery and bar space during our performances.  The space has unlimited potential, and we are so excited to see where it goes.

Now, with the addition of our permanent set and stage space, air conditioning and padded seats, the venue really is the perfect spot to create our original productions.

And what’s in store for the future?  Well, for starters, this year we are adding to the sound system, and the lighting system, which are going to make a huge difference in our productions.  We are also going to be using a large amount of Audio Visual materials in our production of STALKYARD HURTS which means great new rigging that we will be able to use continually into the future.

So the next time you’re in town, swing by the Marble Church and check it out.  And maybe you can even catch an IANA Theatre Company original production!  See you at the show!