Setting the Stage

Well, we continue to get closer and closer to our season, and as we approach our first production of the year, it is almost time for one of my favorite things.  Auditions.  I am excited for numerous reasons.  A) We get to find and work with a bunch of fantastic amazing new people, as well as some of our favorite people from past seasons.  B) We get to sit in a room for two days and immerse ourselves in the considerable talent this country has to offer.  C) I love meeting new people, and I love hearing people sing. 

This year most of the casting will be for our brand new production of GODSPELL.  I can’t tell you how excited I am for this show.  I really want it to be a representation of Canada, our culture, our background and our talent, so I am really looking forward to these auditions, and meeting some amazing new artists.

The notices will go out this week, and because we will be focused on GODSPELL, I thought I would focus a little bit more on it today, and more specifically, our cool new stage.

Before last year, the Marble Church Arts Centre didn’t have a stage, per-se.  We were still using the original Altar from when the building was a church.  When we started planning ALECK BELL, we decided this wasn’t going to be sufficient.  So I, along with some help from two fantastic local carpenters, Peter and Scott Mewett, designed a new playing space, that would be usable and adaptable for all of our productions, as well as anything else that may come through the Arts Centre.  We had to work around several restrictions.  A) We had to build dressing rooms into the current space.  B) Patrons have to be able to have total access to the back room, which is located behind stage left.  C) We needed to add some overhead lighting.  We took all of these factors into account and created the fantastic stage (Marvin, as we like to call him) that currently resides in the space.

We will be using this stage forever into the future, and essentially exactly as it is laid out currently for our production of STALKYARD HURTS.  However, for GODSPELL, we want to do something different yet again.  Because of my concept for the show (Which I can’t tell you about just yet, but is very exciting) we want to really open the space back up, so that we can fill it in and use it in a different way.  The bonus of this is that the stage will now have two totally convertible set ups, one that looks almost like a little house (The ALECK BELL configuration) and one that will act much more closely to that of a typical proscenium arch (For GODSPELL).  With a LOT of added features and bonuses.  This is going to take this space to a whole new level, and the set up for GODSPELL is going to blow your minds!

I love the Marble Church for its uniqueness, and its versatility, and I can’t wait to keep enhancing it and re-inventing it into the indefinite future.  We are so lucky to have this beautiful space in Tweed, and if you haven’t been yet, check out a show this year, or look it up online, drop in for a visit, or check out some of the pics on our website, www.ianatheatre.com.

I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS SEASON!  I can’t wait to get going, work with some new people, create some new stuff, and share it with all of you!  Thanks for checking us out, and I will see you at the show!

Tim

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!