What could be more appropriate for a summer evening of Shakespeare than A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Granville Island on an outdoor stage? Saturday night in Vancouver on the last weekend in July is typically the start of the fireworks festival so I was a little worried that heading into the heart of the city was going to put me at odds with the hordes looking for fireworks. My fears were unfounded. I was able to get to Granville Island and park with no problem and leaving the island to get back to the North Shore was even easier.
Not familiar with Midsummer Night's Dream? READ THE SYNOPSIS
Carousel Theatre has been around for a long time and is a Granville Island staple specializing in arts programming for children. In 1990 Carousel started the Teen Shakespeare Program in order to offer an intensive six week program for exceptional teen actors under the direction of working theatre professionals. I had a chance to speak with Mike Stack, the Lead Instructor and Director, just before the ‘curtain’ went up. He was effusive in his remarks about Shakespeare and theatre in general, especially for kids. Noting Carousel’s audience is primarily kids and educators, being able to put kids on the stage to entertain and educate their peers is a powerful way to engage children and young adults in theatre. Stack likened the stage to playing dress-up, noting when you play dress-up you can be anything you want to be and that is a powerful life lesson for kids.
Heroine, at the Pacific Theatre in the South Granville / Fairview area of Vancouver, was an enjoyable evening put on by a young energetic company of performers who call themselves Affair of Honor. The group is committed to the performance of “visually stunning fight and movement based theatre.” Find out more about the company at https://www.patreon.com/affairofhonor.
It didn’t occur to me that stage, film, and performance combat was such a thing in Vancouver but it is and members of this company are ardent in their passion for the craft of stage and film fighting. For those wishing to indulge, they offer workshops.
The play was written by a Halifax playwright, Karen Bassett, who is dedicated to the discipline of stage fighting. An inability to find good roles for women in this genre led her to write Heroine which has been enthusiastically received and performed across the country.
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ABOUT THEATRE ADDICTS
Founded by Danielle Benzon, a self-professed theatre addict.