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Interview With a Legend

 

Duff MacDonald

Duff MacDonald, a returning performer to Chemainus Theatre Festival, sat down and had a chat with our own Michelle Vogelgesang, about this summer’s production of Rock Legends: The Sequel to Twist and Shout.

 

 

 

What sort of person is going to love this show?

People of all ages love this show. I was an original cast member of the show 7 years ago and we have seen kids come to see the show and love it as well as older folks and they love it!

What is the most challenging thing about bringing this show to life?

Finding entertainers who are versatile enough to portray so many iconic music groups in history. Our artistic team has always succeeded to though and this incarnation of the show is no exception. It also is a huge show for comedy, dance and production value. It takes a small village of very organized people to make it happen onstage as well as backstage. We all work as a team. That’s the key. Teamwork.

Tell us about the rigors of being in the show?

It’s highly demanding vocally for the singers and physically for the dancers. None of us really stop for very long.

What is it like representing these musical icons?

For a few hours every night we truly feel like rock stars. We feed off of the audience’s excitement and enthusiasm. For a fleeting moment we can all experience what it must have been like to see these bands as well as BE them and hear that roar of the fans.

What’s it like performing the volume of music and choreography in the show?

Exhausting and exhilarating all in one basket. We are surely using every bit of memory we have!

Are there any other elements of the show you’d like to tell us about?

It’s funny. Very funny at times. It will transport you back to your youth and if you are younger, introduce you to music that we all should respect and tribute and carry on to future generations. It’s very rare that you will hear this music recreated in such a historically true way.

Why did you want to be involved in this production?

I love the show and I have experienced the joy of being a part of it for many years. I also was part of Twist and Shout, the prequel to Rock Legends, and I love this theatre and the support around it.

What’s going to surprise people about this show?

The grand scope of it and the extraordinary talent onstage and the live  band included!

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about performing in this show?

There are many many costume changes that bring these characters to life. A lot of work was put into that element as well to bring u back to those eras. The costumes are incredible. People love seeing the vintage looks. You will have a rocking good time and leave the theatre exhilarated as we do every night performing it.

 

By |July 24th, 2017|Categories: Rock Legends|1 Comment

IceBear Meet & Greet in the Gallery

Official Opening of IceBear’s

Dreams of a Dreamer Exhibit

Meet IceBear, talk about art on

Friday, July 21st   4 pm – 5:45 pm

Chemainus Theatre Gallery

IceBear exhibition runs July 18 to August 26

            

   About IceBear

IceBear is an Ojibway artist who now lives and works in the Cowichan Valley. An artist all his life, his work runs the gamut from from representational to abstract. He has exhibited across the US, in Austria, and Italy, work has also shown in France, China, and Taiwan. His paintings and sculpture are collected internationally. His traditional, tribal home is Cape Croker, (Chippewas of Nawash) on the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada, but he now lives and works on Vancouver Island.

The Elders of his people call him a Dreamer, that is, one born to the task of transforming dreams, his own and others, into a visual reality. His work has helped individuals feeling lost, out of place, or disconnected from their roots to find their way home. Some of his paintings carry somewhat autobiographical elements, easily recognizable to other aboriginal people, because certain conditions are common to native people world wide. Other experiences may be familiar to all, being part of the human condition that we all share.

Respect for Mother Earth and all her creatures is omnipresent in my work. Again, this respect is something that all aboriginal people share, and more and more non native people are beginning to realize is important to the continued existence of humans and many other lifeforms on this planet.

IceBear chooses to paint primarily in acrylic, as he likes the vibrancy of the colours and the textural qualities he is able to achieve. but he on occasion also paints in oil or watercolour. Many of his paintings are available as limited edition giclees on canvas, by special order. IceBear sculptures have been created in wood, stone, cast bronze, and a eclectic mix of new high tech sculptural mediums and resins.

 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – Director’s Notes

Melissa Young

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is an epic story about good overcoming evil. It is a story that allows us to open up our imaginations and dream of possibilities beyond our existence. Yet at the heart of this piece are four children who are growing up—transforming from youth with simple, egocentric concerns, into young adults who gain confidence, understand responsibility, and learn about forgiveness and caring for others during their time in Narnia.

It is significant for me to be directing this timeless story at Chemainus Theatre during their 25th Anniversary season. It was here, 14 years ago, I received my first professional contract and played the roles of Lucy and the White Witch in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It was at Chemainus that I had the opportunity to grow, mature, and hone my own skills as an artist. In a sense, this theatre is a place where I “grew up” as an artist.

I’m really interested and inspired by the idea of play. As a little girl, my favorite memories were of playing games such as “house,” “supermarket,” “radio station,” and various others that I devised with my brother, cousins, and friends. We would use whatever we had on hand to create these worlds—whether it was my Mom’s clothing, my grandmother’s jewelry and hats, or my parent’s old records (yes, we even had a sound design.) In this day and age, as I see students become less engaged in play and more engaged with their phones, the importance of play in our lives becomes increasingly evident to me.

With this production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I really wanted to get back to the simple idea of play—asking the actors and the audience to engage their imaginations, as opposed to their iphones. I wanted this production to mirror children really playing out the story with whatever is readily available to them—whether it be an old umbrella, a scrap of material, or even their own bodies. How can a long piece of cloth become a cape, a river, and a tent? Could we use our bodies to become animal statues, trees, and even the wind? How can we use a drumbeat to tell the story of a great battle? To me, the immense power of childhood imagination, that ability to turn the most ordinary of things into something completely different is what I love about theatre.

And so the cycle of learning and growing continues. Whether you are young or old, I hope you enjoy our imaginative journey through childhood via Narnia.

By Melissa Young

By |July 5th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments