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Emma Slipp as Henrietta Leavitt

The basic plot of Silent Sky is fascinating – a true story of a plucky, brilliant young woman who defies odds and persists as a female astronomer in the early 1900s at Harvard. But the story that is brought to life is a rich tale of family, love, and friendship. It is fiercely funny and touching and as audiences leave the theatre you can feel the energy of the shared experience of seeing this beautiful tale brought to life.

A night at the Chemainus Theatre is an experience the moment you walk in the door. If you have decided to indulge in the buffet dinner in the Playbill Dining Room make sure you try the Salmon with Mango Pineapple Salsa, but leave room for the Boston Cream Pie – for a 3-course luncheon starting at $23 you will be happy you did!

 

 

Emma Slipp, who plays lead character Henrietta Swan Leavitt, took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions and provide some insight into this rich show.

 

 

Welcome back to Chemainus. What do you enjoy about being back here when you are not in rehearsals?

I always enjoy my time here and get to push a reset button away from all the demands of my city life. I am able to focus on the show only.
The community is so welcoming and supportive. I love going for walks and visiting the shops.

For you, what is this show about and why should audiences come see it?

This show is telling a story that wasn’t honoured in its day. The script alone is beautiful, but married with all the design elements I think it’s quite stunning. The set, costumes and lights along with original music composition and projections all blend together with imagination.  It’s witty, poetic and thought provoking, but also heart bursting and satisfying.

What drew you to the character of Henrietta as portrayed in this depiction of her life? Was there anything that surprised you as you began to explore this role?

I connected with her drive and commitment to her chosen career path and understand the sacrifices she had to make. I am excited to share her story because I know there are so many unsung heroines who’s contributions have been skipped over. I feel this is an opportunity to celebrate a group of woman that paved the way for future generations.   

Unlike Henrietta , I am unskilled in math and science and it has been a true challenge to understand and then convey some complex thoughts and revelations. It’s been a great brain workout!

Is there a significant line or special moment that stands out for you?

The script has so many beautiful moments, but I think my favourite line is one the Peter says to Henrietta

” I feared combusting if I didn’t tell you that you’ve been the brightest object in my day since we met. And we work with stars.”

After exploring this role what message do you think Henrietta would have for young women starting out in their careers?

Don’t take no for an answer. Stay passionate, determined and do all you can to create your own space in your chosen field.

If you haven’t seen it yet get your tickets today, you won’t be disappointed. Silent Sky has a shorter run than some of our other shows so get your tickets today and don’t miss out. Even though this is the final dramatic production for our 25th season at Chemainus Theatre Festival you will laugh, be inspired and perhaps shed a tear. The reviews have started to come in and we hope they will convince you to come see the show. (LINK TO: http://www.lakecowichangazette.com/entertainment/review-chemains-theatres-silent-sky-a-brilliant-star-in-the-heavens/)

 

 

 

 

By |October 17th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Meet Philip Mix

Philip Mix

The Chemainus Theatre would like to welcome local artist Philip Mix as our featured artist during our run of Silent Sky. Philip has a prolific career both as an artist and an art conservation professional. His work is featured all over Canada and he works to seek the ‘elegance of simplicity’.

Philip’s artist statement is that his paintings are intentionally spare and dispassionate. “My desire is to produce an artwork that is beautiful for its singleness of purity and purpose: the elegance of simplicity. I choose subjects whose form or function lends itself to the discovery of some intrinsic beauty; a beauty that becomes intriguing once the inherent grace of its form has been recognized and captured.”

Philip Mix was born in Edmonton Alberta in 1955. He received his Bachelor of Arts in painting from the Alberta College of Art, Calgary in1980. His paintings have shown in several Canadian galleries and abroad including London, Israel and Cyprus. He operated a conservation studio, Fine Art Restoration, in Victoria B.C. from 1986 to 2011. During that time he was a member of the Pacific Conservation Group, and Canadian Conservation Associates. Now retired from paintings conservation, he lives in Chemainus, BC and devotes all his energy to his family, his studio, and an uncooperative garden.

We are thrilled to feature his work in the Chemainus Theatre and we invite you to attend an Artist Meet and Greet on October 14th between 5 and 6 pm. For more information on Philip you can visit his website at www.philipmix.com.

By |October 4th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Escape with a madcap tale!

Declan O'Reilly, Kirk Smith, Colin A Doyle

Declan O’Reilly, Kirk Smith, Colin A Doyle in Jeeves Takes a Bow, Chemainus Theatre Festival, 2017. Photo by Cim MacDonald

On Vancouver Island, as everywhere, small talk always leads to the weather. As gardens are prepared for the winter, rainproof coats are pulled out of storage, and woodstoves are fired up we prepare for a change in the sky and in lifestyle. But we can all agree that it is wonderful to escape somewhere warm and cozy and be taken away to another world and time – the theatre is the perfect solution.

The Chemainus Theatre Festival is currently halfway through our run of “Jeeves Takes a Bow” and theatregoers are enjoying this show in droves! There is nothing better than a laugh shared with a big group of strangers. Adapted by Margaret Raether the stories of the hero-butler Jeeves and the charming and feckless Bernie Wooster were originally written by P.G. Wodehouse (1975). Wodehouse is considered a master of the serial novel, king of the magazine story, and supremely skilled in comedic writing. In this tale, Wooster and Jeeves have escaped their upper-class Edwardian frivolity and landed in the Big Apple, Manhattan, NY. How will they cope? Amusingly well! The ‘Traveling Islanders’ blog says “You definitely won’t want to miss Jeeves Takes A Bow.” We hope you will escape with us as we once again spend an afternoon or evening with a madcap tale told by a talented crew of actors! What could be better?

By |September 22nd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Let yourself fall for Talley’s Folly

Love is the perfect theme for this summer feature, Talley’s Folly, playing August 16th to 26th. The Pulitzer Prize-winning and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award as best play of the season, the romantic comedy, by Lanford Wilson, follows unlikely sweethearts, Matt and Sally, as they try to (once and for all) settle their feelings for each other.

The scene is the ornate, deserted Victorian boathouse on the Talley place in Lebanon, Missouri; the time 1944. Matt Friedman (played by Matthew Payne), has arrived to plead his love to Sally Talley (Heather Pattengale), the susceptible but uncertain daughter of the family. Bookish, erudite, totally honest, and delightfully funny, Matt refuses to accept Sally’s rebuffs and her fears that her family would never approve of their marriage. Charming and indomitable, he gradually overcomes her defenses, telling his innermost secrets to his loved one and, in return, learning hers as well. Gradually he awakens Sally to the possibilities of a life together.

“Everything is beautiful ruined in this play,” says director, Amiel Gladstone. “The old crumbling boathouse, post-War America, and two characters struggling with who they are and who they can be together. It’s an honour to come to Chemainus for the first time to direct the first play the company every produced.”

Talley’s Folly is a special presentation for The Chemainus Theatre Festival’s 25th Anniversary Season. Tickets are available for matinee and evening shows for two weeks only, August 16th to 26th. Call the Box Office at 1-800-565-7738, or visit chemainustheatre.ca.

By |August 3rd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

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

Community Open House

We are celebrating 25 years!

In the world of theatre, reaching 25 seasons is a grand milestone, and we’ve done it! Over the past 25 seasons, The Festival has held thousands of professional performances, with now over 300 performances per year. As one of BC’s largest performing arts organizations, we welcome over 70,000 annual patrons to enjoy live theatre experiences by notable directors, talented actors, and imaginative designers.

We are incredibly grateful for all of the support that we’ve received from the community.  Chemainus and the Cowichan region have been wonderful partners in this journey and we couldn’t wish for a better place to live and work.

To celebrate this milestone and say thank you, we are hosting an open house on Friday, June 23rd from 3:00 PM to 7:30 PM.  You are invited!

Please Join Us

Community Open House
Friday, June 23
3:00 to 7:30 PM

Take in our fabulous theatre exhibits, memorabilia, and re-live some of your favorite shows!

We’ve planned a range of free festivities for this time including:

Displays of props, costumes, set models and photographs
Pop-up readings, indoor and outdoor
Trivia quizzes & ticket contest
Prizes for the oldest ticket and the patron with the most tickets
(please bring them to the box office the day of the event)
Mix and mingle with actors, directors, volunteers and staff
Live music and entertainment
Fun for kids with interactive displays, a bouncy castle, face painting & more.

We can’t wait to celebrate and share our history with you!

Make a day of it by staying for dinner at one of the local restaurants or visiting one of the onsite food trucks.  You can also reserve tickets for the 8:00 PM performance of Rock Legends: The Sequel to Twist and Shout online or by calling the Box Office 250-246-9820 or toll free 1-800-565-7738.

By |June 6th, 2017|Categories: 2017 Season|0 Comments

New Featured Artists!

Rose Cowles, Johnny Lee, Katherine Melanie

Jun 2 – July 17

About Rose Cowles

Rose Cowles paints because she can, and in her opinion there is nothing better than getting messy in the studio, losing track of time, and mucking about with a playful attitude, knowing that her trials and errors will often churn out the most amazing results. Cowles paints what she loves and prays along the way it will eventually all come together and translate a message of sincere joy, hope and gratitude through subject matter, words, colour, and glorious textures. Her passions are varied, however her desire to lift souls in a positive way is constant.

Rose Cowles is a Governor-General Award nominated Artist and has won many awards for both book illustration and and graphic design and has illustrated and painted on a full time basis out of her home based studio in Victoria BC for the past 25 yrs.

Published:

– Gilbert de la Frogponde” by Jennifer Rae
– Dog Tales” by Jennifer Rae
– I Know An Old Laddie” by Jean Little
– The Queen, The Bear and The Bumblebee” by Dini Petty
– The F Team” by Anne Laurel Carter
– The Mysterious You Series” with Kids Can Press
– The Amazing International Space Station” with Kids Can Press
– Puppies On Board” with Orca Books Publishing
– Science Detectives” with Kids Can Press
(Not all picture books are still in circulation)

Awards:

– Recipient of two Silver Awards for illus. Studio Mag 1990
– Two Alcuin Awards for book cover design 1991 and 1997
– “GDC” Awards for book design and self promotion 1997
– Nominee for Governor-General Award (2000)
– Shortlist: 2003 Silver Birch Award
– Starred selection: Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice 2003
– Starred selection: Red Cedar Book Awards 2002-03
– Shortlist: 2005 Silver Birch Award
– Red Cedar Book Awards 2006
– Red Cedar Book Awards (2) 2008-09
– Peoples Choice award for 2D art in the International Women’s Day Show through the Victoria Arts Council 2017
– Peoples Choice Award and Best in Show through the Victoria Art Councils “LOOK”show for 2D 2017

About Johnny Lee

Honoring the gift I was given, I draw in detail believing anything worth doing well takes patience, commitment and time. I choose realism, because for me it is a lot more challenging than doodling from my imagination. Chosen subjects evolve from memories I have as a boy.

A mother’s story of her ancestry coupled with the impact a grandfather had on this boy still today. The act of illustrating gives me peace, stillness, freedom, sense of accomplishment, purpose and pride. It allows me to exit the conceptual make believe reality of society and enter a place where time, meaning, rules and logic do not exist.

I am humbled of how nature can channel creativity through a body to a page. Drawing is in my nature and may I never take it for granted.

www.wisdomstick.com

About Katherine Melanie

I was born an artist and have developed my skills through various courses and valuable instruction.

My journey began in Winnipeg, Manitoba where I studied still life drawing, calligraphy, sculpture and Life Model drawing at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. I was fourteen years old.

Advertising Art Program at Red River College, where along with various classes I first studied photography. This was 1981, and film cameras were in use then.  Working in a dark room with developer, fixer and water processing and enlarging machines was very exciting.

Art History at University of Manitoba.

I had the pleasure to teach photography at the Stz’uminus College, Ladysmith B.C.

I am a mother of two wonderful children who I draw much inspiration from the past 21 years.

I have had a career in dentistry for over 28 years.

Artists draw attention to details in life that sometimes are overlooked and make beauty out of nothing at all.

I am focusing on three exhibits at this time.  They are all composed of digital photography and are capturing my heart through vision of our valuable elements of life.

                                                        Land         Air        Water

The pieces available in the Chemainus Theatre gallery now are part of my Land and Air series.  Hope you enjoy the journey!

About Rock Legends

Alex Mustakas

Welcome to Rock Legends, our sequel to Twist and Shout: The British Invasion. Where Twist and Shout featured the British sound between 1964 and 1967, Rock Legends relives the incredible discography from the 1950s through1970s that forever changed the landscape of modern music. I suppose you could say “America strikes back!” In a similar musical tribute format, our television host Roy Solomon is about to sign off the air after 20 unforgettable years. To help him celebrate this milestone, he features some of the most important and influential rock and roll acts of the 20th century. These artistic pioneers refused to bow to industry pressure and creatively set their own musical trends, and in so doing, became enduring icons of music history. By mixing in fashions, period commercials, outstanding choreography, a stellar band, and some of the finest singers and dancers in the country, we’ve created another nostalgic walk down memory lane featuring the sounds that shaped the minds and attitudes of an entire generation.

Thank you for sharing your valuable time with us in one of Canada’s most beautiful settings for professional theatre. Enjoy the show!

About Alex

Chemainus: Twist & Shout (2015). Other: Alex is the Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment, which operates seven theatres in Ontario. He has directed over 100 productions across the country including Beauty and the Beast, Marathon of Hope (world premiere), Spamalot, Les Misérables, and more. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Arts). Follow him on Twitter/Instagram @AlexMustakas.

By |May 11th, 2017|Categories: 2017 Season, Rock Legends|0 Comments