Our Blog

Home/Our Blog/

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

The reviews are in!

2 Pianos 4 Hands resonates and transcends!

 

 Janice Lacouvee praises the cast of our production of 2 Pianos 4 Hands, saying that  ” Bryce Kulak and Max Roll Excel in demanding roles.”  – Read the full review

Cowichan Valley Citizen’s Lexi Bainas describes this show as “a surprising piece of theatre” that pulls “the audience rigth into the show.”  – Read the full review

The Traveling Islanders’ Gretta Kennedy “laughed out loud until tears rolled down my face!” – Read the full review

2 Pianos 4 Hands was originally produced in April 1996, and has since been seen on stages across North America

Bryce Kulak & Max Roll
(Photo: Max Telzerow)

and in London, UK. Ranked by American Theatre Magazine as one of the Top 10 Most Produced Plays in the USA, this play has won numerous awards including:

  • 2006 – Marquis Entertainment’s production won the award for Outstanding Touring Production by the Connecticut Theatre Critics Circle (winning over Broadway touring productions of The Lion King and Wicked)
  • 1996 – won Toronto’s Dora Award for Outstanding Production and a Chalmers Award (Canadian National Award) for Playwriting

Get your tickets and join the ranks of over 2 million others who have enjoyed what is arguably the most successful play in the history of Canadian Theatre!

Book online or call the box office now to book your tickets!

1-800-565-7738

New Featured Artists

Richard Brodeur and Pattiann Withapea

April 6 – May 14

 

About Richard Brodeur

Richard Brodeur is a former NHL goalie who played seven seasons in a Canuck uniform. He earned his spot in Canucks’ lore in 1982, when he backstopped the team to its first Stanley Cup final performance and was given the moniker King Richard.

The native of Longueuil, Quebec retired from hockey in 1987. According to Vancouver hockey fans, Brodeur is one of the Top Ten Canucks in the club’s 40-year history.

Richard Brodeur, the artist, utilizes oils, acrylics, and watercolours to create abstract paintings as well as images of ‘Canadiana’– fishing villages in Haida Gwaii, lakes and orchards of the Okanagan, and ports and coves of Nova Scotia.

His most popular series is a collection of paintings titled ‘My Childhood Hockey Memories” – depictions of youngsters playing hockey on frozen outdoor ponds.

As an NHLer, Brodeur understood that his on-ice brethren would likely mock his artistic endeavours. Somehow, the macho locker room culture didn’t quite gel with the fine arts.

“Painting has always been a passion of mine,” says Brodeur. “When I was playing with the Canucks I was painting at home and brought a sketch pad with me on the road. But it’s not something I mentioned to my teammates. You’re always considered a flake as a goalie anyways, and then if you walk in the locker room and tell them you’re an artist they are going to laugh.”

Now Brodeur paints four to eight hours a day.

“I have had two passions in my life,” he says. “One was playing hockey and the other one was my art. And I’m a lucky guy because I have been able to do both.”

King Richard’s passion for art is no longer a secret. And this time no one is laughing.

About Pattiann Withapea

Pattiann Withapea is a Member of the Federation of Canadian artists who specializes in Custom Painted Pet Portraits.  A self-taught artist with a whimsical style, Pattiann has been painting for just over three years and is quickly making a name for herself. She has painted for Eric Clapton, Eric Carmen, the Willie Nelson Family, the Glen Campbell Family and many other celebrities in the music and entertainment industry. Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers is a big fan of Pattiann’s art. Michael’s message to her in August of 2015 reads, “Pattiann, Love your portraits! I really think it’s a noble endeavor to immortalize our furry friends and you do it beautifully. “

In May of 2015,  her painting of, “ Atom the Pug”, took first place in Art Vancouver’s International Online Competition.  Her distinctive and instantly recognizable style has garnered plenty of attention and caught the eye of collectors the world over. To date, she has sold her works on six of the seven continents. Pattiann laughingly says that she is, “still holding out hope for Antarctica”.

Pattiann does not limit her artistry to portraits of pets however.  She has attracted a large audience with her unique portrayals of Music Legends and is currently working on diverse collections that capture the whimsy and incorporate imagery found in nature.  These new works will be the anchor pieces for her exhibitions in 2017.

Summer Blockbuster!

From the creators of the hit show, Twist and Shout: The British InvasionRock Legends, the Sequel to Twist and Shout will have you snapping your fingers and dancing in your seats . . . this time to the beat of classic songs by rock and roll’s musical legends. Rock Legends will hit the stage at the Chemainus Theatre from June 2 to August 26.

Conceived, written and directed by Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment, Rock Legends is a tribute to the incredible artists from the mid-1950s through the 1970s, who refused to bow to industry pressure and creatively set their own musical trends. They were courageous and outrageous, and ultimately became the most influential rock and roll acts of the 20th century.

Their unique influence is celebrated in this energetic, fun-filled musical revue fetuaring classic songs by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers, Elton John, ABBA, The Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher, and many more.

Rock Legends is essentially a hit-parade of over 60 classic songs mixed with comedic sketches and exciting dance numbers,” says Mustakas. “The production pays tribute to the unforgettable sounds that shaped the minds and attitudes of an entire generation.”

A first-rate cast of performers with remarkable voices has been assembled. “Audiences are going to be blown away by the calibre of talent on stage,” says Mustakas.

Book your tickets now for this summer’s blockbuster hit Rock Legends, the Sequel to Twist and Shout.

On stage June 2 to August 26.

Call our box office now at 1-800-565-7738

or book online!

By |March 22nd, 2017|Categories: 2017 Season, Rock Legends|0 Comments

A Brilliant Musical Comedy!

Ted and Richard dream about becoming classical pianists. But they have to deal with pushy parents, bizarre teachers, life-consuming practice, stage fright and agonizing Conservatory examinations. Revel in the incredible results of this hilarious and moving journey by these talented duelling pianists.

“Simple, charming, funny, brilliant. An absolute joy. Great humour and music.”    CBC

“Magical! Superb! Laugh-out-loud funny! Poignant! Perfection!”   
The Globe & Mail

 

Bryce Kulak & Max Roll
(Photo: Max Telzerow)


2 Pianos 4 Hands was originally produced in April 1996, and has since been seen on stages across North America and in London, UK. Ranked by American Theatre Magazine as one of the Top 10 Most Produced Plays in the USA, this play has won numerous awards including:

  • 2006 – Marquis Entertainment’s production won the award for Outstanding Touring Production by the Connecticut Theatre Critics Circle (winning over Broadway touring productions of The Lion King and Wicked)
  • 1996 – won Toronto’s Dora Award for Outstanding Production and a Chalmers Award (Canadian National Award) for Playwriting

Get your tickets and join the ranks of over 2 million others who have enjoyed what is arguably the most successful play in the history of Canadian Theatre!

Book online or call the box office now to book your tickets!

1-800-565-7738