Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Seasonal joys

Monday, December 13th marked PTC's Annual General Meeting, this year a joint affair with The Only Animal. It was inspiring to revisit the activities of the 2009/10 year for both companies, and to see the sparkling documentation from NIX, TOA's theatre of snow and ice, and You and the Moon, one of my favourite plays for solo audience. I look forward to our ongoing collaboration on SOS, by Eric Rhys Miller, which PTC is developing with TOA for a summer 2011 premiere on the beaches of Spanish Banks. Whenever I feel a little soggy in here in the rain forest, I imagine making theatre in July on the beach, for which my dramaturgical tool kit will include suncreen, flip flops, and a bathing suit.

Imaginations soared in the AGM playwright readings. The Only Animal's Eric Miller, ably assisted by Lisa C. Ravensbergen, gave us a glimpse of SOS, "a lost and found story," as the amnesiac narrator terms it. Traveling Light, Jordan Hall's play in development, took us into the competitive academic world of experimental physics, and tantalized us with the sense that the experiments and experimenters may be more interconnected than they know. Jeremy Waller opened the world of Trunk, which was developed in the 2009 Colony. Trunk's moving poetics embodied the longings of its central characters, and it was a treat for me to read in for a character whose voice I've heard many times from the outside. Tim Carlson's Fractional Jets brought us into the present day aftermath of investments into the Olympic Games, stimulating laughter of recognition as big dreams are cut down to size. We look forward to a potential Theatre Conspiracy presentation of Tim's piece in 2011.

Annual General Meetings are a chance to connect the board members who support our work throughout the year with the writers who are at the heart of the company. Jan Derbyshire, before reading from her work-in-progress, MINE, thanked all the board members for their crucial support in making theatre happen. She then took us into a world of grandmothers, granddaughters, and hidden bombs - full of dynamic theatrical image, and humour that made the sometimes painful subject matter side-achingly funny. Reading from source material for a piece in development for the Talking Stick Festival, Lisa C. Ravensbergen brought to life the push and pull of desire, connecting to the audience through and between the words with a rich sensuality of language. Look for Lisa's The World is the World in its physicalized form in the New Year. The Associates' readings were rounded out by a knowing, funny, and vulnerable performance - from hand written notes - by Jenn Griffin. Her monologue from an outsider in academe touched on woundedness, intellectual curiosity, and recognition between lovers - in the context of an academic supervisor meeting. Colony writer Andrew Templeton finished the evening with a scene from Last Occupant of Troy, in which a story teller barters tales - food for the soul - for entrance into the fabled city. His comic timing playing both characters was hilarious. It was a fitting finale to a night of stories from writers to watch - and to have our imaginations nourished by.

A few script notes to finish up, and then I'm off for the holidays. But look for some guest posts between now and the new year.

Heidi Taylor

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