I have the pleasure of attending the PuSh Assembly this week, hard on the heels of a quick trip to Halifax, where I sat on a panel at the New Canadian Realisms symposium, hosted by Dalhousie University. In a testament to the microscopic size of the Canadian theatre community, three of the Haligonians I met are attending the Assembly to pitch their projects in Vancouver. Check out Halifax's Zuppa Theatre and Secret Theatre to see what they've got cooking.
Attending an academic symposium was an honour and somewhat of an out-of-body experience. Round-table convener Bruce Barton has an engaged practice in production and research and slipped seamlessly between the two dialects. I felt a bit at sea, parsing whether we were discussing big R or little r realism, or, The Real. Our co-conspirators Evan Webber and Zuppa's Alex McLean entered gamely into the field of Devising Realism, our given topic. We ended up doing a bit of devising in the context of our round table, which was certainly successful in stimulating heated dialogue. It was an engaged and engaging group of people to encounter, and I was particularly inspired by the work of Jill Carter, Candace Brunette, and Mimi Wellman. Their inquiries and practices gave me much food for thought. I was also infused with energy by Zuppa's presentation of an excerpt from Penny Dreadful, and the games we participated in afterward. I have to admit that the academic timetable of 8:30 a.m. presentations running to 1:00 a.m. panel planning was pretty hard core. But it was a good warm-up for this week's time-table of PuSh Assembly activities and shows.
See you at the theatre.