Extremely Short Story Contest

Extremely Short Play Festival - New Theatre of Ottawa

*** PLEASE NOTE ***

The Contest is now closed.

And the winner is…

To celebrate its upcoming Extremely Short Play Festival, New Theatre of Ottawa is sponsoring an Extremely Short Story Contest!

Our inspiration is Ernest Hemingway’s famous six-word short story: “For sale: baby shoes, never used.”

Here are the Extremely Short Rules:

  • In the comments to this post, enter your name, email address and SIX WORD STORY. (Your email address will not be posted publicly.) Longer entries will be disqualified.
  • All entries must have a time stamp no later than 11:59 pm, Sunday, April 29, 2011 (Ottawa time).

At the Festival preview on May 1, director John Koensgen will announce the winning entry. The winner will receive two complimentary tickets to the festival performance of his or her choice (May 3 through May 12).

Evolution Theatre’s Double Bill

Less than a week to go until Evolution Theatre presents its newest offering, a double bill consisting of [boxhead] by Darren O’Donnell (directed by Alix Sideris and featuring Christopher Bedford and Stewart Matthews); and Mary Magdalene and Adventures in Sobriety by Berni Stapleton (directed by Andy Massingham and featuring Nancy Kenny).

These both look like terrific shows and I’m glad to see that Evolution has already had some positive buzz, notably in the Ottawa Citizen and in The Visitorium – a look at both [boxhead] and Mary Magdalene. I’m sharing my enthusiasm for these shows not only because I sit on Evolution’s board (in the interests of full disclosure) but because I’m a genuine fan of each of the artists involved with these productions.

The shows open next Wednesday, April 18, at Arts Court Theatre and run through April 28 (except Monday). Show time is 7:30 and tickets are $25 ($20 for students/seniors); there’s also a Pay What You Can Matinee on Sunday, April 22nd at 2 p.m.

You can order your tickets by phone from Arts Court at 613-564-7240 or buy them online here.

The first rehearsal…

Yesterday was the first rehearsal for my play, Late, which will be part of New Theatre of Ottawa’s Extremely Short Play Festival next month.

The first rehearsal is always exciting for me – the first chance to hear the actors take the characters’ dialogue from the page and bring it to life. In this case, director John Koensgen has asked Kristina Watt and Kate Hurman to play the parts and their work yesterday has made me all the more excited to see what happens next.

In this instance, the play is a simple conversation between two old friends meeting for lunch. Two chairs, a table, and a roller-coaster ride down memory lane… What was so interesting at the rehearsal was to watch two fine actors dissect their characters and peel away countless layers of meaning from the things said (and not said!) in that conversation. This is the essence of theatre as an interpretive art: their discoveries were fascinating, and I learned volumes about the characters, their relationship and their pasts. Were these facts already there, dormant in the dialogue I’d crafted months earlier? Or was their discovery dependent on the insights and skills of these particular actors? I’m not sure that these are significant questions; what matters is that their performances next month will be immeasurably enriched by the work they have now begun putting into sculpting their characters.

The Festival includes 11 “extremely short” plays (10 minutes and under) and runs May 3-12, 8 pm, at Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Avenue. (There are also previews on May 1 and 2). Tickets are $30 (adults) / $25 (students and seniors).

 

Extremely Short Play Festival

Extremely Short Play Festival - New Theatre of OttawaI’m excited that New Theatre of Ottawa has selected my short play Late to be included in its Extremely Short Play Festival in early May at the Arts Court Theatre here in Ottawa. Director John Koensgen and actors Catriona Leger, Kate Hurman. Adam Pierre, and Brian Stewart will be getting to work on the plays that have been gathered – none longer than ten minutes – and I’m hoping to get a peek at the odd rehearsal, so more to come.

In the meantime, mark your calendars: May 3 through May 12, with previews on May 1 and 2.

T.E. or Olivier?

As my good friend Jessica Ruano has recounted, we took the opportunity to meet Simon Callow yesterday after seeing his show, Being Shakespeare: meeting him was one of those things on Jessica’s list of Things to Do. We decided we might as well go all the way in doing this, so we asked for his autograph on our freshly bought copies of his recently published “alternative autobiography, “My Life in Pieces.”

He asked my name; I told him. As he readied his pen, he then asked: T.E. or Olivier? I parsed the question – it took me a moment – and replied: T.E. He accepted that, though I perceived a hesitation and, I thought, a little sigh of disappointment.

It was later that I noticed the blurb on the back cover remarking about his hero, Laurence Olivier.

Wrong answer.