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I have had a few people ask if TenBareToes has parts for kids. At the moment, no, I don’t have any shows planned that will need child actors.

That being said, knowing how much fun it is to act as a kid, I’m passing on an audition notice I found today.

Growing In The Arts School of Dramatic & Cinema Arts is putting on a production of Bubba Begonia, You’ll Be Sorry

Auditions are September 9 & 11.  See the show link for details and best of luck!

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While I work out the details of our next production with the theatre, I’d like to announce TenBareToes’ upcoming monthly series of workshops.   I have asked a number of the local theatre gurus to design a workshop series for us and they have delivered.

Starting in October, we have Karen Lucas leading an Improv workshop on the 19th at 7pm at the Globe Studios at 141 Whitney Place in Kitchener.

To borrow from Wikipedia, Improvisational theatre (also known as improv) is a form of theatre in which the improvisational actors/ improvisers use improvisational acting techniques to perform spontaneously. Improvisers typically use audience suggestions to guide the performance as they create dialogue, setting, and plot extemporaneously. Improvisational theatre performances tend to be comedic, although some forms are not necessarily intended to be comedic.

Many improvisational actors/ improvisers also work as scripted actors, and “improv” techniques are often taught in standard acting classes. The basic skills of listening, clarity, confidence, and performing instinctively and spontaneously are considered important skills for actors to develop.

Karen has been saying yes to improv for over sixteen years.  She performs regularly and teaches workshops with Waterloo’s long running improv troupe Theatre On The Edge.  Karen has also run an improv camp for children and designed workshops using improv to promote self discovery.  The tools learned in improv are great for the stage and for life!

Following that is Props & Gripping from Adrienne Steer, Property Mistress and Head Grip for our recent production of The Taming of the Shrew on November 16, also at 7pm.  I’m waiting on confirmation of the location for this workshop – keep an eye here for details.

Further down the pipe is Set Design with Chris Rovers in January, Character Development for the Actor with Jonathan C. Dietrich and more.  Details to follow regarding these and other workshops!

If you are interested in participating in either of these workshops, please contact info@tenbaretoes.com.  Spots are limited and will be on a first come-first served basis.

The Globe Studios: View Larger Map

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Hello all,

Unfortunately, I have some bad news. Tonight’s performance of The Taming of the Shrew has regrettably been canceled.  Polly Edwards, our Kate, has been in and out of the hospital 3 times in the past couple days. She’s being taken care of now, but unfortunately, Shrew isn’t much of a show without Kate.  She believes that she’ll be better enough for the Friday & Saturday performances, but is simply unable to perform tonight.

If you have purchased tickets, please contact our boxoffice to either reschedule to one of our remaining performances, or to request your money refunded.

Thank you for your understanding and we all wish Polly speedy recovery.

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As we go into the last week of Taming of the Shrew, I am getting a number of people asking me “So – what’s next?”

The answer is “I’m working on it”.  There are a couple shows I want to do – the problem now is trying to find locations for performing.  The downside to not owning our own theatre is that we have to keep trying to find a space.

In the meantime, I have had the privilege of working with some enormously talented people.  I am starting to approach them about running workshops focusing on their particular skills.  What I need to find out from you, for those of you who are interested in the performing or technical side of theatre as opposed to from an audience perspective – what would you like to see TenBareToes do a workshop in? Are you interested in bettering your auditioning skills?  Perhaps you’d like to see something in how to make simple wood ply look like stone or parchment?  Perhaps how to build a lute (or whatever crazy thing the director asks for)?  Please let me know and I’ll see what I can do to make it happen.
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A lovely lady who came to see the show last week emailed me today with a link.

She had put together a promo video for Shrew with some of the post-show commentary from folks.

This is possibly one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me.  I am extremely touched and honoured that she spent her time doing this and Rhonda -- I meant it when I said that on behalf of the cast & crew, thank you so much for this….

the_nita: (Thinking)
I think if this LJ ever dies, I'll move to a WP site.
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One week down! And by all reports, the show was well received by all who saw it. We even had a quick review by the Kitchener Record, which was lovely to see.

However, in a situation we knew was coming, I had to stand in for Brian. He has a band, d’Archangel, that had gotten a gig in Toronto for Saturday night.  I was able to sub in for him, so we decided to run with that.

My biggest personal concern was the fight at the start of act 4.  I had done it a couple times during rehearsal, but ultimately, I am no Brian and didn’t want to screw up.  I drilled it at home for most of last week, drilled it with the cast for Friday & Saturday and eventually left it to the cast & fight director to see if it was safe.  They said it would be fine.

It was.  It was slower than they normally do it, but it was good and acting made up for some of the rest.

What I didn’t expect to have to be afraid of was Nick.

Nick & Brian have a scene in the show that involves a plate of food.  Petruchio (Nick) tastes the food on the plate that Joseph (Brian) is holding and proclaims it burnt.  They have some business to do with the plate of food and Nick & I had gone over it a few times to make sure I knew the cue lines for the various bits.

When we got to the show itself, Nick bit off a piece of the chicken (that was doubling as mutton) and starts to proclaim it as burnt.  He realises that he has bit off too much and is having trouble talking.  It is entirely within character to spit it out and then continue his line.  The decision he makes is to spit it back on the plate (no one eats from it again that scene) and go on.

He misses the plate.  Pretty much entirely.

He didn’t miss me.  From my eyebrows to my clevage, there was chicken.  Fortunately, neither of us wound up giggling (that happened a LOT later).  It did mean that much of the rest of the business wound up by the wayside and gratefully, the audience didn’t notice that it was something different.

When I got off stage and into the green room, Nick was there already and looking pretty sheepish.  When he explained what happened, I had to smother giggles to make sure the audience didn’t hear us (the show was still going on).  I was still fishing chicken out of my cleavage 10 minutes later.  Much teasing happened on both sides and I had a new nickname now.

I love live theatre.  Stuff like this makes it always a challenge and rarely boring.

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I am a d8


Take the quiz at dicepool.com

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Remember I said I love working with talented people?

Original music by Dave O’Grady, photos by Sean M. Puckett, animation by Rob LeGood

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So far, the people who can't find the site are using Teksavvy...hurm.
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What ISP are you using? Trying to track down the problem. At this point, likely moving servers.
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I had a few people ask me yesterday if the theatre was air conditioned.

Yes.  Oh, definitely yes.  It’s July.  When I was renting the space, that was a significant consideration.

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Just in case you don’t follow Sean Puckett on Twitter (@catbear – NSFW), or don’t regularly go to his website (and you should!), here are the photos he took during our dress rehearsal on Monday.

They are gorgeous.

All photos copyright 2010 Sean M Puckett / TenBareToes Entertainment, all rights reserved. Performers, contact photographer for reuse rights.

Captions are Sean’s idea of fun; the play is presented with the original dialogue.

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There is something magical when things are added to a stage play. Words on paper fire the director’s imagination. Add in actors – other voices and minds – and the picture becomes clearer and more complex. Give those actors props & costumes and you start seeing less of the actor as the character takes firmer hold on them. Add lights, a set, sound and music and you can take an audience with you into another world.

Last night was the preview night for The Taming of the Shrew. There were a few glitches – biggest being the fountain’s electrics breaking unexpectedly, but the cast & crew pulled together and made magic.

I am lucky. I have amazing people to work with. Come share in that magic.

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My cast & crew rock my tiny world.  I know I keep saying that, but they really do.

Last night was the final dress rehearsal before the preview tonight.  There were a few minor glitches, but overall, it was glorious.  I spent most of the show watching as opposed to taking notes as a director.

I am so happy.  The cast took to the stage, costumes & their props like ducks to water.  Somehow, my technical crew pulled rabbits out of their hats and gave me a gorgeous stage as well as a functional fountain, the scene change hell act that’s coming together smoothly, and costumes that are truly gorgeous.

Tonight is the preview.  According to Producer Mike, we’re going to have some members of the media there. It should be fun.

I have brilliant people working with me.  I am the luckiest woman on the planet.

Come see them.  The show is brilliant – it’s fresh, lively and they are so good.

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Really, folks, when I say I get to work with some of the most incredibly talented people?

Shrew Opening – this is the opening theme for Shrew.  Listen to it.  It’s gorgeous.

I gave Dave a laundry list of pie in the sky wishes for the music.  He gave me stuff that’s beautiful.

(if anyone is a professional musician and feeling picky, also understand that I don’t have the final mastered version – this is the draft he sent me – and I love it.)

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I have had a few people email me asking for the location of the theatre.

We are performing in Elmira Theatre Company’s space at 76 Howard Ave., in Elmira.  To give you a frame of reference, I’m coming from the south west edge of Kitchener, and it takes me about 20 minutes by car.

Oh – and if you’re coming into Elmira off Arthur Street (what highway 86 turns into), then Howard Ave is the second street past the McDonald’s on your right (if you’re coming from Kitchener-Waterloo).

Perhaps, one day, we’ll have our own space, but for now, TenBareToes Entertainment’s production of The Taming of the Shrew is performing in Elmira.

Hope that helps!

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So we are a week (technically 8 days) away from the preview. This morning, Chris & I met with Gord from Elmira Theatre Company to pick up keys, do one last walk through of the space & start the load in.

Over the weekend, much work happened. Chris had a pre-build weekend which gave us all our set pieces – though the gate needs assembly (otherwise too large to transport) and the fountain needs some magic still. Mat, the set painter, got things started. What I would really like to know is why wood never looks like wood until you paint or stain it (at least on stage). Mat made doorskin look like aged weathered wooden planks. Blows my mind.

Speaking of blowing my mind, yesterday was the first time I got to see Bianca’s dresses. I asked for the delicate fashion plate. I got it. In spades. The difference between rough and willful Kate & gentle, sugar sweet Bianca will be evident from the time they walk on stage. It’s glorious.

Tonight is more painting and putting up the flats that define the stage. The aim is that Wednesday’s rehearsal has the entrances and exits where they really go & the cast has a chance to strut their stuff in the *right* space.

One more week. Get your tickets today This is going to rock.

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Been listening to people I know talking about the Black Bloc riot attacks. What disheartens me (beyond people being wantonly stupid in the situation and hurting people on either side)?

That both sides of the philosophical equation are using it as proof they were always right.

Those that thought there would be riots and that the security measures might be justified are looking at the rioters and saying "We were right to be scared."

Those that thought the riots would be staged to justify the security measures have started speculating that the rioters were on a payroll somewhere.

I take a deep breath and think that the only people who know the truth are the people who created the damage - and pray that I don't know anyone with so little regard for their fellow man.

I wish that it wasn't so, but the divide will get no smaller because both sides seem to see things to suit what they want to believe. I grok deep heartfelt emotions. I just don't happen to like this.

Flame as you will, if you will.
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This July, director Anita Kilgour and her new theatre company TenBareToes Entertainment bring Shakespeare’s classic battle of the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew, to the Elmira Theatre Company.

After many years in community theatre, with sold out productions as both director and producer, Anita Kilgour realised she was looking for a company that dedicated itself to enjoying creating theatre while fostering a professional approach. TenBareToes is her attempt to achieve that goal: that community theatre should be about the sheer joy of doing theatre to entertain an audience.

“It can be simple and easy,” Kilgour says, “Take talented people, provide them an environment where people can work, but without the stress that can go with it – and let them give audiences something fun to enjoy and cherish.” This philosophy seems to be working, attracting cast and crew from several local theatre companies to her banner.

So why choose The Taming of the Shrew as the company’s inaugural production? Viewing the story through the cracked mirror of a historical romance novel, Kilgour presents a fanciful twist by bringing the story forward slightly to the age of the privateer. When asked why this choice, she responded, “Petruchio (Nicholas Oddson) doesn’t entirely follow society’s rules and niceties.  He knows what he wants, knows what he needs to do and follows that course.  He isn’t a classic polite gentleman – he’s a scoundrel.  Leaving him in the original period didn’t feel right, but the modern day didn’t feel right either. The best time for the appealing scoundrel is that wonderfully mythic time that every historical romance novel gets wrapped in.”

Kate (Polly Edwards) has also undergone some change by Kilgour.  “Kate has been played in the past as everything from the incredibly loud, cranky witch through to the modern emancipated woman.  What I wanted to highlight was Kate’s utter lack of adulthood and manners.  Kate is a spoiled brat.”

Given the headstrong nature of both characters, Anita offers this comment to address the question of Kate & Petruchio’s reconciliation at the end of the play. “Kate doesn’t ‘give in’ to Petruchio.  He doesn’t ‘tame’ her; so much as he forces her to look square in the face of her behaviour by mirroring it.  She has to address the fact that she doesn’t think of others when she demands what she wants.  She realises that she can be every bit the strong woman that she is without having to squish everyone else around her to prove it.  Kate isn’t tamed.  Kate is shown how being an adult is every bit as rewarding as being a brat – by someone who can be as much of either of those as she is.”

Performances are July 8-10, 15-17, 22-24 all at 8pm, with a special preview performance July 6 at the Elmira Theatre Company, 76 Howard Ave, Elmira.  Tickets are $18 ($9 for the preview) and can be ordered from the company website.