The Bellows: Contracts and Fees 2 by Michael Kruse

The Bellows logo.jpg

Another installment of the Bellows for this episode. This is a compliment to the previous episode on Contracts and Fees we did earlier in 2017. This time with production manager Erin Birkenbergs and producer Sue Balint. This covered areas we did not have a chance in the last episode and I am sure you will learn even more from this discussion. The Bellows was recorded on September 23 2017 at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto. As normal, the panel discussion was moderated by Kevin Hutson and hosted by Christopher Ross.

 

Bios

Erin Birkenbergs

Erin studied theatre at York University, and has spent the past three seasons as Factory Theatre's Production Manager in Toronto. Previous to that she was a Freelance Production Manager and technician for theatre, opera and dance. Selected credits include:  opdog/Underdog, Ruined (Obsidian Theatre); Window on Toronto (Soulpepper); The Story (Theatre Columbus); The Mill Parts 1-4 (Theatrefront); A Synonym for Love (Volcano Theatre); The Test (The Company Theatre); Turn of the Screw (Against the Grain Theatre); Svadba - Wedding (Queen of Puddings Music Theatre); La Calisto (Glenn Gould School of Opera). 

Sue Balint

Sue has been working in arts management for the past decade, acting as producer for Modern Times Stage Company for several seasons, and for Theatrefront’s Dora award-winning play cycle, The Mill (Parts 1-4). She has also worked with visual artist/architect Philip Beesley, and most recently served as producer for SummerWorks’ Progress festival and Aluna/Modern Times’ co-production of Blood Wedding (Bodas de Sangre). Sue holds degrees in Theatre and Religion (Queen’s University) and Journalism (King’s College).

 

#43 Rachel Forbes by Michael Kruse

Rachel Forbes, photo by David Cooper.

Rachel Forbes, photo by David Cooper.

I caught up with Rachel Forbes just before the opening of 1837: The Farmer's Revolt at The Shaw Festival in May of 2017. We discuss choice of going into theatre and the beginnings of what promises to be a long a fruitful career in theatre. 

Links

Ryerson School of Performance (Nee theatre school)

Videocaberet

Hooray for Johnny Canuck

Obsidian Theatre Company

Michael Gianfrancesco

Astrid Dora Janson

Soulpepper

Weyni Mengesha

Djanet Sears

 1837: The Farmers Revolt, Shaw Festival. LD: Steve Lucas, Director: Philip Akin, Actor: Sharry Flett

 1837: The Farmers Revolt, Shaw Festival. LD: Steve Lucas, Director: Philip Akin, Actor: Sharry Flett

How Black Mothers Say I Love You, Factory Theatre Dir: Trey Anthony, LD: Steve Lucas, Actor: Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah

How Black Mothers Say I Love You, Factory Theatre Dir: Trey Anthony, LD: Steve Lucas, Actor: Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah

#42 Peter Hartwell by Michael Kruse

Peter Hartwell, photo by David Cooper

Peter Hartwell, photo by David Cooper

Peter is a set and costume designer based in Niagara-On-the-Lake, Ontario. I had the pleasure to speak with him at his home in May of 2017. Peter spent the first 1/2 of his career in the UK, working with the likes of Max Stafford Clark at the Royal Court, and since 1991 has distinguished himself in Canada as one of its leading designers.

Links

Queen's University Drama Program

Fred Euringer

Gavin Semple

Margaret "Percy" Harris, from the Motley Theatre Design School

English National Opera at the Sadler's Wells

Saved by Edward Bond

National Theatre School

The Royal Court Theatre, London and from The Telegraph

George Devine and Tony Richardson

Sophie Harris, of The Motley's

Jocelyn Herbert

The Bristol Old Vic School

Elizabeth Montgomery

Galileo by Berthold Brecht

Michael Gambin

William Gaskel (The Royal Court)

Tony Page

John Dextor

Lindsay Anderson

The Half-Moon Theatre

Hayden Griffon

The Farm at the Royal Court

Camperdown House

Half-Moon Passage, London

Pam Brighten

Guy Sprung talking about the start of the Half-Moon Theatre

York Mystery Cycles

Come Together at the Royal Court

Timeon Alsacker

Phaedra Britanica at the National Theatre, designed by Tanya Moiseivitch

The Cut in Waterloo at the Old Vic

Weapons of Happiness by Howard Brenton Directed by David Hare at the Littleton Theatre

The Berliner Ensemble

T34 Russian Tank

Portable Theatre with Snoo Wilson and Howard Brenton

Joint Stock Theatre Company

The Speakers by Heathcote Williams

Il Campiello by Goldoni at the National Theatre

The Olivier Stage at the National Theatre

Bill Bryden

Tamburlaine and Prince Philip

Simon Relph

The Madras House

A Mad World, My Masters by Barrie Keeffe produced by Joint Stock

Max Stafford Clark

Simon Callow and Gillian Barge

Epsom Downs by Howard Brenton

The Roundhouse Theatre in London

The Riverside Studios and Peter Gill

Paul Thompson

Ralph Koltai

The Glad Hand by Snoo Wilson

Tony Sher and Julie Walters

Roots by Arnold Wesker at the Young Vic

Tim Caroll

Stuart Birge at the Royal Court

Cloud 9 by Joint Stock and Royal Court

Top Girls, Serious Money, by Carol Churchill and Our Country's Good

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists with Harriet Walter

The Iran Hostage Crises

Roman Litchinsky from Canadian diplomatic core

Scenes From an Execution by Howard Barker

Glenda Jackson

Phil Young

Hamstead Theatre Club

Albrecht Seeger

Our Country's Good

Bill Glassco

Miles Potter

MacBeth at (Royal) Winnipeg Theatre Centre

1949 by David French

Jeffery Dallas

Of The Fields Lately By David French with Randy Hughson directed by Bill Glassco

The Ten-Minute Alibi at the Shaw Festival

Murray Morrison

The Old Woman, by Daniil Kharms

Doug Lemcke

Glynis Lehshan

The Devil's Disciple at The Shaw Festival

Waste directed by Neil Munro at the Shaw Festival

Rat and the Skull directed by Max Stafford Clark

Serious Money directed by Max Stafford Clark

Anita Rochon at the Belfry Theatre Alice Monroe Short Stories

Seana McKenna

Jenny Taramani (designer UK)

Tim Caroll

John C. Dinning

Ivan Habel

Michael Eagan

The Foster Festival

Jane Dagg (development at Shaw Festival)

Rod Hilliard

 

 

The Bellows: Getting Started in Design by Michael Kruse

This time on our presentation of The Bellows, a topic close to the heart of this podcast, Getting Started in Design. Moderator Christopher Ross speaks with lighting designer Jareth Li, performance designer Shannon Lea Doyle, sound designer and composer Alex Williams, and lighting Designer Michael Kruse (:)) about their best advice on getting becoming a theatrical designer.

Bios

Jareth Li

Jareth is a freelance lighting designer based in Toronto. Select lighting designs include: The Glass Menagerie, Casimir and  Carolin (The Howland Company); Sinners’ Lounge (Canada’s  Wonderland); Dusk Dances (Dusk Dances – Sylvie Bouchard);  Crazy For You (Port Hope Festival Theatre); The Trial of Judith  K (Thought for Food Productions); Mourning Dove (Sudbury  Theatre Centre); Dangerous Liaisons (Red One  Collective/Storefront); The Widow (SummerWorks); Disco Pigs  (A Lasting Dose Productions). Jareth is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.

Shannon Lea Doyle

Shannon Lea Doyle is a scenographer and sculptor from Toronto. In the past year Shannon has collaborated with directors Leah Cherniak, Frank Cox-O’Connell, Alessandro Costantini, Mikaela Davies, Sarah Kits, Jeannette Lambermont-Morey, Adam Lazarus, Viktor Lukawski  Gregory Prest, Albert Shultz, Guillermo Verdecchia, and Michael Wheeler. Shannon is currently assistant to the 2016 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art in Toronto, designing The Last Wife at The Belfry in Victoria, B.C. and working on a new sculpture series. She holds a BFA in Sculpture and Installation from OCAD University and is a graduate of the Soulpepper Academy where she worked under the mentorship of Lorenzo Savoini. Find more details on her website at: shannonleadoyle.com

Alex Williams

Alex Williams has worked for 12 years on Hollywood features, television series, documentary and indie film productions in both sound and picture editing departments, such as Acts of Imagination, X-Men 3, Scary Movie 4, News for the Church and Mustard Pancakes. Alex holds a B.F.A. In Film/Video from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (Film/Video), studied at Concordia University, The Banff Centre, and under Emmy and Juno-award winning sound mixer, William Butler.

Michael Kruse

Michael is a Toronto based lighting designer and has lit over 125 shows for theatre, dance, opera and corporate events. A graduate of Ryerson Theatre School, Michael was at the Shaw Festival for four seasons, the Blyth Festival for nine seasons, and has worked across the country and abroad.  He has been honored with several Dora nominations in lighting design including Studio 180's The Laramie Project and Theatre Direct's Alphonse, and a Sterling nomination for the hit November Theatre show The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets that toured Canada and made an appearance at the Tarragon Theatre in 2008.  Michael designs have also been seen at the Factory Theater, Theatre Passe Muraille, Theatre New Brunswick, The Globe Theatre, Regina, Theatre Network, Edmonton, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Carousel Players, and many others.  Michael currently works as an advanced care paramedic for York Region Paramedic Services.

 

The 2017 Harolds Sham-Cast: A Special Presentation of The Bellows by Michael Kruse

Detail from a painting of Harold Kandel by Kirsten Johnson

Detail from a painting of Harold Kandel by Kirsten Johnson

On June 13th, Toronto theatre artists were feted again by the irreverent and always random Harold Awards. Established in 1995 by 13 bad-ass independent theatre artists, the awards have wound their way through the theatre community, establishing a timeline of independent theatre creators that have pushed the boundaries and held everything together in the Toronto theatre scene.  The new artists are "Harolded" by the previous year's winners, who look for theatre creators who inspire them professionally, or personally, or surrealistically and come from all aspects of the theatre, on stage and off. Stage managers, producers, educators, administrators designers and yes actors and directors make up all of the recipients of what Daniel MacIvor has called "the most important award a theatre artist can win".

See the Harold's webpage for the history of the award, named after Harold Kandel, an eccentric and vocal theatre lover who became an entrenched theatre super-fan and who was loved and who, when he started talking back to the actors on stage during a show, could instill that cold sweat that let you know you had to pull out all of your acting chops to make it through that performance, or risk being heckled!

The Ken McDougall award for directing, sponsored originally by Platform 9, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and Theatre Passe Muraille is the only prize that comes with cash and was added in 1996 to honor the passing of Ken McDougall, a leading director in the Toronto Indy scene. In 2012, the year that I was one of the organizing artists as a Haroldee from 2011, we established the Barbara Fingerote Award to honor the great and unswerving volunteers without whom no theatre could operate in Toronto. Barbara Fingerote is a volunteer, now retired but who keeps getting pulled back in, who was to be found at every indie theater in Toronto at one time or another and who stood for the love we all have of theatre. 

The Bellows crew was asked to come and record the show and interview some folks during it, and as you will find out, was a target of a classic Harold's ruse. While in some years the recipients were told they were winning, most years, it is kept a secret, and it is part of the game to see if you can get your Haroldee to the party without them knowing. They can't prepare and the surprise is everything. 

If you work or aspire to work in the Toronto theatre scene, you will not be disappointed in this edited version (at 1:20, it is a might bit shorter than the 2 hrs it usually takes) and you will hear interviews conducted by Pip Bradford and Rebecca Hooton with some past and present inductees into the awards interspersed in the show.

OH! A quick note - in the extro I mention it was recorded at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, but that was a mistake - it was recorded at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre!

#41 Richard Feren by Michael Kruse

Last September, 2016, I spent 2 hrs talking to composer and sound designer Richard Feren.  We spoke about his early career in radio, at the age of 13, through his time in the explosion of indi theatre in Toronto in the early 90's and his work with iconic directors like Daniel Brooks. We land on his process for producing sound scapes and scores for theatre and the genesis of his modern method, from the early days of the Fostex 4-track cassette to Qlab. We finally land on his work in organizing designers to fight back against the cuts to fees in Canada. This is a 2 hr chat, but one that holds on to you at every minute.  To see Richard's theatre bio go here.

We did not get to chat about his work as @RobFrod or his other music projects, but you can see more on his website here.

Links

Guelph Little Theatre

Samuel Becket and Theatre of the Absurd

University of Toronto Schools (secondary schools)

David Letterman

CFRU FM at U of Guelph

Post-punk and New Wave

Reel to Reel editing (splicing block, Revox reel to reel)

Fostex 4-track cassette recorder

The Residents (band)

Van der Graaf Generator (band)

Chrome (band)

Brave New Waves with Brent Bambury

Ed Video, media arts centre, (Guelph)

Trinity Square Video (Toronto)

Brian Eno

Fiona Griffiths

U of Guelph

Theatre Resource Centre

Richard Pochencho and Ian Wallace

Clown-through-mask

Mump and Smoot

Futures Grant, from Canada Council

The Maids, directed by Ian Wallace

Rhubarb Festival, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Old Buddies' space on George St.

Pow Pow Unbound

Darren O'Donnell

Wendy Agnew

Stephen Seabrook

The Young Company at Blyth Festival

Round Rotund Rumps at Rhubarb Festival 1994

Excerpts From The Emo Journals by STO Union

The Dance of Death by August Strindberg at Equity Showcase

Skye Gilbert

Das Reingold by Richard Wagner, directed by Stephen Seabrook

Justin Roddy, sound designer

Death Waits - Jacob Wren

The Bangs at The Theatre Centre

The 40 Tiny Performances, Darren O'Donnell

The Theatre Resource Centre's Soirees

Daniel Brooks and The Augusta Company

Nadia Ross

Here Lies Henry, by Daniel MacIver

Monster, In on ItCul-de-SacThis is What Happens Next, by Daniel MacIver

Necessary Angel Theatre Co.

Insomnia, by Daniel Brooks

The Designated Mourner, by Wallace Shawn

A Doll's House at Soulpepper

The Other Place at Canadian Stage

Todd Charleton

DAT Tape

Tape Hiss

Sampling Keyboards in Theatre

Qlab from Figure 53

Cage

Heartbreak House, 1998 Shaw Festival

Tadeusz Bradecki, director and performer

Faust, at Tarragon Theatre directed by Daniel Brooks

Steel Kiss by Platform 9, at Buddies in Bad Times, by Robin Fulford

Gulag by Platform 9, directed by Sarah Stanley

Steve Marsh, sound designer

Possible Worlds, directed by Daniel Brooks

Mitchell Cushman

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), directed by Alisa Palmer

Endgame by Soulpepper, directed by Daniel Brooks

László Marton

Diego Matamoras

John Cage

Stratford Festival

Shaw Festival

Peter Hinton, director

Mike Walsh, sound engineer and designer

Oleanna, at Soulpepper Theatre

White Biting Dog, at Tarragon Theatre

Julie Fox, set designer

Julius Ceasar Hart House theatre, Overture by Richard Feren

Associated Designers of Canada

The Designers Guild

The Bellows: Self Care by Michael Kruse

Are you sleeping enough? Do you know what enough is? When was the last time you made yourself a meal, or spent the day taking care of yourself instead of all of your actors and director? Have you had moments of panic for no reason or felt an unyielding force preventing you from leaving the house and going into rehearsal? Perhaps, like the rest of us, you have been focusing on the show to much and on yourself too little. Self care is important, and vital to a long and fruitful career.  The next hour and 1/2 we talk about self care. In this session of The Bellows, host and carpenter Kevin Hutson talks to a panel of self-care experts about surviving, well, life in the theatre.

Recorded on February 20th, 2017 , our panel was made up of David Whitley, advanced care paramedic and peer support worker in paramedic services, and Leah Erbe from the Actors Fund of Canada.

Actors Fund of Canada

Bios

David Whitley

David is an Advanced Care Paramedic in a emergency service in the Greater Toronto Area, and serves on it's Critical Incident Stress Management and Peer Support team. David is also a registered nurse and has spent many years training in the treatment and prevention of stress injuries.

Leslie Erbe

Leah is The AFC’s first program manager. The AFC is the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry, providing short-term financial assistance to entertainment industry professionals whose health, housing, or ability to work have been jeopardized by an unforeseen emergency. Leah spent eight years as The AFC’s case coordinator, fielding calls and processing applications for assistance, before becoming program manager in 2016. Prior to her work at The AFC, Leah worked as a member representative at the Songwriters Association of Canada.

Leah has performed as a solo act, with her band Smugshot, and with other bands and projects in and around Toronto. Her songs have been featured on "Dawson's Creek", “Party of Five”, and in several independent films; she has worked with producers and co-writers Mike Rocha, Luther Mallory (Crush Luther), and Haydain Neale (jacksoul). She also has extensive TV and film credits as a singer, including theme vocals for "Earth: Final Conflict" and the IMAX documentary "Under The Sea", and featured vocals for the IMAX films "Spacestation" and 2016’s “A Beautiful Planet”.

#40 Martha Mann by Michael Kruse

Martha Mann is one of the original Canadian theatre designers. I had the pleasure of speaking with Martha in her home in August of 2016. We speak about her personal origins when there were no theatre training programs in Canada, about the birth of modern Canadian drama from the amateur Dominion Drama Festival, and her work on countless productions of theatre and film, including her work at Glimmerlass Opera and on the Anne of Green Gables films. More quotes from Martha can be found here.

Links

New York University Drama Dept.

Yale School of Drama Graduate Degree

Ontario College of Art, now OCAD University

University Alumni Dramatic Club, now the Alumni Theatre

James Raney's The Killdeer

The Dominion Drama Festival

The London Little Theatre, now The Grand Theatre

The Royal Alexander Theatre

The National Theatre Schoo

Mark Knagen, designer

Wilf Pegg, designer

William Needles

John Colicos

Ron Hartmann

Hart House Theatre

Lawren Harris

Susanne Mess

Les Lawrence

Victor Braun

South Pacific

Catherine Brickenden

Life with Father

Young People's Theatre

Jupitor Theatre - The Museum Theatre at the Royal Ontario Musem

The Crest Theatre

Hilary Corbett

Murray and Donald Davis and their Sister Barbara Chilcott

The Straw Hat Players

Soulpepper

Central Library Building Toronto turned into the Robert Gill Theatre

Robert Gill

The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles by George Bernard Shaw

The Drama Centre at University of Toronto

Francois Barbeau

The Arts and Letters Club, Toronto - 0:41

Jo Mielziner

Susan Benson

Jean Rosenthal

Leon Major

Kevin Sullivan

The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Anderson, shot at Black Creek Pioneer Village

Krieghoff film by Kevin Sullivan

Anne of Green Gables film with an Interview with Martha

Ann Roth costume designer

Intermezzo at the Glimmerglass Festival

New York City Opera

Miami Lyric Opera

Radio City Music Hall

Imperial War Museum

Scenography in Canada, Natalie Rewa

Stan Turner, carpenter at The Crest

Malabars Costume House

Anne of Green Gables, the musical at Theatre Calgary

Glenn [Gould] play at Soulpepper

Eames chairs

Ryerson Theatre School

Julius Ceasar at Stratford Festival, 1998

Trapunto quilting

Jerry Franken

Opera News - Dress Up Games

Peter Brook

Associated Designers of Canada

Theatre Safety Guidelines

Charmion King leg injury judgement

Origins of Canadian Actors Equity

Edith Head

The Washington National Opera