This episode, I speak with set and costume designer Edward Kotanen. Ed was around at the start of the rebirth of Canadian theatre in the 1960's and managed to navigate a successful career until his retirement recently. Ed has a great perspective on the relationship between amateur and professional theatre and how groups like the Sunparlour Players and London Little Theatre helped to launch his career in the 1970's. We also talk about the meetings in Frances Dafoe's basement and how they spawned the Associated Designers of Canada.
Ed also recounts the story of Jack Shapira and his conviction of embezzlement at the Rainbow Stage. I have gone over the press clippings, one which is found in the links below, and all of what we talked about though it may sound just a little bit like gossip occurred as Ed told it, so rest assured, we are not making this stuff up!
A bit more on the apocryphal side is my telling of a controversial set design that I attribute to Michael Levine at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Hard as I try, I could not find reference to it online, so I may indeed have my facts all backwards - if you listen and know the real story let me know and I will post an update!
Leslie Hurry, costume designer
Mad Shadows, National Ballet of Canada