Please feel free to comment or ask questions — discussion is welcome.
Director – Michael Holmes-Lauder
This current production builds off the recent revival but also incorporates a newly updated script provided by Daniel MacIvor.
HOUSE Notes – July 16 2019
Always interesting to revisit a script, with the lessons learned from the previous venture(s) and the thrill of performing what must be a script worth coming back to … right? Certainly! House, like many/most of MacIvor’s scripts uses a language that seems simple upon first blush, but his control and choice of words, ideas expressed by those words, and the way it all mashes together in the performance is something I rarely find in other scripts. I am so grateful to have been steered in the direction of MacIvor’s work — which was only 12 years ago or so. His plays fill me with a joy and wonder for life and its performance.
I am also grateful for the chance to play ‘Victor’ again, perhaps for the last time … last fall the character’s hardship really resonated more so than it did 10 years ago when we first performed the show. He’s a sad guy … trying to live a good life … but it’s life that offers him the chance to perform and tell his tale. Beautiful
Really looking forward to playing in Miramichi for the first time, and bring the show back to Saint John but inside the Fundy Fringe festivities! ‘Victor’ LOVES a room full of people!
CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT/REHEARSAL — DEC 2013-PRESENT
FIRST LAST NOISE!
In rehearsal with the following SHADOWS:
Director – TBD
Past Shadows involved in earlier development of this work:
FIRST LAST NOISE! Notes – Dec 19/2017(PM)
NEW TITLE = FIRST LAST NOISE!
2nd TITLE = THE FIRST/LAST PLAY
ORIGINAL TITLE = WELCOME TO THIS (or Make That Noise!)
The nugget of this play began back in 2006, and before I discovered the Daniel MacIvor and his solo work, which Nasty Shadows has since poured a great deal of time into staging in years past. I’m keen to remount one or two of the MacIvor solo shows we did, but I’d like to have my own solo show staged before I go back to Daniel’s work – if anything it’s an incentive for me to focus on my creation so I can then play in MacIvor’s world, which I do so enjoy. So, in some sense I was sidetracked by how amazing MacIvor’s solo plays were, how they stood as whole plays, complete stories, and not simply autobiographical ramblings or stand-up, not that either of those forms can’t be interesting, but I at the time I was tired of them and MacIvor’s work was a breath of fresh air. The solo piece I’m creating takes a cue from MacIvor in so far as I’m making a full play, a complete story, but the world my writing creates isn’t nearly as inviting and awe-inspiring as Daniel’s. I think I’m onto something interesting, and the feel echoes other pieces I’ve developed, including A STORY JONES and THE TABLE EXPERIMENTS, but I lean towards a darker space than MacIvor creates … and I’m certainly not as skilled with words.
The vibe of my plays’ worlds feels more like an attempt at Becket mixed with Shepard, my two Sams, but trying to harness some of the wonder and fun of MacIvor, all while hopefully creating something unique to me … but I’ve spent the past 10-20-30 years reading and re-reading and staging the works of those playwrights, my favourites, so it makes sense to me that what I’m writing feels like them … at least to me.
I’m liking what is happening so I’m working towards sharing it with audiences … hoping to push this work forward over the coming months … Nasty Shadows celebrates 20 YEARS of making theatre in 2018, and I’d love for a new work to hit the stage in celebration of that time.
Also in the beginning stages of a creating a performance piece adapted from a certain playwright’s works … details TBA, but pretty excited about this idea … gonna be working a *new* Nasty collaborator, but an old intimate friend and adventurer …
FIRST LAST NOISE! Notes – Dec/2017
Trying to build a one-man show out of a one-man show that became a multi-part show but has now gravitated back towards a solo piece …
THE FIRST/LAST PLAY Notes – Dec 31/2014(PM)
THE FIRST/LAST PLAY Notes – Dec 10/2014(PM)
Still sorting out logistics for casting for the spring, which means I might need to change plans and try one of the other pieces I’ve got stashed on my hard drive, started and never finished (got a couple with good potential though, I think ) … we’ll see what happens in the coming week and then I’ll have to make a call on what the Shadows will be up to post-Xmas …
THE FIRST/LAST PLAY Notes – August 10/2014(PM)
NEW TITLE = THE FIRST/LAST PLAY
I had to decide on a title as it was time to start spreading word about our upcoming season, and while I loved the idiosyncratic nature of my original title, I feel the new title better suits the work now as it’s evolved at this point.
I continue to toy with the script, and will hopefully squeeze in a read with the actors in the coming month, but our NEW PLAN is to now stage my show in the spring of 2015 due to some actor availability, and instead we will be revisiting an old favourite of mine this fall … and this return to familiar territory has plenty of new ground to offer in the Shadow of a friend who once played along side me whilst we toiled with that Rougher Magic.
WELCOME TO THIS (or Make That Noise!) Notes – March 9/2014(PM)
I just keep focusing on what I feel is one of the best pieces of writing advice, which (of course, if you know me) comes from Mr. David Mamet. In 3 uses of the knife : on the nature and purpose of drama, the thrust of Mamet’s concerns, and in most interviews I’ve read, is that everything in the drama needs to drive towards the goal or aim. This doesn’t mean one draws a bull’s-eye and then writes the story to that mark, although I guess you could, but I’d find that rather dull. Instead, when all is said and done, the well-constructed drama will not have any loose ends — this is a notion rattling in my head which dates back to my first year of university. The well-made play: All My Sons by Arthur Miller was the example Bob used in that first class I took. I guess I’m sort of a traditionalist in that regard, that I think everything in the play should be working towards the truth of the play or the thrust of the story; like a Seinfeld episode. There is no waste as everything in Seinfeld, the lines, props, setting, are used to build towards the minor punchlines throughout the show, which in turn all build to the overall punchline of the episode. I like something that is well-crafted. Sometimes, depending on the art, that craft can be the result of more natural talent, but mostly honing of skills and developing one’s craft is needed to truly push the art to excel. I don’t go much for raw unfocused expression unless it truly grabs you, but often I find it’s an excuse for being lazy. Most artists or musicians I admire have said something along those lines, and then after you have mastered the craft you are in the position to start forgetting and breaking some of those “rules” you learned. You have to work to create, and for me a big part of that is that the entire work is cohesive within itself; no line or action can be extraneous. Everything needs to be vital, or why is it there …
WELCOME TO THIS (or Make That Noise!) Notes – Dec 31/2013(PM)
Very pleased with the opening 3-4 pages, but after that I’m not so happy … I’m aimlessly shooting around for what I think should be the drive of the story, but I’ve got too many ideas about what that could/should be at this point, so I need to focus down on where this story wants to go, not where I might necessarily want it to go … I mean, sure, I’m driving but the roads only go in certain directions so I need to follow those paths for this to really work.