Backstage at CCPA is our behind-the-scenes blog. Contributors are students, faculty, and members of our community.
Joscelyne Tamburri tells us about her experiences as a Year II student, from the classroom to the stage.
PREVIEW WEEK! How did we get here so fast? But just because we are practically hours away from opening night doesn’t mean we can let up now. Every day we get email pages of daily show notes, notes and more notes, all in the hopes that we to can be practically perfect.
The quick changes are still being smoothed out and steps are being perfected, but our director and team have put together such cohesive show, playing to all of our strengths, that no matter what level of performer you were going in, you can’t help but feel confident now.
The previews run at night, so for the first time my favourite number in Act 2, Step In Time, will be performed in the dark, as the sun sets right around intermission. This toe-tapping spectacle of endurance runs over 7-½ minutes long and we dance on laptop sized rooftops and pop in and out of chimneys. (Sweep) brooms are flying around more than on the set of the Wizard of Oz and it’s amazing how much skill and a bit of luck it takes to do the broom-ography…. But I hear tell it’s lucky to shake a sweeps hand so I guess we will be OK. The only issue I have with the number is that I got an allergic reaction to the special Sweeper’s soot makeup. I think I’ll still to good old dirt on the dressing room floor to smudge my face.
Speaking of dressing rooms, I’m so excited that we received our dressing room assignments recently too, and although we share our mirror & chair with an alternate cast member from the Drowsy Chaperone, it is nice to have an official home for our stuff. That little piece of tape on the wall with my name on it makes me so happy.
I thought I’d finish this blog entry by sharing with you another thing that make me happy…. The chance to make others happy too.
Throughout the season we will have special guests visiting us at the Bowl and treat them to a night of live theatre and good memories. These wonderful people and organizations do so much for others and it’s an honour to give back in some small way.
Canuck Place – A place of comfort and compassion where children could experience the simple joy of being a child, and families could cherish each moment together. Canuck Place Children’s Hospice first opened its doors in November 1995, to become North America’s first free-standing children’s hospice.
Covenant House in Vancouver – The mission of Covenant House is to provide love and hope to Vancouver’s street youth aged 16 – 24 who have fled physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse, those who have been forced from their homes or those who have aged out of foster care.
Performing Arts Lodges (PAL) Vancouver – this organization was created to provide a safe and affordable home for seniors who work or have worked in the performing arts industry—not just actors but also musicians, dancers, stage management, designers, set carpenters, radio announcers, and all those behind the scenes in live performance, film and television. – Two shows each year are dedicated to this worthy cause and cast members collect donations at the end of the shows on their behalf.
West End Community Centre – There is a wonderful story behind this special evening. In 2007 TUTS was bankrupt. One day, out of nowhere, a gentleman from Oklahoma (not the musical – the State) approached TUTS. He loves Theatre Under the Stars and heard it was in trouble. At a point when the entire world was asking TUTS for the money they owed them, this gentleman reached into his wallet, took out his credit card and offered us some funds to help us get back on our feet. After this donation and managing to the remaining creditors to accept 50 cents on the dollar, TUTS secured a line of credit to produce “Grease” and Oklahoma!” (a nodd to the the generous US donor). The season was a success, especially financially, and in the process of producing the season we changed the way TUTS does business which now relies heavily on Volunteers rather than a paid workforce. It was the beginning of the success they enjoy today. Since that time this wonderful US patron of the arts has given us additional donations, all of it anonymously. All he asks is that we provide a special evening for underprivileged kids.
Board Members & Alumni Night – how can you not do something special for your greatest champions. It’s so wonderful to see the support and the history come together in this special evening, and an honour for this years productions to celebrate the success of the show with all of them.
One final note to the old saying, “The show must go on”. This is Theatre Under the Stars after all and that means rain or shine. While most of the stage and the actors are covered with the proscenium, the audience it left to deal with Mother Nature. The conscientious front of house staff are quick to distribute complimentary ponchos as needed and it’s only on the rarest of occasions if the weather makes it unsafe to begin or continue a performance that a show would be cancelled. Fingers crossed there’s not a storm brewing on Cherry Tree Lane this summer.
Until next time friends, stay classy and sassy.