Lawyna Vawnya? Ahh Ya!!

    Posted on: Monday, April 18th, 2011

When I first saw the posters for Lawnya Vawnya I thought “oh great, another festival, really?”. Then I saw the attendance list.

Then I did a little dance, alone, on the sidewalk of Duckworth Street.

There is some major and I mean major league talent at this upcoming event, beginning just two days from now. It all kicks off on the 20th with the Opening Night Show, featuring Dave Bidini (Ex-Rheostatics), Mark Bragg and Phoebe Kreutz @ LSPU Hall, hosted by Tom Power. And there’s so much more. To name just two, Dan Mangan and Tony Dekker are incredible musicians and they’ll please your ears in ways others just simply cannot.

You can find out more at the official website or jump right to the schedule. Hit the jump to see the full line up.

Click here to see the full line up for the festival

Kym Greeley loves you

    Posted on: Thursday, April 14th, 2011

From the artist’s newly launched website:

I Love You was an art installation set up in the window of A1C Gallery in St. John’s through the month of April 2011. It displays a picture of a banana punctured with toothpicks to display the title phrase. It can be seen both during the day and at night through the aid of a light box. Free stickers were made available at the gallery in conjunction with the installation. Bananas and toothpicks are everyday items in my life, and I chose to combine them to create I Love You. The phrase itself is directed at the gallery board, volunteers, and the whole St. John’s arts community to show my appreciation for all the hard work they do.

I love it.

On a personal note, the short film I wrote and am directing that goes to camera this weekend centres heavily around the usage of parking meters, so the above image is well appreciated.

Rain zen

    Posted on: Thursday, April 14th, 2011

On a recycling bin on the corner of Water and Waldegrave, circa 9:30am.

The Battery is a dark comedy, surging with energy

    Posted on: Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

And laughs.

And foul language.

And you can drink beer during the show.

Yes, it deals with what playwright Megan Coles feels has once again become a taboo issue (or worse, one that is believed to have been “fixed”) in our present day culture, domestic violence. And yes, she expects it to raise the issue up and out from under the rug so that people can once again start talking about it and empowering one another to overcome it.

But Coles made it very clear during my conversation with her Monday evening as we overlooked the construction of the play’s cleverly detailed set, this is not solely what The Battery is about. Far from it.

Coles calls it her friendship play. What weaves the story together are the relationships between the characters; how they connect with one another, learn from one another, depend on and support one another.

The Battery, which is being staged at the upstairs bar of The Republic, is Poverty Cove Theatre’s first production, and it’s not by chance that it’s being produced outside of the traditional theatre space. Part of Poverty Cove’s mandate is to create theatre that is accessible to everyone. To do so, they will bring their productions to almost anywhere — except a theatre, which can be an alienating space for someone who has never ventured into one before.

Poverty Cove, co-founded by Megan Coles and Shannon Hawes (photo, left to right), is also about capturing the essence and atmosphere of a space, as opposed to simply its physical nature, and incorporating that into their production. So while they wouldn’t use the actual bar as the set of their bar in The Battery (fortunately that bar will be serving drinks, and you can enjoy your beverage during the performance), having the production staged within that space still gives you all the sites, the smells, everything our senses expect from and are met with in a bar.

Of course, stepping outside the theatre presents a whole slew of challenges, from finding the right location and gaining access to it, to electrical and technical considerations, to where to put your audience and what to sit them in. And you have to repeat those challenges with every production, since each one will take place in its own, unique space fitted to its themes and ideas.

Not that this in any way deters Coles and Hawes from pursuing their mandate. They’ve learned a lot from getting their first production off the ground, and if anything the experience has only served to encouraged them.

After all, The Battery sold out its opening night performance before a single poster went up or Facebook page had been created. You can now add Saturday’s closing night performance to the list, with the remaining performances filling up quickly.

So clearly there’s a demand for this kind of theatre.

Both Coles and Hawes were keen to point out that The Battery is being co-produced with RCA Theatre, which has been a huge help in making their first production a reality. From here, Poverty Cove plans to produce two productions a year, all of which will be first time stagings for a Newfoundland audience, and of course will not take place inside a theatre.

The Battery opens Wednesday, April 13th at 8pm and runs until Saturday, April 17th when there will be both a pay-what-you-can matinée (all proceeds will go towards Naomi Centre, which offers shelter and assistance to homeless woman aged 16 – 30) and an evening performance. Thursday evening’s perfromance will be proceeded by a talk back facilitated by Shannon Hawes and featuring Megan Coles and director Emma Tibaldo.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the RCA box office, ordered online, or purchased at The Republic on the night of the show. If there are any left by then, that is.

Knick-knack-paddywack, let’s get hammered tomorrow

    Posted on: Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Ah yes, nothing like the grim spectre of racism to get a party started. It’s said that in the old nursery rhyme, This Old Man, the term paddywhack was meant as an Irish slur.

I don’t know about you, but I’m planning on getting a bit of an Irish slur going tomorrow, by which I mean the dulling of my diction after several Irish ales.

A couple years back we dug into the history of St. Paddy’s day as we argued the case for drunkenness on the job should the occasion fall on a weekday. And last year we dished out a delicious recipe for Guinness-infused St. Paddy’s Day cupcakes.

This year we’d like to share with you a few fun ways to ring in the greenest of green days.

First off, you can send a tweet into the CBC Morning Show with your request for a St. Paddy’s Day song for tomorrrow.

Later in the day, after your morning scuff, head on over to Eastern Edge Gallery for their fourth annual installment of Heaven=Art+Beer (a statement even the most non-secular among us can agree with, no doubt). There you’ll find beer-inspired art from local artists, Irish and veggie stew, live music, and the essential ingredient to any St. Patrick’s Day diggly do: beer.

This promises to be a great break from the usual pub scene the day typically calls for, and you might even snag yourself a fine piece of art. There’s no cover and doors open 7pm.

Of course, if you’re feeling more solitary, or would like to host your own St. Paddy’s day brewhaha, you can find a fine selection of Irish brew from the NLC in the form of an eight-pack, as seen in this (fittingly?) blurry picture, below.

They supply the brew, you supply the haha.

Got plans of your own to ring in St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow? Make us green with envy in the comments!