Archive for the ‘St. Mary’s University Calgary’ Tag

I can’t go on, I’ll go on . . .   3 comments

You will recognize those words.   Guillaume'spic

They are not mine but of one of my literary heroes, Samuel Beckett. My other favourite quote of his is:

No matter

Try again

Fail again

Fail better.

Words to live by, or so I think, on any account.

So where have I been, you might ask? Well, let me tell you . . .

The last you heard from me, I had been in the hospital with a bleeding ulcer. An early and unpleasant premonition of my ultimate demise, I suppose. They went into my stomach with a gastroscope and cauterised the vein that was the source of the problem. I was meant to lie in the hospital for three days while they observed me but I had a rehearsal for a play I was dramaturging that night, so I checked myself out the next morning. I am a person of the theatre, after all.

That was one of two plays I was involved with at St. Mary’s University in Calgary. The other was a new play of mine called First and Last, which we produced at St. Mary’s and then immediately after with Rogues Theatre in Calgary. Both productions were directed by my friend Joe-Norman Shaw. If you are interested in a play for fifteen actors, with more female roles than male roles, let me know.

Somewhere in there, I did a cameo in a movie by director Guillaume Carlier titled Everybody Altogether Now. Thus began my career as someone who appears but doesn’t really perform, hence my new title for myself, Appearance Artist. (How brilliant is that?!) The photo above is from that film.

After that, if you can believe it, I was in a ballet!  Our Canada, conceived by one of my favourite artists and people,  Alberta Ballet artistic director Jean Grand-Maitre. I played the ghostly presence of Gordon Lightfoot. ballet1

Here I am slaying the Alberta Ballet Dancers. It was a beautiful ballet, and as you can imagine an amazing experience . . . but then anything is possible when you’re an Appearance Artist!

From there, I went to the Sunset Theatre in Wells, British Columbia, where I (guess what?) appeared in Morag Northey’s amazing creation for cello and narration, titled 17. This was another incredible experience. Morag is one of the most brilliant performers I have ever seen and heard. To sit beside her on stage night after night and witness her awesome artistry was something you can only dream of. We’re hoping to do the piece in Calgary before too long. Here she is, hard at work in the theatre lobby.

Morag17

At the same time, I taught two terms in the MDRT Program at Calgary’s Abes College. This is a program for health care professionals from around the world, aimed at helping them get a job here in the medical system, instead of working at Tim Horton’s or driving Uber. This continues to be one of the good things I do in my life. Sure it pays some bills, but I love the students and I try to help them feel at home here in their adopted country of Canada. This is my student Jen celebrating the end of a brilliant term together.

Jen.jpg

I’m teaching a playwriting class at St. Mary’s currently. I am writing a play for my friend Duval Lang about an incident from the life of Calgary legend Bob Edwards. And I am writing a series of short stories based on life in my old neighbourhood in Regina, back in the day.

Busy as usual, broke as usual, and it will come as no surprise, recuperating from having my old heart broken,yet again. Sigh. I really had high hopes this time.

I will try to make this a much more regular appearance and have an exciting announcement to make in my next post.

I hope you are all well! Stay warm, take your Vitamin D, remember to smile.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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A Reading And Celebration Of My Novel The Piano Teacher   2 comments

On Friday October 9 at 7:00 PM Stickland 2015on the second floor of the Le Forte Centre at St. Mary’s University, located in Fish Creek Park in south Calgary, I will be reading from my novel The Piano Teacher. To bring some musical artistry to the even, my friend Morag Northey will be helping me out. Morag is one of the finest cellists in the land. We first worked together on my play Queen Lear, for which she created a musical score and performed every night in the original production of the play.

I’ve been involved with St. Mary’s in one way or another since 2005 when we took a small production of my play Closer and Closer Apart  there one winter’s evening. I loved the “boutique” nature of the place — a small (but ever-growing) student population, small class sizes, excellent faculty.  In my mind it offers a liberal arts education the way it’s meant to be done and I’ve been proud to be associated with the place these last 10 years.

So, if you want to check St. Mary’s out — it’s a beautiful campus off of Bannister Road near Fish Creek — and you would like a signed copy of my novel, and even the chance to hear me read from it, and of course hear Morag as well, please come by Friday evening.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thanks for reading.

 

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