So why ride in the GCTC Bike-A-Thon? |

So why ride in the GCTC Bike-A-Thon?

Well, they’ve been very kind to me, more than the obvious: ‘Yippee I got work in the season’ kind too. Just very generally good and kind.


For instance, when my family was contemplating our move to Ottawa I wrote to a couple of theatres to find out what was going on in the city and where, if anywhere, I might find work. The only person who replied was Lise Ann Johnson at the GCTC. She offered to meet with me in person and we spent some time chatting about the theatrical landscape of Ottawa. Nice, eh?


GCTC was the first company to offer me work, a night of staged readings that gave me the opportunity to work with a who’s who of the Ottawa theatre scene. It was a great introduction to the city and its arts community.


Out of that I was invited to be a part of a co-op production. Because it was a low budget event we needed to borrow a couple of props and the GCTC was able to help us out.


The company also organized those wonderful backyard barbeques, where theatre folk were able to sit around and brainstorm crazy, wonderful ideas. Without the GCTC and its staff there would be no subDevision festival which was born on a blanket in a backyard during a BBQ. Another venture that came out of the Backyard Barbeque was the Ottawa Theatre Guide, a now defunct publication that I was part of, the GCTC was an active partner in quarterly guide and without their support it wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did.


When I held a meeting for members of Canadian Actors Equity Association a while back who was one of the first people through the door? The brand new Artistic Director Eric Coates! He didn’t have to come, but he made the effort to be there and I really appreciated that show of support.


GCTC also hosted a number of workshops as well; Michael Greyeyes Viewpoints and Theatre Replacement’s Creation workshops. These visiting artists are vital to refreshing the artists here in Ottawa and the GCTC provided the venue and support that allowed these events to happen. It was at one of these workshops that I met Karen Balcome and together we created a show for undercurrents called ‘bread’. Yes, Karen and I were able to approach Patrick Gauthier and Eric Coates to ask them if they would let us make bread in the lobby of the theatre. ‘Hell yeah!’ was essentially the answer and ‘How can we help?’ was the only question. GCTC also hosted a playwrights unit under Brian Quirt that I was part of. Here I was able to develop (among other things) two short plays for the New Theatre of Ottawa’s Extermely Short Play Festival.


What I’m trying to say is, GCTC does an excellent job of implicating itself in the community. They understand that part of their raison d’etre is to foster creation in the community. The GCTC is a supportive and encouraging theatrical institution and the staff is engaged, courteous and courageous.


So will I ride a bike to raise some money for the GCTC?


Hell yeah!