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Beside the mainfloor entry to our theatre there is a large display with the names of people who contributed to the capital campaign for GCTC's original home at 910 Gladstone. Interestingly, the photo on this display is an image of the former facade, complete with a marquee that advertises the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. I suspect that the photo was taken circa 2003. Ottawa has a lot of theatre going on at any given time.
On Sunday night I was treated to my first Prix Rideau Awards. I now look forward to attending next year. And the year after, and the year after...
We launched the 2013/14 season on Monday night and we did so in style. From Nhanci Wright's opening toast to the final announcement of the night, we relished the chance to share our excitement with GCTC's audience. During twenty-seven years in theatre, I have heard many audience members say, "it looks like you're having so much fun up there." And we were. Our season launch reminded me that GCTC has an audience that is smart, inquisitive and objective. If you were not able to attend, here is what you missed: solo performances by Michael Healey, Maja Ardal and Ann-Marie MacDonald.
I have announced the 2013/14 season. I have announced it to our board of directors, which unanimously approved the lineup and its budget. I have announced it to our staff, which is now turning its collective attention to the challenges and opportunities of the year ahead. I have announced it to our friends at the Canada Council, who depend upon such details as they assess our application for funding. I have announced it privately to a handful of artists whose work will be featured on stage from September 2013 through June 2014.
Years ago I heard a story about a young broadcaster who spent an entire university semester sending a late night show out from the campus radio station, only to discover that the transmitter was turned off every night before he took to the airwaves. The show lived in his mind, but nowhere else. This is the secret fear that I harbor as I take my turn on the GCTC blog. The fear is entirely unfounded, however, as several GCTC supporters have commented that they did indeed read my early contributions to the site.
As the daylight hours get shorter, so too, do the days left in my honeymoon phase with GCTC. I have been employing the "I'm new" response in every conceivable situation since arriving here last month, but I know that I will not be able to rely on that trick much longer. To everyone who insists upon asking me, "Well, are you settling in?" I can categorically say, no, I am not settling in. In fact, the last thing that I want to do is to settle in. Settling in implies a certain comfort that is not part of the artistic director DNA.
Everyone should have the opportunity to be the new kid on the block at least once in a career. I am enjoying this moment in some entirely unexpected ways. For the last ten years, I have worked as the artistic director of the Blyth Festival, situated in the heart of rural Southwestern Ontario. Life in the village is quiet – the kind of quiet that amplifies every voice on the street. It got so that I could tell who was passing outside without glancing up from the desk. In this context, the corner of Wellington West and Holland is like Times Square and Piccadilly Circus, rolled into one.