A whirlwind, started with immense personal difficulty which spanned several months, and in some ways overshadowed many of the amazing events of the year. Nonetheless, it is resolved, and now upon reflection, it is difficult not to view 2017 as a pretty fantastic year altogether.
The publication of my essay "Re-Imagining Expectation for the Theatrical Event" as a chapter in a book, On Immersive Theatre. An actual book. A dream I have held since childhood, finally real. You can order copies here. Due to that immense personal difficulty I mentioned, I still haven't been able to order myself one...since being an academic publication, there are no freebies, even for the contributors.
This was swiftly followed by seeing the work of two major influences on my creative life; 887 by Robert Lepage, and My Arm by Tim Crouch, both performed by them, and a wonderful catch-up with Tim over wine and delightful conversation. Honestly. I didn't see a lot of theatre this year, and to some extent it is because I was so happily full and inspired by those two pieces, that i felt no hunger. I continue to process and think about them now, reflect on how and why they worked in such a powerful way.
After many years of reading and thinking and planning I was granted the opportunity by the estate of Sarah Kane, and my wonderful and supportive fellow company members at Theatre By The River to direct 4.48 Psychosis. And not only direct it, but do so with little outside influence, entirely as I wanted to, as a full expression of my aesthetic. As a means of debuting as a director in Toronto, I couldn't ask for anything more, and was astounded by the audience and critical reaction here, and in Winnipeg when we toured the show. My immense gratitude to the team for enabling me to do this work, and to Liz Whitbread, John Norman, and Emma Miziolek for being my partners in creation, will not soon fade.
I also published a short piece for my dear friend S.K.Clarke's website, which was a part of her I Am Loved series. I am grateful to Samantha for the invitation to be a contributor to the series. You can still enjoy it here.
Finally, I have been invited to direct a new play by Ciarán Myers, a fellow Brit-Drama-School grad (Central) whose plays have been produced in London and at Edinburgh. The play is a one woman show called Sweet Mama and the Salty Muffins, which will be a part of Alumnae Theatre's 100th season and 30th New Ideas Festival, this coming March. This is a wonderful and challenging script that makes me feel that as a director, lightning can strike. I can't wait to share it with you all.
So, as much as 2017 had a pile of stink to it, there were undoubtedly some amazing counterpoints, which on reflection, far outweigh the bad.