news, updates, and conversations from Volcano Theatre

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Way Back to Thursday

Our Metcalf Foundation Intern, Natasha Powell, shares her thoughts on The Way Back to Thursday, from Theatre Passe Muraille:

I love musicals - and the other night I had the pleasure of watching two gifted artists in a new one to hit the stage in Toronto. Rob Kempson and Astrid Van Wieren perform in The Way Back to Thursday inside Theatre Passe Muraille. Written by Rob Kempson himself, this is a musical about unconditional love that crosses generations, genders, and lifetimes. Cameron (played by Rob) and his Grandmother have a special tradition - movie nights every Thursday. Together they escape into the glamour and romance of the Golden Age of film. But as Cameron grows, so does the distance between them.

Rob and Astrid are dynamic, infectious, and relatable. It all seemed so natural - reminding me of relationship that I have with loved ones in my family. I sometimes hear of people steering clear from musicals because of the sudden outburst into song and dance - but there is a flow to this show that is seamless and kept me completely engaged the whole time. They sang their stories in a way that you couldn't help but listen to their awesome voices and feel right in the moment with them. Their delivery is truly genuine, reminding me of the importance of maintaining and figuring out what those special relationships really mean. I'm extremely attached to those that are close with me, which is why this show resonated so much - seeing that presented on stage was a nice, gentle reminder about the important things in life. You may feel the urge to call someone whom you've thought about calling for a very...very long time.

Monday, 20 January 2014

A Trip to the Arab World

Volcano AD Ross Manson is sending updates from the United Arab Emirates, where he has been invited to present at the Fujairah International Monodrama Festival.

You can keep tabs on his travel blog, A Trip to the Arab World.

"we're flying over iraq. it's night. and completely clear. i can see lights of villages and towns. we're close to the border of kuwait now. and i am struck unexpectedly by where i am. it's an entirely strange feeling flying over this place. an uneasy feeling. and i realize that mine is the point of view of all those american pilots that bombed this country. it's the view i saw on tv's during the two gulf wars coloured green by night vision. in real life, the lights look warm and yellow, tiny dots on a train model landscape. so clear, so small. so immediate. unseen are the people. i just know they are there."

Click here to read the full blog post.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Big in Munich: the European Premiere of A Beautiful View

We at Volcano have hit the ground running in 2014 - or hit the air flying, as the case may be...Ross is off to the UAE at the end of the week for the Fujairah International Monodrama Festival!

Soon, we'll be deep in rehearsals for A Beautiful View, Daniel MacIvor's phenomenal play about love and friendship, starring Becky Johnson and Amy Rutherford. First produced in 2005, our upcoming production was originally mounted in Munich for BeMe Theatre - an English-language theatre company headed up by Canadian Elisa Moolecherry.

"I first met Daniel at the Stephenville Drama Festival in Newfoundland where we became friends, and where we both got our start. Nearly 30 years later, in 2012, I was honoured to bring one of his finest plays to Europe."
Ross Manson 

In 2012, BeMe invited Ross to direct a new production of A Beautiful View. The show was cast and rehearsed in Canada, then staged and designed in Germany for its European Premiere. The new production used physical and improvised performance, and Volcano's signature experimental style, to craft an imaginative take on MacIvor's celebrated script.

Becky, Ross, Amy and Krister in rehearsal for
A Beautiful View (Munich 2012)
Working internationally introduces us to some incredible people: BeMe connected Volcano with Munich-based composer Krister Schuchardt, who wrote a new score for the play. You can check out a few samples of Krister's recent work on his website here - including the score for BeMe's production of Cherry Docs, featuring Canadians Jamie Maczko and Michael Rubenfeld.

The BeMe / Volcano production of A Beautiful View was a critical success, playing to near sold-out houses. We're proud to bring the show back home to Canada.

"Becky Johnson and Amy Rutherford deliver a brilliant performance...A Beautiful View is a reminder to just let go, 
and a beautiful thing can happen..."
The Munich Eye

"...under the surface is revealed a search for deeper meaning. Playwright Daniel MacIvor and director Ross Manson succeed [thanks] above all to their wonderful actors..."
Suddeutsche Zeitung

A Beautiful View runs Feb 27 - Mar 9 in Toronto, then tours to Kingston, Burlington, Milton, St. Catharines, and North Bay throughout the month of March. You can find out more about the production - and how to score cheap tickets! - on our website here.

Watch the production trailer for a first listen to the original music composed for A Beautiful View by Krister Schuchardt: