news, updates, and conversations from Volcano Theatre

Friday, 19 December 2014

Volcano's biggest FlashbackFriday

December marks the 20 year anniversary for Volcano Theatre. Volcano began as a group of theatre artists who first worked together on Ross's translation of Woyzeck for Equity Showcase Theatre in 1993.  In December 1994 Volcano opened it's very first show, The Third Land, at Factory extra space. It was a haunting show about migrants and uprootedness.   

The Third Land
Written by: Susanne Fritz
Starring: Waneta Storms, Nigel Shawn Williams
Featuring: Christine Brubaker and James O'Reilly
Written and translated by: Ross Manson
Set (made of paper): Jan Komarek
Lighting: Bonnie Beecher
Choreography: Laura Taler
Projected Animation: Bruce Alcock 

Waneta Storms and Nigel Shawn Williams. Photo by Tonia Miovska.
Waneta Storms and Nigel Shawn Williams. Photo by Tonia Miovska

Where are they now?

Susanne Fritz - still living in Germany, Susanne is a successful novelist, short fiction writer and essayist. She is also a composer and pianist, and has melded her music and writing in a series of "WordMusic" pieces. Here is a link to her most recent work with New York trombonist Steve Swell. 

Waneta Storms - as an actor, Waneta went on to work in stage and screen, and was nominated for a Gemini Award in each of her three seasons on The Eleventh Hour, as well as for her guest role on Blue Murder in 2001. More recently, Waneta has been working on the writing side of the camera as a screenwriter and story editor for television (most recently for Saving Hope). There's a great interview with her here.

Nigel Shawn Williams - Nigel is a multiple Dora award winner (as both a director and actor), and the Artistic Co-Director of Factory Theatre. He has worked for companies large and small across Canada - including Stratford, Shaw and Canadian Stage. Nigel is also the actor with the record number of roles with volcano (The Third Land, Two Words for Snow, Variété and Hedda Gabler).

Christine Brubaker -  Christine is an actor who has won two Dora awards (and has been nominated for seven!), has been part of the NAC ensemble, and the faculty at Humber College. She began directing three years ago, and this year won the Gina Wilkinson prize.

James O’Reilly - as a playwright, James went on to write many plays, often acting in them. He was one of the writers and subjects of Jennifer Baichwal's documentary Act of God, about the effects of being struck by lightening. There's a great short film here with James leading the viewer around Parkdale - in 1998 - before it became what it is today.

Ross Manson - Artistic Director of Volcano Theatre. He's still doing that. Still directing and making things. He wishes he could act a bit more again...

Jan Komarek - Jan is a Czech lighting and scenic designer and theatre maker. He studied painting and design in then Czechoslovakia, worked extensively in Puppet Theatre, lived in France, then moved to Canada, where he founded Sound Image Theatre with composer Rainer Wiens. In 2001, he returned to Prague where he became known on the alternative scene for his design work and performance making. He was voted ‛Theatre Personality of the Year 2009’ by the New Wave Festival and was awarded first prize for Lighting Design by an international jury at the 2010 Czech Dance Platform Festival.

Bonnie Beecher - as a lighting designer Bonnie works regularly across Canada and around the world, designing lights for the Shaw and Stratford Festivals, the National Ballet, the Mannheim Ballet, the COC and many others - including Volcano (where she designed The Third Land, Building Jerusalem, The Africa Trilogy, Hedda Gabler, Mortality and Two Words for Snow - the latter for which she won a Dora award).

Laura Taler - Laura was a choreographer and the founder of Dances for a Small Stage. She went on to make dance films and then branched into visual art. She is now working across a range of media including dance, film, sound, sculpture and installation. This has taken her around the world, with residencies in Buenos Aires, Ottawa, and Berlin, and she has collected film awards in Chicago (Chicago International Film Festival), Toronto (Hot Docs) and New York (Dance on Camera Festival).

Bruce Alcock - Bruce is a proud Newfoundlander and founder of the animation studios Cuppa Coffee (in Toronto) and Global Mechanic (in Vancouver). Bruce was the animation director on Volcano's international award-winning The Four Horsemen Project, and has made a mountain of innovative animation - his 6 min film Vive la Rose is viewable here.

Andrew R. Miller - a composer and double bassist Andrew now lives in Saint John, NB. He is the founder of the Motion Ensemble, and the principle bassist in Symphony New Brunswick. He has lately been focusing on contemporary and experimental music, developing original compositions, audio installations and media art exploring interactive electronics, extended instrumental techniques and psychedelic dissonance.