There’s been a lot of talk lately about the impending extinction of print media. Canwest recently cut 560 jobs (although many may have been in TV) and are facing serious financial woes, and similar echoes are being heard throughout the industry.
I was very interested to see that the Georgia Straight recently hired a former Sun columnist, Lloyd Dykk. Seems like the more community-based papers with local content are still going strong.
In theatre, this has big implications for our communications strategies. Shrinking papers means shrinking print media coverage of our shows. The Globe and Mail recently cut their Vancouver theatre listings. And print ads are expensive! (Although hats off to the Georgia Straight for their commitment to supporting arts organizations through sponsorship.)
How can we reach our communities? Some folks are questioning the lifespan of the critic in his/her current form, but it’ll be interesting to see the role evolve as the medium of the newspaper shifts. And of course there are other strategies for connecting with people.
Here at Pi, we’re exploring many ways to let people know what we’re up to, but mostly, we believe that compelling, exciting theatre sells itself. What we do well in the theatre is connect with people, and it’s just a question of leveraging that strength. The best way to reach people is and always has been word of mouth. If you like what you see on Vancouver’s independent stages, tell someone. Tell everyone! What’s going on in this city is too good to keep secret.
Rehearsals are continuing for the second ever English language production of Bashir Lazhar (the first was at the Tarragon in November). With one week to go before we get into the theatre, I’m happy to be able to post a very positive blog. The rehearsal room is alive with the power of the show and vibrating with the energy of actor David Marr as he takes on the mantle of this very complex and at times, contradictory character. The depth and breadth of the moments that the character lives through in the course of his 70 minutes on stage are expanding as we move through the rehearsal process. It’s remarkable to see this fictional character being born again. This is his third incarnation. Plays and theatre itself are very protean that way. It’s one of the great strengths of the medium.
Here are some more shots from rehearsal for Bashir Lazhar.
Some of David Marr, who plays Bashir:
Director Richard Wolfe, looking uncharacteristically sinister:
SMs DK and Annie:
(All photos by Ken Bryant.)
This season, we’re offering free tickets to our members for the first week of each of our shows, in order to ensure our work is accessible to all audience members.
If you’re one of the first 20 people in line at the door for Bashir Lazhar March 5-8, just present your Pi Theatre membership card and photo identification, and you’ll receive free admission. Membership is just $3.14, and can be purchased online ahead of time, or at the door.
Read more about the show here.
We’re looking for volunteers to assist with front of house for our upcoming show.
No experience is necessary—volunteers will be trained by staff at the beginning of each shift.
Shifts begin at 7PM in the evenings and at 1PM for matinees. Volunteers will be able to see the show during their shift.
Please contact Mathilde if you’re interested in volunteering for the show. Please indicate your availability and whether you’re interested in ushering, or serving at the concession stand, or either. (Concession volunteers must be over the age of 19. )
We depend on volunteers for our shows—thanks in advance for your support! Please pass this message along to anyone else you know who might be interested in volunteering for Pi.
Here are some shots from the first week of rehearasal for Bashir Lazhar:
The rehearsal hall
Mr. Marr, script in hand
Richard looking directorial
And our fabulous stage management team - SM DK
(All photos by Ken Bryant)
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing you to our production team for Bashir Lazhar in this space. Production is always such an exciting time, when we get to engage with so many more artists and theatre professionals than in our admin time. We’re really excited about the people we’re working with for Bashir Lazhar. Meet the gang!
Meet Annie! Annie is our Apprentice Stage Manager for Bashir Lazhar, and she is participating in Pi’s Prime Placements program, which provides opportunities for emerging artists to gain professional experience and mentorship. Annie is just starting out as a Stage Manager, after her studies in UBC’s Theatre Program. This is her first professional production. She’ll be working alongside SM guru DK, one of the best mentors around.
This week is the SM prep week for the show, so Annie and DK will be getting everything ready for rehearsals, which start on Tuesday.