TIP Spotlight: W. Joseph Matheson of The Pirates of Penzance!

Modern Major Genera - POP - TIP2015Name: W. Joseph Matheson

Hometown: Alliston, Ontario (born Saskatoon)

What would your pirate nickname be?: Lefty

Role in Pirates of Penzance: (Modern) Major General Stanley

  1. If you could have one super power what would it be?
    Curing cancer
  2. What’s at the top of your bucket list?
    A long trip to Italy.
  3. What is your favourite thing about Gananoque?
    The fireflies.
  4. What led you to musical theatre/singing or acting in general?
    Wanting to tell stories.
  5. You’ve crashed your pirate ship on one of the Thousand Islands. What would you name the island?
    Ottawa. Just to confuse U.S. Border patrols.
  6. What is your signature pirate look… why?
    Eye Patch and a hook (“Lefty”).

Don’t miss Joe in The Pirates of Penzance only playing until Saturday, July 18th! You can buy your tickets today online or at the Box Office: 613-382-7086.

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CLOSER THAN EVER: Spotlight on Steven Greenfield

Name: Steven Greenfield
Nickname: Steveo
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

If you could have one super power what would it be?
Time manipulation.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?
Being on an original cast recording.

If you could name one of the Thousand Islands what would you call it?
JVR Archipelago

What is your favourite thing about Gananoque?
HMG’s Silver Cinema! It’s so adorably whimsical!

What life lesson has made you stronger as a person?
Changing who you are in order to be “right” for something then makes you “wrong” for something else. Be authentic!

Have there been any unexpected doors that have opened for you that have led you to where you are today?
Music directing, in general, is a door that opened for me through taking piano lessons as a child. Not a career that I ever expected, but I love it!

What led you to musical theatre/singing? 
My mom was an elementary school music teacher. I’ve been singing since before I can remember. 

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CLOSER THAN EVER: Spotlight on Paul Clifford

Name: Paul Clifford
Hometown: Kingston, Ontario

If you could have one super power what would it be?
To have mind control, and to fly.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?
To retire in Spain.

If you could name one of the Thousand Islands what would you call it?
Enrique Island

What is your favourite thing about Gananoque?
The farmers market and bandstand concerts.

What life lesson has made you stronger as a person?
Having a kid gives new meaning to the term endurance.

Have there been any unexpected doors that have opened for you that have led you to where you are today?
Meeting my wife/moving to Japan.

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CLOSER THAN EVER: Spotlight on Leon Willey

Name: Leon Willey
Nickname: Leon
Hometown: Bowen Island, BC

If you could have one super power what would it be?
To stop time.

Leon Willey Headshot - CTE

What’s at the top of your bucket list?
To be in a great production in every province.

If you could name one of the Thousand Islands what would you call it?
Sawyer’s Island

What is your favourite thing about Gananoque?
The Playhouse on the river.

What life lesson has made you stronger as a person?
Hummmmm…I really enjoy life and don’t ever need to apologise. 

Have there been any unexpected doors that have opened for you that have led you to where you are today?
Yes. There are many little ones, I just have to walk through. 

What led you to musical theatre/singing?
A girl.

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A Comedic Masterpiece

By Peter Hendra, Kingston Whig-Standard

“Aside from being a farce of mistaken identity, the play pokes fun at Victorian society’s views on money, marriage and, naturally, class. The humour rolls out fast and furiously.”

“As the two playboys, Christopher and Smith play off each other nicely. Christopher’s Algy strikes the perfect note, and he certainly knows how to deliver a punchline.”

“The brides-to-be, Degenstein and Deon are both terrific and play off each other well. Their testy tea together was wonderfully done.” 

“Lady Bracknell has the best lines in the play, and Irving comedically delivers them with just the right amount of disdain and haughtiness.”

“With so many terrific scenes, a great deal of credit must go to director Daryl Cloran for making them so.”

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Meanwhile in Gananoque

Posted on March 7, 2013 by Lawrence Aronovitch

A friend mentioned to me some time ago that there was a new artistic director at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, near Kingston. Her name is Ashlie Corcoran, and one of the things she decided to do at TIP was to set up a Playwrights Unit for 2013. So earlier this year she invited four other playwrights and myself to meet with her and Assistant Artistic Director Charlotte Gowdy at the Playhouse once a month for the next year. We’re each working on a brand new piece, and we each get allotted a couple of sessions over the year to share and discuss our work. Ashlie’s plan is to present readings of our work at the Playhouse in December 2013.

The other playwrights are all relatively local: Douglas Bowie, many of whose works have already been produced at TIP; Craig Walker, who teaches in the theatre department at Queen’s University; Sarah Dennison, a recent graduate of the theatre program at Guelph; and my fellow Ottawa playwright Jessica Anderson.

The project I decided to work on at TIP is one that’s been in the back of my idea drawer for a very long time – because it’s an interesting bit of family history. In the early nineteenth century, an ancestor of mine won election to the Lower Canada assembly for the riding of Trois Rivières, but he was prevented from taking his seat because he was Jewish. The “Hart Affair” was a significant political issue in its day, and it wasn’t until quite a few years later that the rights of Jewish subjects to hold office was established in British North America.

Our group’s March meeting was last night at the Playhouse, and it was my turn to present. I had about 20 pages of scenes that I wanted to share and I was typically nervous and worried – what would these other writers think of my work? – and busily thinking up all sorts of excuses for my failings. But I was absolutely delighted with the supportive and constructive feedback from the other people around the table. And that’s the value of a group like this. It’s energizing. I spent the drive home thinking about everyone’s comments and the wheels are spinning madly in my head as I ponder what I want to do next with the script. Writing groups sometimes work and sometimes don’t – often it’s a question of chemistry between the people in the room. This one certainly works, and I’m grateful to Ashlie for organizing it and for inviting me to participate in it.

Stay tuned for more updates on this project over the rest of 2013, and pencil in December 5 at the Playhouse – that’s when my work is scheduled to be presented.

– Lawrence

(Source: http://www.aronovitch.ca/meanwhile-in-gananoque/)

Be sure to follow Lawrence on Twitter, @laronovitch, and the Playwrights’ Unit, @wright_the_play for frequent updates.

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Sneak Peek- Boeing Boeing!

Daryl Cloran

Daryl Cloran returns to the Playhouse to direct BOEING, BOEING  – a hilarious farce that is sure to take you up, up and away!  Produced in association with Western Canada Theatre, the same production will play in Kamloops (where Daryl is the Artistic Director) this fall.  We caught up with Daryl recently to ask about his return to the Playhouse, the ins and outs of directing a farce, and onstage mishaps!

1) What are you looking forward to most directing at the Playhouse in Gananoque?

I’m really excited to be part of Ashlie’s first season. Ashlie and I have a long history – she was my assistant director on a couple of productions when she was first starting out – and now she’s a directing super-star! (I like to pretend I had some hand in that, but really it’s just that she’s super talented)  Plus, I studied at Queens (many moons ago) so TIP holds a very special place in my heart, and it’s always so nice to come back to the region, especially now that I live in BC!

2) What is different about directing a farce, as opposed to another type of play?

Timing, timing, timing! The comedy in farce lives and dies on timing. A moment played with the right beats will be absolutely hilarious. With the wrong beats, it will be met with resounding silence from the audience.

3) Why do you think Boeing Boeing is still popular/relevant more than 50 years after it was first written?

There is something timeless about the “fish out of water” story. Robert is a poor hapless character that is completely out of his depth. It’s easy for an audience to cheer for him as he flails around trying to keep things under control. Plus the 1960s are very cool again – thanks to the hip aesthetic of shows like Mad Men. Our production will be slick, sexy and very funny.

4) Have you directed a farce before, and if so, what are some of the funniest things that has happened? 

Last season I directed Noises Off, which is one of the funniest farces ever written. It’s incredibly complicated to direct because there is action happening “on-stage” and “off-stage” at the same time. Kirk Smith played Gary in the production (Kirk will be playing Robert in our production of Boeing Boeing). There is a moment in the play when a doorknob is supposed to come off in Kirk’s hand. But during one performance, when Kirk grabbed the doorknob, he lost his grip and the doorknob went flying into the audience. Kirk stopped for a beat, and I could tell he was quickly realizing how important the doorknob was to the rest of the scene. Suddenly he ran all the way down the stairs (he was on the 2nd floor), he jumped off the stage, ran into the audience, grabbed the doorknob, ran back up the stairs and continued the scene as if nothing happened. The audience loved it. And I’m sure many of them thought it was supposed to be played that way!


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Casting Sneak Peek

We’re so lucky to have Alison McDonald (one of the stars from the 2011’s Marvelous Wonderettes) joining us back at the Playhouse this upcoming summer – in not one, but TWO productions!  Alison will be playing Cindy in our season opener SUDS and Schwarzy in THE 25th PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE.  Read on to hear her inside scoop on acting at the Playhouse…


1. Next year, you’ll be joining the Playhouse for two shows!  How are Cindy in SUDS and Schwarzy in 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE the same as each other…or different?

I ADORE both of these characters!  They are both sweet, super quirky underdogs with a habit of putting the needs and wants of others first.  How they differ is in their approach to handling life’s infamous curve balls.  Logainne is an innately determined individual and instead of crumbling when stressed or faced with less than ideal circumstances, she works even harder to persevere.  Cindy, however, needs a lot of outside help and guidance to discover her inner strength.  I also suspect Logainne is a way better speller than Cindy.  hee hee.

2. Which 1960s tunes are you most excited to sing in SUDS?

Ooooo, there’s so many!  Where the Boys Are for sure – it’s such a killer tune.  I Say a Little Prayer and Please Mr. Postman are right up there, too.  Also, there are some great mash-up arrangements in SUDS – The Burt Bacharach Medley is one in particular that I can’t wait to sing!

3. What’s your favourite thing about working at the Playhouse? 

I’d have to say the insanely beautiful location (it’s right on the water – come on!) and all the lovely people who work there.  There’s a real sense of family and support at The Playhouse.  Plus they put on great shows!  It’s such a gift getting to work with folks who aren’t only talented, but super kind, too.

4. Where is your favourite Gananoque hang out?

The Socialist Pig and The Old English Pub

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Welcome to our new blog!

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the Thousand Islands Playhouse’s new blog!

Check out this space if you want a backstage glimpse into what goes on at the theatre. We’ll be updating it at least once a week – sometimes you’ll hear from me, and other times from our administration or production staff. When our shows are in rehearsal, actors, designers, directors and stage managers will be making guest posts.

Today is a busy day at the Playhouse – a launch of our new website, as well as a public season announcement at 10:30 am, when we are sharing next year’s season. Personally, I am so excited that the season is finally going public – I am ready to talk about it with the world!

Have fun browsing our new website!

Yours,
Ashlie

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