Our own Julia wrote a blog post for “The Other Press”, partially based on her experience with Classic Chic. Check it out here.by
It’s Sunday, laundry day at our house.
It is my first day off in a week, the last thing I want to do is laundry. I want to sit in the sun, reading a book, sipping something lovely while the cool breeze whispers over my skin. But I am inside doing laundry. Today, however, I am looking forward to it.
The past several months of trying to get a theatre company off the ground has been challenging – stops and starts, yeses and nos, hugs and tears, the ups and downs of working towards a BIG goal with a group of people. Everyday, it is a part of your daily routine from the moment your eyes begrudgingly pry open (haven’t been getting as much sleep lately, weird…), to the time your weary body lies down. Phone calls to be made, emails to send, texts to read, lists of “to dos” to be updated or items scratched off. Did I mention rehearsals haven’t even begun?
So today, I have decided that laundry is better than starting a theatre company. Why? Let me tell you:
1. You can do laundry by yourself – sure, you can invite someone to help, but do your really want to? They might want to do it there way, when you know your way is best.
2. Laundry is predictable – open washing machine, put in clothes, put in soap, press start. Sure, you are sometimes thrown a few loops – kleenex left in a pocket, velcro opening and sticking to the wrong thing – but even what can go wrong is predictable.
3. There is no learning curve to laundry – once someone explains that you separate your whites, darks and colours, that’s about it. Sure, you can get experimental with bleach and fabric softener, but at least those come with instructions.
4. You are the expert at laundry, you don’t need to consult with people – it’s a one person show! You don’t need someone to design how you load the washing machine or choreograph how to transfer the clothes to the dryer. It’s just you, which makes scheduling meetings quite easy!
5. You can leave laundry unattended – for a loooong time! You can leave the washing in the machine for a few days and no harm, no foul. If you somehow divert your attention from the laundry to attend to other things, it is exactly the same as the way you left it. It may be a bit stinky, but hey, you can easily fix that problem by just washing it again!
Unpredictable in every way…
But what a theatre company is, that laundry is not, is rewarding. The efforts of so many people towards a common goal. The individual talents brought together to fulfill a vision. A chance to feed your artistic soul by exploring in an environment supported by many who ultimately want nothing but success – theirs and yours. When you think that you are working hard, but realize that the next person is working just as hard, if not harder.
So today I will do both laundry and Classic Chic work and I will be thankful for what they both bring to my life.
Joanna – Classic Chic Producer
PS – Here is a picture of my cat because I read that blogs that have a cat picture are more likely to be shared (see point 3)…by
The show is based on Shakespeare monologues. Each monologue, at 2-3 minutes, will be broken down into physical action calling on the performers’ voices and bodies. We will use techniques from contemporary, classical dance and physical theatre. There will also be stillness. Gender bending will occur and there may be a fight scene. An ambient soundscape will spark the space. We will change the way people look at Shakespeare.
Saturday at 3pm and Sunday at 7pm at Originals Cafe in Port Moody, 2231 Clarke Street. Check out the show to see what our ensemble is up to!
It has been a busy week for all of us. Our Production Manager Corina is in the process of securing all the elements that make a production go – the space, rehearsal space, designers, builders, etc…She has busted her Shakespearean bottom for weeks now trying to get all our ducks in a row. Our venue PAL is booked, we are just making final decisions on a time frame for our run (matinees? how many previews? dress rehearsal with invited guests? close on a Saturday? Sunday?).
Our director’s casting is being finalized by our Artistic Producer Christina. We have been quite blessed to be able to add some amazingly talented women to the production! We started with our core ensemble at about twelve and have increased that by about six (remember I said we are still finalizing!). The ensemble is a wonderful mix of ages (our youngest Miranda, above, is 8), experience and talents that we feel will present a unique The Winter’s Tale to the theatre audiences of Vancouver.
Starting yesterday, our Indiegogo campaign was launched by our producer in charge of fundraising, Michelle. She has spent weeks gathering the awesome perks you can get when you donate. All the money we raise (our goal is $8000) will go towards the production of The Winter’s Tale in July and August of this year. If you have a “perk” you would like to donate, let her know, we would be grateful for any help we could get! When Michelle isn’t working on the campaign, she can recently be found in Episode 17 of Supernatural, but don’t worry, she is not that scary in real life.
The director, Lisa Wolpe, has been extremely busy mapping out rehearsal schedules for our cast of 20+. Yes, a rehearsal schedule that accommodates over twenty actors…
Photo shoot – check
Graphic Designer working on poster – check
Design meetings – check
Publicist doing her thing – check
Now we all just have to memorize our lines, throw up some blocking and we are good to go…
Classic Chic Productions is looking for people to play a vital role in our production of “The Winter’s Tale” which will be performed July/August 2014. The following positions are open:
- Set Designer
- Costume Designer
Not only will you be able to work with an amazing group of women, you will have the opportunity to work with Lisa Wolpe, Artistic Director of The Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company. Lisa is the authority on cross-gender Shakespeare and an accomplished actor, director and producer.
Please submit any inquiries or resume and portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org
Classic Chic Productions will be presenting “The Winter’s Tale” July-August 2014 directed by Lisa Wolpe of the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company. Venue and schedule will be confirmed shortly.
We are putting out a casting call for women to join the ensemble for this production, please see the attached document.by
Classic Chic Productions is honoured and excited to have been invited to perform at the 24 Hour Shakespeare Project taking place on Wednesday, April 23, 2014! The event is a benefit with the goal of raising $10, 000 for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. John Emmet Tracy, who organized the project, will be performing in all 38 edited adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, set to be performed in 24 hours by local actors and celebrity guests.
Especially thrilling, is that the benefit coincides with Classic Chic’s announcement that we will be “re-booting” our efforts to put on our inaugural production “The Winter’s Tale” this summer! Details are still being confirmed, but expect an announcement soon!
Until then, join Classic Chic at the The Blake Snyder Theatre (#210-112 East 3rd Avenue, Vancouver) on Wednesday for their participation in the staged reading of “The Winter’s Tale” at 3:15pm.
For more information on the 24 Hour Shakespeare Project visit:
For more information on Classic Chic Productions visit:
Classic Chic Productions is excited to announce a re-boot of our production “The Winter’s Tale” coming this summer! Details are being finalized, but an announcement of where and when can be expected in the coming weeks!
Where did Classic Chic begin? This turned out be a more convoluted answer than it happened one night when Joanna, Michelle and I were standing on a street corner about to part ways after seeing Liz in The Blue Room at the Havana.
I think it actually began about a hundred years or so ago (I might be mis-remembering) when I auditioned with Edmund the Bastard’s monologue from King Lear:
This is the excellent foppery of the world, that,
when we are sick in fortune,–often the surfeit
of our own behavior,–we make guilty of our
disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as
if we were villains by necessity; fools by
heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and
treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards,
liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of
planetary influence; and all that we are evil in,
by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion
of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish
disposition to the charge of a star! My
father compounded with my mother under the
dragon’s tail; and my nativity was under Ursa
major; so that it follows, I am rough and
lecherous. Tut, I should have been that I am,
had the maidenliest star in the firmament
twinkled on my bastardizing.
I loved his anger, his venom, his clear-headed dismissal of those who rationalize bad behaviour while embracing his own bad behaviour with relish.
I finished my audition and was roundly chastised by the Artistic Director (a female Artistic Director no less), not for my acting (which I’m sure was stellar) but for my choice of material.
“Why would you choose to do a man’s monologue? I could never cast you in that part. An audition needs to show me how I could cast you.”
I was stung of course. But also confused. This character, these words, had struck a chord in me. And material that strikes a chord also illuminates a part of oneself. But it was a part of myself that in that moment became unacceptable and unexplorable. Like I was only allowed to occupy a much smaller range of my humanity. It was really like someone seeing part of me and saying “This part of you? Not acceptable. I have no stories for you.”
So, in that moment, the central tenet of Classic Chic was born. There are roles, characters, and stories that appeal to us as HUMAN BEINGS, not just women, or men, or young, or old, or whatever the arbitrary divisions are that we make, and we should be allowed to play them.
The next step in the chain was an audition for Stratford that I did possibly 75 years ago. I came into the room and got on the stage and before I had done one word of my monologue, the Artistic Director (a man this time) said…
“It’s very hard for women in classic companies there’s half the roles and twice the competition. The odds just aren’t that good for you.”
He didn’t get the numbers quite right of course, it’s more like a third of the roles and four times the competition. Strangely enough, I don’t remember the audition going all that well. (I know! Weird. Right?)
At any rate, that audition birthed the second plain and simple tenet of Classic Chic–women need more opportunities.
Of course there are more touchstones, and life lessons that I’ve gleaned since those two pivotal moments, that have informed how it’s developed, but really that’s the gist of it: I want to play be able to explore the full range of my humanity on stage, and I want opportunities to cultivate my artistic voice and craft.
Those were the seeds that got planted and what grew was Classic Chic. I can’t wait to see what blossoms.by
It all started on a street corner…
If you read the previous post by Christina (and you should!), she brought it up to Michelle and I on Commercial Drive one January evening. I had known both ladies from the Actor’s Intensive and was honestly flabbergasted that I was being asked to not only be apart of the company, but to help get it off the ground! To this day I still don’t know if Christina thought I had any talent, or if she just knows I am organized…
The more I thought about this company, the more excited became. I think most of us who are in theatre know that if you want to act, you usually have to create the opportunity for yourself. I strongly feel that in creating Classic Chic we are building a foundation for women to stretch their wings in this industry. To work and learn from one another, trying new things we may never have the chance to try. There have been many bumps along the road, but the vision is clear, and with this group of women, completely attainable!by