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STAGE NOTES: Edmonton vocalist mines choir tales for world stage premiere

Plus, Schmidt revives an historical Greek love story, Walterdale’s season launches with Arthur Miller and award-winning playwright returns house with new work

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“I’m a singer. It’s a part of my DNA,” says Sandy Paddick.

She’s additionally a playwright, and that exact mixture of abilities has led to Crescendo! which debuts Oct. 18 on the Varscona (10329 83 Ave.) as a part of Shadow Theatre’s thirtieth anniversary season.

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Working by means of Nov. 5, Crescendo! (a world premiere) is a play, with songs, that tells the story of a ladies’s choir. Kate Ryan directs the play, which options unique music by Jennifer McMillan. Shadow inventive director John Hudson (additionally Paddick’s husband) is the dramaturge for the manufacturing, which options Jenny McKillop, Kirstin Piehl, Cathy Derkach, Michelle Diaz and Colleen Tillotson.

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Crescendo! was impressed by Paddick’s personal expertise in an Edmonton ladies’s choir, which she joined in 2015 as a approach to supply a spotlight for her life exterior of her function as a mom. She got interested within the causes her fellow singers joined the group.

“I requested folks, ‘What introduced you to the choir? Why do you sing?’ That form of impressed me to delve additional,” says Paddick.

Anybody who has ever joined a choir, significantly as an grownup, is aware of studying the music and harmonies takes time and dedication, however that effort usually ends in a metamorphosis.

“It feels fantastic to sing with different folks, nevertheless it additionally releases endorphins,” says Paddick. “You’ll be able to go into choir feeling grumpy and are available out feeling nice.”

Crescendo! was workshopped in 2017 by means of the Alberta Playwrights’ Community and had its first public viewers on the 2019 Edmonton Fringe Competition. The story follows a selected member of the choir who, sooner or later, can’t discover her voice.

“It’s about that form of journey,” says Paddick. “What occurs when you may’t sing when it’s been so a part of your life?”

Although the narrative offers with loss, Crescendo! makes a joyful noise.

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“That’s who I’m — I imagine in pleasure,” says Paddick. “However the actuality is that life could be very unhappy so there may be that arc. However it’s about coming collectively and discovering pleasure and peace and love.”

Tickets for Crescendo! begin at $25 and can be found by means of or by calling 780-434-5564.

NLT’s new season set to soar

Meet-cute tales are the lifeblood of the relationship scene. However locking eyes in a crypt? That’s an sudden variation audiences can look ahead to when A Phoenix Too Frequent debuts Oct. 6 at Northern Gentle Theatre.

Written by Christopher Fry and directed by NLT’s Trevor Schmidt, the comedian play explores what occurs when a lady in historical Greece (Julia van Dam as Dynamene) turns into a widow. She’s decided to affix her lifeless husband within the underworld till a younger soldier (Brennan Campbell as Tegeus) turns her head. Ellen Chorley performs the wisecracking maid, Doto.

Written in 1949, the play was produced in 1978 by NLT, coming to Schmidt’s consideration as he solid about for performs for the 2023/24 season.

“I made a decision to undergo the archives for a callback to one thing we had executed earlier than,” recollects Schmidt, who can also be the costume designer for the manufacturing. “I had learn it just a few years in the past. It’s very candy, very literate, it’s obtained a extremely extremely poetic, developed language.”

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Trevor Schmidt
Northern Gentle Theatre director Trevor Schmidt. Picture by Greg Southam /Postmedia

Although rooted in a distant millennium, the one-act has the sensibility of a Fifties film comparable to The Ten Commandments. Suppose Cleopatra in a bullet bra and shellacked hairdo.

“We’re working actually arduous to not simply do a big slap of poetic supply,” says Schmidt. “Every thought must be very particular and there may be room to change and flip round shortly with emotional states. It’s all stylized and heightened.”

A Phoenix Too Frequent is the primary present of the NLT season. Subsequent up in January 2024 is Donna Orbits the Moon, by Ian August. Starring Patricia Darbasie in a one-person efficiency, the play is a couple of suburban spouse and mom in Minnesota who begins to have out-of-body experiences.

“She begins to listen to a voice speaking to her and imagines her physique in outer house and realizes that the voice talking to her is Buzz Aldrin,” says Schmidt. “It’s a humorous and tragic have a look at this girl’s journey of self-discovery.”

The final present of the season is a brand new creation by Schmidt himself. It’s referred to as Sweet and the Beast — a homicide thriller/thriller about an adolescent named Sweet (Jayce MacKenzie) and her youthful brother Kenny (Bret Jacobs). The 2 are decided to trace down a trailer courtroom serial killer utilizing solely their wits and a Ouija board.

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“It’s a coming-of-age about that point between being a toddler and being an grownup. For me, it’s so much about financial standing and sophistication,” says Schmidt. “It’s a really experimental presentation.”

A Phoenix Too Frequent runs by means of Oct. 21 at Studio Theatre (Fringe Theatre Arts Barns, 10330 84 Ave.) Tickets begin at $20 and can be found at or by calling 780-471-1586.

Arthur Miller traditional

The Walterdale Theatre presents Arthur Miller’s All My Sons from Oct. 11 to 21. Directed by John Anderson, the neighborhood theatre manufacturing tackles a few of Miller’s most penetrating themes, together with loyalty and the connection between fathers and sons. Tickets are $25 at, and the theatre is positioned at 10322 83 Ave.

Edmonton native returns with new work

Award-winning Edmonton/Toronto playwright and actor Makram Ayache (Harun) brings a brand new work again house with the debut of The Hooves Belonged to the Deer. Kicking off Oct. 24 on the Westbury Theatre (Fringe Theatre Arts Barns, 10330 84 Ave.), the present runs till Nov. 4.

Makram Ayache
Makram Ayache, left, and Hala Nasr in Harun. File

The play tells the story of Izzy, a younger, queer Center Japanese boy residing in a rural city who finds himself the main target of consideration of the native pastor. Ayache first penned the story in 2020 as a part of the Alberta Queer Calendar Challenge. Later, the play discovered its method to Toronto, the place Buddies in Unhealthy Instances produced it as an audioplay earlier than Tarragon Theatre gave it a world stage premiere through the firm’s 2022/23 season.

Now Edmonton’s In Arms Theatre Collective (with the assist of Fringe Theatre Adventures) brings the story to you. Intrigued? Tickets begin at $18 by means of

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