Farnsworth Chronicles, 1

Surrounded by young, energetic, talented actors, I was feeling my age at the first read through for Keyano Theatre Company's production of The Farnsworth Invention.  That was me 25 years ago, I thought to myself, recalling fun times with Newman Players back at St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon back in the mid-1980s.

While the cast is essentially just getting started with its process, the production team has been hard at work on this show for months, and in some cases, years.

"When I first came to Fort McMurray three years ago I asked Russell to read this script." said Director Claude Giroux.  "Now here we.  This is one of the strongest plays I've ever read."

Jennifer Goodman unveiled her stunning set design at last night's first read through, giving us the sense of the staging, colour palette and functionality of the set pieces.  Tiffany Bishop revealed the wardrobe treatment for the show, creating a sense of memory through mostly greyscale costumes, with the exception of Philo Farnsworth (Michael Beamish) and his nemesis David Sarnoff (me), who will be draped in colour.

I have been working on the opening monologue since the day I was offered the role of the founding President of RCA.  So, when the time came to start the inaugural read, I set the script aside and plunged forward.  I had to glance at the page once or twice, more out of nervousness than anything else, but I made it through.

The thing I am most afraid of, to be completely honest, is the time commitment and the late nights.  Being a creature of habit, I'm often in bed by 10 pm.  But this rehearsal process may require me to flirt with 11 pm and 11:30 pm for the next six weeks.  I'm going to need to eat my Wheaties and "drink lots of water," as suggested by Stage Manager Steph Link.

It has been six full years since I played on the big stage at Keyano.  It's nice to be back, helping to bring to life a brilliant story penned by the incredible Aaron Sorkin.  I hope you will consider joining us for a story that pulls back the curtain on the invention of television.  You can click here for show details.


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