AIR leads to flight

Photo by Margie Cunningham
I attended the Artist In Residence Master Class theatre showcase last night directed by Justin Shaw.  A group of 13 performers - some seasoned, some not - did a script-in-hand performance of Rajiv Joseph's "Gruesome Playground Injuries".  The actors took turns playing the male and female roles as the play bounced back and forth through time.

Photo by Theatre; Just Because

Every single one of the performers stretched their skills and enriched their connection to the character they were playing and the character they were engaging with in the play. 

I was transfixed by my son Dylan, and felt like I was having a preview of what is going to happen during his time at National Theatre School.  I saw a depth of character and connection to his acting partner (Jenny Price) that was truly beautiful.

I loved seeing some new performers taking risks and discovering (or, in some cases, rediscovering) the joy of theatre.  Jennifer, Connor and Ron are three examples that jump to mind, but there were others. 

I loved seeing growth in proven veterans of the stage.  There were moments in the performance that were delightful in one moment to deeply moving in another.  I have seen Diana, Hanna, Mike, Dave and Jenny in multiple productions over the years.  It was crystal clear that this master class had a profound impact on them.

I sit back and watch these kind of events and keep coming back to a comment I hear on a more regular basis: "We need interPLAY to come back."  I think it's less about bringing back a festival from the past, but creating a new one that brings the masses together with artists who are doing amazing work.  The time has come for a new visual and performing arts festival to emerge.  It needs to take a new form, responding to the Fort McMurray of 2018, and it needs to have elements that bring people out in the thousands.  These performers need it; these performers deserve it.  The community needs it; the community deserves it.


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