play

Every Brilliant Thing

Every Brilliant Thing is a delightfully funny play about depression, but it’s not depressing. It’s also no surprise that the Guild theatre’s first indoor play of the season is about connection.

Love, loss and creation

You’re seated comfortably in the Yukon Arts Centre, absorbed in the live streaming of a multi-layered interpretation of a Gothic horror/sci-fi story you’ve known for years. The person on your right is following an all-female troupe of live performers who frantically discard wigs, costumes, and the occasional animated puppet, as they move on- and off-camera. Meanwhile, …

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Anger and innocence

Claire Ness was only six (or maybe seven) when she first saw the dark Canadian comedy called The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine. Still, it left a lasting impression, in part, because that Nakai Theatre production in the early 1990s starred her father, Roy Ness, and fellow Whitehorse actor/musician Trish Barclay in the title roles.

Spice up you January with some variety

If you feel a strong connection to the Yukon and you like variety and fun in your entertainment, or if you’d just like a good excuse to hire a baby-sitter and get together with friends on a cold January evening, you could check out Nakai Theatre’s Pivot Festival 2020.

Spirit of the times

The German term zeitgeist is generally rendered in English as the spirit of a given time, as shown in prevailing thought or customs. (Think, perhaps, how Carnaby Street reflected the social values of mid-1960s Britain.) In 2019, are Yukon audiences ready for an evening of music and comedy that offers a glimpse at the zeitgeist of contemporary …

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Musical time travel

[two_third] With the stage still in darkness, a disembodied voice expresses the speaker’s dislike for plays that require theatre-goers to interact with performers who break the traditional fourth wall. When the lights rise on the latest Guild Theatre production, the speaker does precisely that, by addressing the audience directly. For the duration of the evening, …

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Yukon See It Here: Snowman-making

We gave a call-out for some readers to submit photos of their snowman-making exploits after the big snowfall in November.

Spelling it out

Mary Sloan was only vaguely aware of the 2005 smash Broadway musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, when she learned that the Guild Theatre’s artistic director, Brian Fidler, had picked it as this year’s season finale.

Hidden Memories Revealed at Fringe Festival

Five years ago Hidden Memories started as a one-act play Lillian Nakamura Maguire drafted to improve her dialogue skills for a creative writing class. Now the full-length version will be featured in the Vancouver Fringe Festival’s Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women on September 13. “It’s the first time Hidden Memories will be read …

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Do You Remember When?

Allow me to take you back in time to when the words of today had a great difference in meaning… Close your eyes… and go back in time… before the internet, Mac, Dreamcast, Playstation or Nintendo 64… away back, I’m talking hide and seek at dusk… hopscotch, Double Dutch, jacks, kickball, mother may I, Red …

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Exploring Justice with Gwaandak Theatre

Gwaandak Theatre is known for producing high quality, thought provoking and original productions. A large portion of its mandate is to help cultivate Aboriginal and Northern artists gain professional experience and exposure on stages close and far from home. Now celebrating their 15th year, Gwaandak continues to cultivate new theatre and artists with Its Exploring …

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We Can Change

Whitehorse director and playwright Arlin McFarlane strives to captivate. She has developed a unique, one-actor play about our ability to change our lives around thanks to neuroplasticity. The play is about a young girl who is prone to self-destructive behaviour and seeks the help of a scientist. The scientist uses principles of neuroplasticity to help …

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Dressing Up

Yukoners have a hidden talent. Last August, over 800 people flocked to the territory’s first-ever comic convention, and many of them came in elaborate costumes they made themselves. Vickybunnangel, professional cosplayer and judge of YukomiCon 2014’s cosplay contests, remarked on the diversity and talent of our local cosplayers. So what exactly is cosplay? It stands …

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Tykes for Chickadees

Whoever said learning can’t be fun has never been part of the Chickadees program in Whitehorse. Designed for toddlers aged between three and five, this pre-school definitely puts the cool in school. At this joint kids get free playtime, story creation, painting, crafts, fieldtrips, and the ever-sopopular circle time. If these perks aren’t enough, there …

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Let Kids Have Time to be Kids

I recently wrote an article about my perspective on the benefits of organized sports and activities. In that article I touched on my strong belief in a balance between organized and un-organized play. If I was forced to take a side, I would side with free play. I believe it breeds independence, in addition to …

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Yukon Toy Story

My three-year-old daughter Emily has a new BFF in our home. Her and I used to have tea parties, play dates with dolls, and trains moving down a track to a farm that was ruled by the Potato Head People. But now she prefers her new buddy to daddy, and it wouldn’t bother me that …

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Fun Fair tips by Nash and Thayer

What are those? “Whiffle balls.” What are they for? “Tic-Tac-Toe.” Five-year-old Nash Battersby is about to school me in the art of winning prizes at the Fun Fair at Whitehorse Elementary School, this Friday and Saturday. The whiffle balls are thrown into the nine-hole grid and, well, everyone knows what needs to be done. Nash …

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Change is Always Challenging

My son came home from work a few weeks ago with a sad look of his face. When we asked what tragedy had befallen him he replied, “They’ve torn down my playground.” Well, it was true; the Robert Service School got some new playground equipment this fall. Why this fall instead of during the summer …

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A lightbulb, a chair and a bowl

It must be a magic trick, because Andy Massingham is going to hold the attention of a Yukon Arts Centre audience for one hour with just a lightbulb, a chair and a bowl. “… and incredible shadows,” says Massingham over the phone discussing his play, Rough House, which shows at the Yukon Arts Centre April …

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Laughing at the unlaughable

Bruce Horak no longer needs the catharsis that his play, This is Cancer?, has been for him. But other people do and, so, he will continue accepting invitations to travel with the play he wrote and stars in. Indeed, having only just been here for one show this past winter for the Pivot Festival, Nakai …

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Memories, though invisible, are very real

“Go easy on the references to the Holocaust,” Jonathon Young says to me over the phone. “People will go into the theatre expecting it. “This play is much more about memory and how our actions affect our descendants.” The Invisible Life of Joseph Finch is, indeed, about re-creating one man’s life for the benefit of …

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One of many moving parts

Theatre isn’t just about the actors on stage. And while Moving Parts Theatre concentrates on methods and techniques for its players, it also provides community members with important roles behind the scenes. Balancing school work and rehearsals is Wren Hookey’s latest priority. The 17-year-old high school student just began her fourth year with the popular …

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A love that made the gods weep

“It is a space of no expectations,” says Carol Prieur, a dancer in the upcoming presentation, Orpheus and Eurydice. Since Yukon audiences probably remember the choreographer, Marie Chouinard, who urinated into a bucket onstage, then, yeah, there probably aren’t any expectations for this performance. Prieur laughs at this and only gets more excited: “That is …

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No one can shock with such delight

In 1962, it was shocking and titillating. Though the Pulitzer Prize committee handed it a Pulitzer, it was revoked for language, for sexual situations. When it ran an England tour, Lord Chamberlain made the playwright, Edward Albee, change the swear words, “Jesus Christ” to “Cheese God.” Half sarcastically, Albee asked, “What about saying Mary M. …

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A rollicking story of Cape Breton

Sheldon Currie wrote a short story about a family in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, that echoed his message in the acclaimed Margaret’s Museum. Lauchie, Liza and Rory, too, looks at a Cape Breton Island community that is populated with good people, from all over the world, who are otherwise cogs in the machine. Unlike Margaret’s …

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Whose life is it anyway?

Finders, keepers. Right? Well, adults will likely respond with, “It depends.” OK. This is something that was obviously discarded … but it was seven meticulously cared-for photo albums of a family … but the person who found them put a lot of work into them to create a play … but the person who threw …

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Walker’s Laramie Project shows the triumph of community

Clinton Walker, the director brought up from Toronto for The Laramie Project, has made me chili. Little triangles of toasted bread sit next to the bowl. Walker is staying at the Almost Home Bed and Breakfast, a cute B&B in Valleyview. He’s been here for six weeks now. In some ways, Whitehorse has become another …

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Giant Rat finally treated as honoured citizen (psst … go see this musical)

Everyone loves a “lovable rogue”. In the Guild Society’s musical comedy, The Man From the Capital, you get 20 rogues to pick from. The plot is simple: it’s a case of mistaken identity. The townspeople expect a government inspector to come and evaluate their use of federal money. The schmuck who stumbles into town, penniless …

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The Trickster as Bingo Master

Can one Holy Grail of a Bingo Game in Toronto be the answer to the dreams of seven women living on a reserve? Tomson Highway’s play, The Rez Sisters, asks that question as it sends seven women on a journey to seek out the Bingo Game to beat all Bingo Games. Gwaandak Theatre reads the …

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Aboriginal plays featured in Gwaandak’s Summer Reading Series

Gwaandak Theatre is putting on a reading series this summer featuring three plays written by First Nations playwrights, borrowing the skills of some local First Nation actors — some who are brand new to the theatre stage. The whole idea makes Patti Flather and Leonard Linklater, co-founders of Gwaandak Theatre, excited and hopeful. “We wanted …

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A Memorable Friendship

It happened on the dance floor November 1, 1985. “I don’t want to spoil the story of how we met,” Brooke Johnson says of her first encounter with Pierre Elliott Trudeau, “except to say that it involved a borrowed dress and borrowed shoes that were two sizes too big, French-braided hair and toilet paper.” It …

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Honest Talk Cafe

How can one person transform herself into many people? How can one location turn into several without changing a thing? Go and see Café Daughter and you’ll find out. Somehow, this one-woman show, based on a true story of an ethnically mixed young girl growing up in Saskatchewan, manages to pull it off. Dawson City had the …

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Stories you’ve never heard, brilliantly told

I went Saturday night to The River, a Nakai production, with Michael Greyeyes directing a play written by David Skelton, Judith Rudakoff and Joseph Tisiga. To be frank, I wasn’t sure if I was interested in what I thought would be a sermon on homelessness. I just didn’t want the guilt. But local playwright David …

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Playwright Sherry MacDonald shares her secrets to the creative process

Sherry MacDonald, the newest writer-in-residence at Dawson City’s Berton House, has a place secured in heaven. “There’s a special place in heaven for single moms who have raised three boys,” she says. MacDonald is a playwright and her plays have been seen on stages in Vancouver, Calgary, and Florida. Her sons are now grown and …

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A Tale in Two Tellings

Ten years after Louis Riel was convicted of high treason and hanged, a young Cree warrior shot a cow near Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, where the so-called North-West Rebellion had begun. According to some versions of the story, the animal was intended for his wedding feast. That young man, known in English as Almighty Voice, was …

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Comedy Dominates in Venus

The play is new. The book that inspired it is 142 years old. The song dates back to the Summer of Love. The kinky proclivity all three works explore may be as old as time. Venus in Fur, the David Ives play that opened Off-Broadway to much acclaim in 2010 before moving to the Great …

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A Little Off the Top: Stereotypes and Beyond

On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper rose in the House of Commons to issue a formal apology for Canada’s century-long Indian residential school policy. That same Wednesday evening, a new play called Where the Blood Mixes burst upon the Canadian theatre scene at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Vancouver, B.C. The two …

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