One of Brian Fidler’s first memories of the Yukon is sleeping on the couch
at The Guild Hall. He had just arrived in town and – without a car – would hitchhike to rehearsals of El Crocodor, his first Yukon theatre experience.
From those early years, Fidler spent a lot of time at The Guild. And now as their newest artistic director, he’s about to spend a lot more.
Fidler has signed on for a two-year term at The Guild and has announced his first season, which will be full of laughs guaranteed to make theatre lovers out of us all.
“I like drama and I like the classics and there will be a place for that in future seasons,” says Fidler. “But this first season, I want to keep people laughing.”
This is all part of his vision to show people who don’t think they like theatre just how fun it can be.
The Guild’s season will launch in September with Myth of the Ostrich, a play by Canadian Matt Murray. Fidler heard about it from Clinton Walker – an oftentimes director for shows at The Guild. Fidler felt it would be a great fit for Whitehorse audiences and the theatre community alike.
A play that Fidler describes as “laugh out loud funny,” Myth of the Ostrich is about three strong female characters in their 40s and 50s, which Fidler feels will be easy to cast in a town with a “great group of women actors in that age range.”
The second show of the season will include a radio play adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life, which will feature 10 actors playing the roles of 63 characters, live music and era-specific radio ads. Based on Fidler’s favourite movie, it’s a perfect holiday show, which celebrates the holiday spirit “that every life is important” without the unattractive commercial component.
The season will end with the cult-classic comedic hit Evil Dead: The Musical. Fidler will direct this show and will keep all of its fun, quirky aspects, including a splash zone where the audience will get covered with fake blood – watch your drink!
Fidler is no stranger to the stage and is the mastermind behind Ramshackle Theatre. He will continue to grow Ramshackle while at The Guild as both are fundamentally different in their approach to theatre. Ramshackle, which produces the annual sell-out Theatre in the Bush and cardboard puppet theatre shows, is an international touring company based in Whitehorse. Ramshackle “comes from this idea of making theatre wherever you are” – a theme which has followed Fidler throughout his career.
Beyond the shows themselves, Fidler is bringing other events and fun to The Guild. Continuing to build on the groundwork laid by the previous artistic director Anthony Trombetta, Fidler plans to grow the company’s improv and comedic offerings. Anyone interested in exploring or dipping a toe into the world of improv is invited to join in the weekly meetings and the monthly shows that will feature improv games. Throughout the season, there will be a mix of long-form improv theatre and stand-up comedians – both local and national.
Fidler wants to bring in new people and partner with organizations to build community around The Guild.
“We are open to ideas and open to anything, really. If people have an idea for an event, [we want to hear it],” he says.
For more information go to www.GuildHall.ca.