Going west

Rating: NNNNNA number of Toronto performers trekked west for work this fall. Karen Robinson is at Calgary's Alberta Theatre Projects.

Rating: NNNNN

A number of Toronto performers trekked west for work this fall. Karen Robinson is at Calgary’s Alberta Theatre Projects as Denise, the distraught mother trying to reclaim her infant from a social worker in George F. Walker’s Problem Child. Neat tie-in there, for the Calgary show is helmed by ATP artistic director Bob White, who used to run Factory Theatre, where Problem Child had its 1997 Canadian premiere.

Out in Victoria, Stephanie Jones and Jason Cadieux star in Carol Bolt’s 1977 Canadian thriller One Night Stand, updated for modern audiences at the Belfry Theatre. The actors — who play a woman celebrating her birthday by picking up a trick and the increasingly strange object of her admiration — workshopped the piece last year in Toronto.

And at Theatre North West in Prince George, BC, Geoffrey Whynot, Heather Lea Brown and Scott White appear in Ten Lost Years, based on Barry Broadfoot’s book about the Depression in Canada.

Moving Sets in

Set/Reset, the environmentally friendly and theatre-savvy organization that recycles theatre set pieces from one organization to another, is pulling up stakes at the end of the month to move to an as-yet-undetermined new location.

They’ve been getting rid of lots of sets and props over the past few weeks, including — obviously to people planning Halloween parties — coffins, dungeon doors and swamps made of fibreglass mud. The Bowmanville Zoo’s even picked up several 14-foot trees for a new exhibit.

Past and present crew members who have taken advantage of Set/Reset’s services are invited to take part in a group photograph Monday (October 30), 5:30 pm, at the old location (21 Bathurst). 703-0550.

Nifty Newton

Here’s a well-deserved award. Christopher Newton, artistic director of the Shaw Festival for more than two decades, is getting a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for lifetime artistic achievement.

During his 40 years in the business, Newton founded Theatre Calgary and the Vancouver Playhouse Acting School. Though Torontonians occasionally saw him as an actor before he took over Shaw, it’s at the festival that he’s had his biggest impact, introducing audiences to stagings of Henry Granville Barker and other of Shaw’s contemporaries while providing fine productions of more familiar works written during Shaw’s lifetime.

And with the company’s recently changed mandate — which allows performances of works written about the period from the 1850s to the 1950s — Newton’s able to commission works from another generation of playwrights. He’s due a round of applause.

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