Fenton & White prepare for Giants, Children, and Sunday Serenades

Stages of Flowering

Summer officially starts in just a few more days and we thought it was time to do an update on the activities of Fenton & White.  June and July are filled with great opportunities to see us in action or get out and see other fantastic work being put up by our friends in the arts … so read on and discover what the upcoming months hold for us.

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We’re thrilled to be part of the Playwrights Guild of Canada Reading series and on July 11th, you can catch us at one of two Burlington libraries reading excerpts from The Giant’s Garden.  And yes … Pete is going to sing!  Don’t miss it.

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Scott returns as the host of Sunday Serenades at Mel Lastman Square.  This big band concert series offers a chance to listen to some great musicians and vocalists and dance to classics from the golden era of swing and jazz.  Concerts will run every Sunday night for six weeks starting Sunday July 9th and the bands play from 7:30 to 9:00 PM.  And the best part of all … it’s FREE.  For a taste of what this event is like, click here.

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TD summer camp

Scott is thrilled to be returning as a guest artist for the summer with Theatre Direct‘s summer programs for children.  This fantastic organization offers opportunities for artistic growth for youth from age 4 to 16. Each week from mid-July through to late August, Scott (along with a team of guest and resident artists) will work with a different age group helping them to create a song that they will integrate into their exploration of the arts.  At  the end of each week, they share their discoveries with their parents and friends.  At the core of this work … imagination.  It is truly fulfilling work.

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Meanwhile over at the Royal Ontario Museum, Pete will continue working upstairs through the summer with the invertebrate paleontology collections, while down in the basement of the ROM an incredible exhibit on Whales lurks in the deep.  The Out Of The Depths Blue Whale Exhibit has been drawing fantastic crowds and is sure to pull big numbers this summer.  Check out details by clicking here.

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writing

Pete and I will also be working on three other writing projects over the summer.  Scott will be scoring additional orchestrations for The Giant’s Garden for an upcoming production this fall in Kincardine, Ontario.  The Kincardine Theatre Guild just finished auditions last week, and the excitement in the community is running high.  Watch this blog in upcoming months for details on the production.

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 Scott is also deep into scoring on his musical Compulsion (formerly The Things We Did For Love) in preparation for some upcoming development work later in the year.  And in the summer months  both Pete and Scott will continue to work towards completing a full draft of the comedy Some Kind Of Happy.  Creative writing is a lot of work but it is also a great deal of fun, and we are hopeful that by this fall we will be in position to put a new play on the stage for the 2018/19 season of  a theatre in Canada.  We’ll keep you posted.

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Shout-out

There are so many artists creating great work, and we want to point out some work that might be fun to take in during the upcoming weeks.

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If you are in Calgary, then you should check out this year’s production of As You Like It at Shakespeare By The Bow. This Theatre Calgary tradition offers accessible and family-friendly Shakespeare in a park setting at Prince’s Island.  This year’s production is helmed by Samantha MacDonald … the incoming artistic producer of Lunchbox Theatre (who produced Newfoundland Mary earlier in the year).  For information on how you can enjoy a fun night of Shakespeare in the great outdoors in Calgary, click here.  Performances start on June 20th and run until August 27th.

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Meanwhile in Toronto, the Toronto Fringe Festival is coming up fast and there are some unique shows we want to tell you about. If you love mystery and musical theatre then the Confidential Musical Theatre Project is for you.  EVERY performance will be a different musical … but the audience won’t know what that show is until the lights come up on the stage.  The cast get their scripts and scores in advance but don’t rehearse.  They read live from the page making up stage movement as they go along,  leading to an exciting live theatrical experience not be missed.  Marion Abbot’s brilliant concept of keeping theatre “in the moment” and offering chances for a large number of performers to get on the stage has been done in 15 cities across the country.  You can check it out in Toronto starting on July 5th.  For tickets and information click. here. 

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Mac Head

If you love fight choreography,  Shakespearean tragedy and whimsy, then look no further than Kyle McDonald’s intriguing Fringe show Macbeth’s Head.  This 55 minute romp features space pirates, hip hop, and a range of effects to keep you laughing and gasping.  Performances start July 5th.  For more information, click here.

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Hands Down

If you like comedy then you might want to check out Hands Down, a new play by Warren P. Sonoda who knows a thing or two about getting laughs.  He’s directed episodes of Trailer Park Boys and This Hour Has 22 Minutes.  Performances begin … you guessed it … July 5th.  For details, and tickets click here.

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Finally we want to shout out our congratulations to our Canadian colleagues Irene Sankoff and David Hein.  Their show Come From Away just won a slew of awards on Broadway including the Drama Desk Award for Best New Musical and a Tony Award for best direction.  This show has been inspiring Broadway audiences and bringing a great deal of pride to Canadians.   If you haven’t heard about the show  you should visit their website and learn why it is selling out every night in New York.

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CFA

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 And if you can’t get down to New York, take heart.  There is a national touring company that will be touring to Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa in early 2019.  If you can’t wait that long, an open-ended run will start in Toronto early next year, and if you simply must see it now … well, make your way down to New York City.  For information on the show, click here.

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Whatever your summer plans are, we hope that you enjoy the summer weather, the longer hours of sunshine and that you explore all the fantastic opportunities to enjoy the arts in the upcoming months.   With laughter and warmth.

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Fenton & White

May Means Moving On

The past few weeks have been a blur.  We want to thank all of our readers who took the time to come out and see Newfoundland Mary in Calgary at Lunchbox Theatre.  The run was a fantastic success with good reviews, a truly lovely production and the final week was entirely sold out.  Shows that didn’t sell out in advance filled every seat with audience members purchasing at the door.  It was exciting to see such a great response to this musical romance.

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THE FINAL WEEK OF NEWFOUNDLAND MARY SOLD OUT

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Newfoundland Mary is still going strong thanks to our intrepid cast of Rennie Wilkinson and Guillermo Urra and stage manager Megan Gurnsey.   They are touring the show in partnership with Smile Theatre out to seniors’ residences and long-term care facilities until May 27th.  Our musical is touring with recorded tracks prepared prior to the tour.  This allowed Scott to fly home on May 16th to get ready for other work in Toronto.

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RENNIE WILKINSON GREETS PATRONS AFTER A PERFORMANCE OF NEWFOUNDLAND MARY IN A SENIORS’ RESIDENCE IN CALGARY

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GUILLERMO URRA PREPARES TO ANSWER QUESTIONS AFTER A SHOW ON THE TOUR.

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AND WHAT DOES JUNE HOLD FOR FENTON & WHITE?

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June will offer a range of writing projects, from two weeks of writing work on Scott’s darker musical The Things We Did For Love, to doing a larger orchestration for an upcoming production of The Giant’s Garden later in the year, to looking at expansion of the one act version of Newfoundland Mary  into a full two act piece. There is always lots of possibilities and we will continue to devote whatever time we can to bringing our stories to as wide an audience as possible.   We will have a fuller update in June with information on places you can see Fenton & White reading from their work, Scott’s upcoming work with Theatre Direct and Sunday Serenades, and of course … updates on when our latest play will have a public appearance.   In the meantime, we hope that the month of June is filled with laughter and joy.

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Warmest Regards,

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FENTON & WHITE

 

Calgary Embraces Newfoundland Mary

The past month has been a huge amount of work putting up the production of Newfoundland Mary at Calgary’s Lunchbox Theatre, but the effort has been so worthwhile.  Last week saw 3 sold out shows, and on Saturday some audience members who hadn’t booked in advance had to buy tickets for a later performance.  Here’s a peek at the process of getting our show out to the Calgary audiences.

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REHEARSALS STARTED APRIL 10th IN THE REHEARSAL HALL.  AT THE TABLE ARE THE STAGE MANAGER MEGAN GURNSEY AND ACTOR GUILLERMO URRA.

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SCOTT REID’S SET DESIGN … ON PAPER IT LOOKED LIKE THIS

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WHILE WE REHEARSED, MARIAN TRUSCOTT STARTED BUILDING THE COSTUMES (Photo by Marian Truscott)

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THE DIRECTORIAL TEAM … VAL PEARSON AS DIRECTOR AND SCOTT AS MUSICAL DIRECTOR

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JUST BEFORE OPENING, PETE CAME OUT TO CALGARY TO SEE HOW THE LATEST FENTON & WHITE COLLABORATION LOOKED ON STAGE.

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AS REHEARSALS PROGRESSED, WE GOT SOME PREVIEW MEDIA COVERAGE

To read the Calgary Herald preview, click here

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AND BEFORE WE KNEW IT, IT WAS OPENING NIGHT.

ABOVE IS RENNIE WILKINSON AS MARY AND GUILLERMO URRA AS LUIS WEARING MARIAN TRUSCOTT’S COSTUMES, ON SCOTT REID’S SET UNDER LIGHTING BY DAVE SMITH.

(Photo by Benjamin Laird)

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RENNIE WILKINSON AS NEWFOUNDLAND MARY 

(Photo by Benjamin Laird)

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RENNIE WILKINSON AND GUILLERMO URRA IN NEWFOUNDLAND MARY

(Photo by Benjamin Laird)

We got a great review in the papers.  Only open this if you have already seen the show, or don’t plan to see the show, as it has a few spoilers.  To read the review, click here

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GOOD REVIEWS LEAD TO SOLD OUT HOUSES

We have two weeks left in the run, and some shows are already at limited availability, so if you are in Calgary prior to May 13th, come and check out Newfoundland Mary.  For ticket information click here

Of course, all work and no play leads to dull playwrights.  We have been overwhelmed with family and friends who have come to visit the show and take time out of their busy schedule to travel to Calgary.  We have done a few side trips, and one of the most memorable was to the Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre.  Below are a few photos.

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THE BUILDING … AMAZING MODERN ARCHITECTURE 5 STORIES HIGH

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BUFFY SAINTE MARIE WORE THIS OUTFIT … CHECK OUT THOSE HEELS

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THE SUNGLASSES FROM COREY HART’S VIDEO FOR “I WEAR MY SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT”

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AMAZING CUSTOM INSTRUMENTS

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FANTASTIC CONCERT HALLS

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FUN INTERACTIVE EXHIBITS WHERE YOU PLAY MUSIC USING BODY HEAT FROM YOUR HANDS.

Let’s just say that Fenton & White have been having a great time in Calgary.  This is just a quick update, but a few weeks down the road, we’ll send out more news on our artistic activities coming up in May including public readings of our plays, and development on new projects.  Pete had to go home today, but if you are in Calgary, Scott is in town until May 16th playing the show each day and preparing it to go on the road with a tour with Smile Theatre into senior’s residences for an additional two weeks.   Hope to catch up with you.  Until then, wishing you a creative month ahead.

Warmest Regards,

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FENTON & WHITE

 

Newfoundland Mary Travels to Calgary

The focus of April and mid-May will be putting up a production of Newfoundland Mary  at Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary.   I’m already in Calgary doing rehearsals and Pete will fly out for the final previews and opening week of the run.  So read on to see the adventures of putting up a show.  As always, the blue font sections are clickable links.

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SCOTT PREPARES TO TAKE OFF FROM TORONTO … PETE WILL FLY OUT A FEW WEEKS LATER

The standard coffee shot at the beginning of each trip was a solo shot and I couldn’t hold onto the camera and get the coffee in the frame without risking spilling the coffee, so the above shot will have to do.

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THE VIEW FROM THE STREET NEAR WHERE I AM LIVING

For those who have never been to Calgary, on a clear day it feels like you can reach out and touch the mountains.  They beckon to me, but first there is work to be done.

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DURING MY TIME IN CALGARY I AM STAYING AT THE WESTERN WHITE HOUSE

I am fortunate to have family in Calgary and during the rehearsal time I am staying with the folks.  I am truly grateful to have a comfortable home away from home and also to get to spend time visiting.  And as you can see above, they have been spoiling me.

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DOWNTOWN CALGARY HAS CHANGED SINCE I MOVED AWAY 26 YEARS AGO

The city of Calgary has grown a great deal, and the downtown core has fascinating sculptures.  This piece,  called Wonderland  is at the base of the building known as “The Bow”

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A FULLER PERSPECTIVE OF THE SCULPTURE … BIGGER THAN THE VAN ON THE STREET, BUT DWARFED BY THE BUILDING ABOVE

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LUNCHBOX THEATRE IS AT THE BASE OF THE CALGARY TOWER

Each day, I make my way down on the C-train to rehearsals right at the core of the city.

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THE C-TRAIN IS AN EFFICIENT LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT SYSTEM

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THE POSTER FOR THE SHOW IS ON DISPLAY OUTSIDE THE THEATRE ALONG WITH OTHER SHOWS IN THE SEASON

Production photos will be coming up soon, but right now, costumes are being built, the set is installed and painted, lights are being hung and this week we add in the second musician and move into the theatre to complete rehearsals.  Pre-press is beginning such as the article from The University of Calgary Alumni Association (click the blue title to read the article if you wish).

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AFTER A LONG DAY OF REHEARSAL IT IS NICE TO COME HOME AND SEE RABBITS IN THE YARD … A SURE SIGN OF SPRING

Once the show is open and Pete is here, I will give a full update with some production photos and media coverage and a proper blog from both Fenton and White, but for now I’ll sign off from the rehearsal hall with a wish for a wonderful week ahead as I look forward to Pete’s arrival and the opening of the show.

Warmest Regards,

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WHITE (OF FENTON & WHITE)

 

Fenton & White Go East Part 1

This blog has been slightly delayed because of a very busy schedule.   Over the next few days I’ll try and get out some photos from our East Coast adventure.  I’ve added links (underlined in blue) so you can find out more about the places we’ve been and the places we are going. The focus over the upcoming weeks will be putting up our show Newfoundland Mary in Calgary at Lunchbox Theatre .  Until then, here is a snapshot of our trip from Toronto to Halifax on the train.  The trip was taken in two parts.  On Tuesday March 21st we headed to Montreal to visit friends and take in a theatre festival.  It is a pleasant 5 hour trip.

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EVERY FENTON & WHITE JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A COFFEE

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THE SUN SHONE BRIGHTLY AS WE PULLED AWAY FROM UNION STATION IN TORONTO AT 9 AM

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AS WE HEADED OUT OF TORONTO, WE CROSSED THE DON RIVER AND WAVED FAREWELL TO OUR CONDO WHICH  IS VISIBLE IN THE DISTANCE

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WITHIN A SHORT TIME, GORGEOUS VIEWS OF LAKE ONTARIO OPEN UP ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE TRAIN.

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ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE TRAIN THE SCENERY IS GENTLY ROLLING FARM LAND

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WE TRAVELED ECONOMY ON THIS LEG OF THE JOURNEY AND AT THE HALF-WAY MARK, ORDERED A BOXED LUNCH WHICH WAS VERY TASTY.

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AT AROUND 2:30 IN THE AFTERNOON WE CROSSED THE ST. LAURENCE RIVER AND PULLED INTO MONTREAL

I know a lot of people use bargain sites, such as Trivago to shop and compare, but we have still found cheaper rates on Hotwire at the last minute.  In order to get the best deal, you choose an area of the city you are visiting and a star rating.  The name of the hotel is blocked until after you book, and you have to pre-pay your reservation.  Using this method, we got a four star room a 10 minute walk from the train station and a 2 minute walk from Old Montreal for $127 Canadian.  This rate included all taxes and a hot breakfast in the morning.  We wound up staying at the Embassy Suites, and it was a terrific deal.  Below are a few shots of the suite.

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THE KITCHEN WAS LARGE WITH A NICE CALIFORNIA BAR

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THE LIVING ROOM HAD A LARGE TV, A NICE DESK AND ENOUGH ROOM TO ENTERTAIN

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POCKET DOORS ON THE BEDROOM AREA ALLOWED YOU TO CLOSE OFF THE BEDROOM IF YOU HAVE COMPANY OVER

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THE BATHROOM HAD A JACUZZI TUB WITH A STAND-UP SHOWER IN THE CORNER

Our evening plans were to go for dinner, meet up with my stage manager from the Becoming Carol tour (Kevin Olson) and then go and see the play Jabber as part of the Geordie Theatre Festival.  We wound up at the Le Saint-Bock microbrewery at 1749 St. Denis Street. If you click the link above, you will see the beer menu.  We tried a fine cognac beer with a marshmallow in it.  And the food was pretty spectacular too.  I was recommended to a variation on poutine that had fries and curds, but was dressed with meats and peppers and a light gravy.  It was tasty.

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A TASTY VARIATION ON POUTINE AT LE SAINT BOCK

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THEN IT WAS ON TO SEE THE SHOW … WHICH WAS TRULY FANTASTIC

After the show, we had time to catch up with Haylee Tucker our former assistant stage manager from our show Bemused which played Theatre Northwest a few years ago.  She is studying at the National Theatre School right now.   And then it was off to bed.

Tomorrow … exploring Montreal’s museums, food and culture.

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FENTON & WHITE GIVE THEIR FIRST DAY IN MONTREAL A THUMBS UP