Tearing out the seating for THE PASSION PROJECT, the apprenti found these two vintage ticket stubs from our first season in our theatre space at 12th and Hemlock. The one on the left is a puzzle: if that scrawl says "1/13", then it's for one of our Murder Mystery fundraisers - End Of The Line, by Vicky McLeod - which ran January 13, 14, 20, 21. But if it says "1/17", I have no idea. That was our first season in the new space, in Holy Trinity. Damn those were tough times. But we put on some pretty swell theatre.
When I first saw the stubs, my guess was that it might have been from our hold-over run of THE VOICE OF THE PRAIRIE, which premiered in fall 1994, but ran an extra week early in 1995. Not so: VOP didn't play until the first week of February. But it reminded me of one of the most encouraging postcards I've ever received.
We were having a hell of a time. Almost nobody came to that holdover week - I mean, audiences of ten or fifteen - so the actors in the co-op were going to get, like, a hundred bucks each for the week? (Dirk Van Stralen, Tim Dixon, Erla Faye Forsyth) And then Saturday night the cashbox was stolen?
So the next week was pretty darn dreary. And then the mail came...
I first fell in love with live theatre in Grade Eight, when my social studies teacher took us to see GREAT EXPECTATIONS at Theatre Calgary. I remember it vividly to this day, what must be forty years later. My first professional play in a theatre. I phoned up the box office - little Grade Eight guy - and asked if they were doing the play again, or if that was the only night. The assured me it would be on for a couple more weeks, I bought another ticket and went again. Then bought a subscription for the rest of the season with my buddy, Mike Davenport, kept on subscribing 'til I left Calgary five and a half years later.
The director? Christopher Newton. Of that show, and so many over the next several TC seasons. And then who shows up at my theatre at one of our lowest moments, and takes the time to write such a kind note? Christopher Newton.
Sometimes life is sweet. God bless you, Mr Newton.