Thursday, September 26, 2013

artistic director journal | allen, emily, joy

Circus! I want to join the circus
I want to ride a pony through a circle made of fire
Doggies that ride on little ponies,
chased all around by monkeys.

This morning, a reading of Allen Desnoyers' new play-in-progress about Emily Dickinson. He'll be touring it to schools with his company Canadiana Musical Theatre: today was just a chance to put finishing touches to the portrait of the great BC painter.

This being PT's thirtieth season, I'm often thinking back to people and shows and experiences in our history, so I savoured the chance to sit with Allen in a room and talk theatre. He helped found Pacific Theatre back in 1984, and has been on our stage many times over the years. In fact, we were close friends years before Pacific Theatre began.

Another treat this morning was the presence of Meghan Gardiner, a playwright in her own right, reading the role of Emily (Meghan's husband Todd Thomson is well known to PT audiences). Too, my first chance to meet Joy Coghill, in many ways a founder of Vancouver's professional theatre community. Joy's play Song Of This Place is also about Emily Carr.

One stanza of a circus song in Allen's play reminded me of the Emily Carr statue at Seventh and Granville, so I wandered over and took a few photos. And couldn't help seeing Joy Coghill's face in the artist's rendering of Emily Carr.

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