Monday, June 29, 2009

Jul 2: Kelly Joe Phelps, Cap College

Phelps' "Roll The Stone Away" is an all-time Soul Food favourite.

North Shore Jazz
In Partnership with the Vancouver International Jazz Festival
Kelly Joe Phelps
Thursday, July 2 8pm
Capilano College Performing Arts Theatre, North Vancouver, BC

"Kelly Joe Phelps is a singer and guitarist/slide guitarist with a depth, range, and amazing technique that infuse his songs with soul and honesty. His own tunes are as effortlessly authentic as the classics he performs so well. After a decade and a half of travelling the world—occasionally with a band, but usually alone with his guitar—Phelps has just released Western Bell , his eighth full-length album. Long hailed for his virtuosic and courageous playing, the 11 solo guitar instrumentals on his new release feel different somehow, offering a private “through the keyhole” look at Phelps’ musical soul. Phelps produces seminal solo guitar music that’s beautiful, innovative, and inspired." Capilano Performing Arts Theatre

Thursday, June 18, 2009

NYC: Next Fall

Love With a Proper Atheist and Other Leaps of Faith
Review by Ben Brantley
New York Times, June 4 2009

It’s easy to mistake Geoffrey Naufft’s “Next Fall” for being slighter than it is. Much of this artful, thoughtful and very moving story of a gay couple agonizing over differences in their religious faiths proceeds with the stinging breeziness of a cosmopolitan comedy. You can imagine its concept being pitched to a television producer as a sort of “Will & Grace” with an ontological conscience: He’s a committed Christian, while he’s a committed atheist, and it’s driving their crazy friends even crazier!

But the appealingly acted Naked Angels production that opened Wednesday night at Playwrights Horizons, directed by Sheryl Kaller, is an intellectual stealth bomb. Even as you’re being entertained by the witty talk of ingratiatingly imperfect people, feeling as comfortable as if you were watching your favorite long-running sitcom, big and uneasy questions — really big ones, without answers — are forming in the back of your mind. Don’t expect them to go away when the play is over.

Mr. Nauffts, the artistic director of Naked Angels since 2007 and best known as an actor, has written the kind of gently incisive, naturalistic play that rarely materializes anymore. Topical plays tend to make their characters tote a Big Theme as if they were pack animals, scrunched into awkward postures by the weight of the idea on their backs.

The characters in “Next Fall” — including Adam (Patrick Breen) and Luke (Patrick Heusinger), the odd couple at the play’s center — carry plenty of weight, all right, but it’s the kind generated from inside. Well, mostly. Mr. Nauffts uses the time-honored device of a potentially fatal accident to drag a group of disparate people into confrontations they have been putting off for years.

But Mr. Nauffts leaves these folks the freedom to deal with their shared crisis with all the awkwardness, evasion and denial that allow people to live with themselves, even if such things poison them inside. Life is big, people are small. And Mr. Nauffts takes no shortcuts in working out the intersection of these two données.

The play alternates between scenes set in the waiting room of a New York City hospital, where Luke is in a coma after being hit by a taxi, and vignettes that trace in flashbacks the evolving and sometimes tenuous relationship of Luke, a young actor, and the 40-ish Adam. They meet cute at a dinner party where Luke, working as a waiter, administers the Heimlich maneuver to a choking Adam and move on to a one-night stand that develops into what looks like a permanent thing.

Their big problem isn’t the age difference or the good-looks gap. (Luke is a hottie; Adam, a bit of a nebbish, with more than a touch of the hypochondriacal, fatalistic Woody Allen of “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan.”) It’s that Luke, a hard-core Christian from Florida, believes that the man he loves is going to hell. Not for having sex with men, mind you (that’s just sinning and can be forgiven on Judgment Day), but for not believing in Jesus. Questioned by Adam, Luke admits uncomfortably that the killers of Matthew Shepard — the victim of a much-publicized hate crime in 1998 — would go to heaven were they to accept Jesus, while Mr. Shepard would not, unless he too had chosen to believe.

These arguments, which expand to include other characters, never have the stiffness of conscious debate. Everything Luke and Adam say to each other is as rooted in personality as in ideology. And the same is true of everyone else: Luke’s divorced parents, Butch (Cotter Smith), a born-again fundamentalist, and Arlene (Connie Ray), a reformed wild woman of Southern-fried eccentricities; Holly (Maddie Corman), a candle store owner and Adam’s longtime confidante; and Brandon (Sean Dugan), an old pal of Luke’s who won’t accept his friend’s relationship with Adam.

Mr. Nauffts lets his characters brush up against, and occasionally have at, one another in ways that fall into patterns only when you think about them later. The faiths to which each of these people cling come into focus sideways, through the common barter of daily conversation. No one, it seems, is without a religion of some sort, whether it’s Holly’s commitment to self-help groups, Butch’s fierce creationism or even Adam’s ritualistic hypochondria. Religions, with their creeds and rules for behavior, may make life simpler, as Luke insists to Adam. But people are messy, and no one believes in the same way.

Ms. Kaller keeps the play moving fluidly, like one extended and passionate conversation, without too many mood-cuing externals in production design. (Wilson Chin’s set, Jessica Wegener’s costumes and Jeff Croiter’s lighting never call attention to themselves; they’re functional in the best sense.) And the excellent cast members never overplay the flashy idiosyncrasies (which in Ms. Ray’s case would be a definite temptation) but let us register those traits by degrees.

The second act isn’t quite as assured as the first. It includes a couple of monologues that while beautifully written, could be shorter; they feel self-conscious in a way nothing else here does, as if someone decided as an afterthought that certain characters should be allowed to explain themselves formally. But no performer strikes a false note, even when making a topical joke. You never think, “Oh, she would never say that.” (This sort of natural fit of character and words is less common than it should be.)

For the play to work, though, what’s most important is that you believe that despite their essential dissimilarities, Luke and Adam were meant to be together. And you do, thanks in large part to the easygoing chemistry between Mr. Breen’s funny, uptight Adam and Mr. Heusinger’s puppyish Luke. They, like all of us, contain multitudes of contradictions, which in this case somehow manage to click into a shaky but wonderful symbiosis. Love, after all, is every bit as preposterous, subjective and inexplicable as faith itself.

A Naked Angels production at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 416 West 42nd Street (212) 279-4200. Through June 21
WITH: Patrick Breen (Adam), Maddie Corman (Holly), Sean Dugan (Brandon), Patrick Heusinger (Luke), Connie Ray (Arlene) and Cotter Smith (Butch).

June 18-20: WARDROBE at Gallery 7

I'm disappointed! PT's former apprentice Joyce Chung has directed a version of THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE for Gallery 7 in Abbotsford, and I'm not going to get to see it! I'm heading to Orlando for the CITA conference, and won't be back 'til the doorway to Narnia is closed. Dang! So you'll just have to go in my place...

Join us for the adventure of a lifetime...

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

C.S. Lewis’s Magical Adventure
Adapted for the stage by Joseph Robinette

June 18, 19 & 20, 2009 @ 7:30 PM

MEI Theatre
4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford

Embark on the adventure of a lifetime as four young children wander into a mysterious wardrobe and land in the magical world of Narnia. Susan, Lucy, Edmund & Peter are unwittingly caught up in an epic battle between the White Witch and the Great Lion, Aslan. Duels, chases and narrow escapes entail as our young heroes conquer evil with good. Experience all the key episodes of C.S. Lewis’ much beloved story that parallels a much greater Story of sacrifice and salvation. This show is great for families,

* Patrick Arnott * Adriel Brandt * Victoria Bonar * Charlene Crawford * Megan Edwards *
* Melissa Franson * Cody Friesen * Ron Jackson * Matthew Janzen * Patrick Jolicouer *
* Nicolas Lucky * Jennica Lucky * Rachel MacKenzie *
* Olivia Simpson * Sarah Lynn Schile * Jim Williams *

Directed by Joyce Chung
Set Design by Dustin Froese
Costume Design by Vicki Bolan
Lighting Design by Joanne Abraham
Sound Design by Rick Havinga
Fight Choreography by Derek Ward-Hall
Choreography by Maureen Keyes
Original Music by Andrew Potts

Tickets On Sale Now at House of James:
2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Playing God: Steve Waldschmidt Gets Biblical

For a few seasons Steve Waldschmidt was at Pacific Theatre. He was our publicist, but you also saw him onstage, as Pal in CHICKENS, and as Greville MacDonald in A BRIGHT PARTICULAR STAR. He broke our hearts by moving to Alberta a couple years ago, but now we understand, he was responding to a Higher Calling. He had to be about his Father's business.

All Steve's winsome humour shines through in this snazzy news clip on Calgary's GlobalTV (starting 3:52 before the end). Steve, lad, we miss ya!

The Canadian Badlands Passion Play
Over 200 performers, a 30-acre set filling a canyon with seating for 2500. The gospel story comes alive in a fresh, meaningful way that will connect with adults and kids of any age.
Performances in Drumheller, AB: 6pm evenings on July 10, 11, 17 and 3pm afternoons on July 12, 18, 19 .
Tickets online or call 1-888-823-2001

Monday, June 15, 2009

NYC: A Mysterious Way, Firebone Theatre

Wish I could see this brand new work by Firebone Theatre, the company that produced my REFUGE OF LIES Off-Broadway. Especially pleased to see they're working with Chris Domig, who I met years ago at Schloss Mittersill in Austria.

reviewed by Cindy Pierre, for Stage & Cinema
published June 12, 2009

If you've ever ridden the NYC subway, chances are you've come across people peddling their art. Whether it's spoken word artists, break dancers, acappella singing groups or violinists, you're seldom left alone with your thoughts. While the premise of Steven Walters' A Mysterious Way may make it more of a day-nightmare than a daydream, it also creates an entertaining drama that's worth missing a few trains for.

Using the cacophony of the passing trains as the backdrop for the show, A Mysterious Way (after the homily “God works in mysterious ways”) tells the story of two would-be passengers engaging in large talk while waiting for two different trains. Kane (Christopher Domig), wearing a backpack and a beard befitting a lumberjack, is antsy and glibly racist to Gordon's (Jared Houseman) serene and thoughtful Christian. The frayed conversations, made so by Domig's improvisations when interacting with real commuters and by the awkwardness of two very different people, wax and wane in intensity as Gordon discovers that this chance meeting will be a test of his faith.

Although standing or sitting on blankets for 40 minutes will be a test of your patience, A Mysterious Way is a bold, sometimes politically-incorrect drama that lulls you with a sense of humor, but then frightens you when you see where it's going. Given the challenges associated with performing a site-specific without a solid fourth wall and the hubbub of passersby and trains, Domig and Houseman marvel you with their professionalism and passion. Thanks to Steven Day's strong direction, the structure of the play is discernible despite the odds. With a playing area that alternates between 81st street and Chambers Street, there may be two ways to get to A Mysterious Way, but only one way to end up: impressed.

A Mysterious Way performs
Thursday - Friday @ J/M train downtown platform at Chambers (8:00 p.m.)
Saturday - Sunday @ C train uptown platform at 81st. (8:00 p.m. Saturday / 2:00 p.m. Sunday)
running time 40 minutes
admission is FREE (except for the price of entering the subway)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Screaming Monkeys Theatre, Toronto

By Mags Storey
Christian Week, May 22 2009

TORONTO, ON—Richard Bechard was sitting down to share a communal meal at Sanctuary Street Mission three years ago when Lyf Stolte, actor in residence, tapped him on the shoulder and told him he'd won the lead role in a Screaming Monkeys theatre production.

Bechard's excitement is palpable as he retells the story. It was a moment that changed his life.

Like many who find their way to Sanctuary, Bechard has been periodically homeless. He currently lives in one of Sanctuary's community houses. A regular member of the Screaming Monkeys for the past three years, Bechard played the title role in this year's production, The Drawer Boy.

"We wanted the poor and excluded to have a voice," says Stolte, a professionally trained actor who formed The Screaming Monkeys in 2004. "It gives them hope. It gives them something they can look at and say, 'I did that! I was involved with that! I had fun! And I was heard!'

"After a couple of productions, one of Richard's friends came up to me and said, 'I've known that guy for a dozen years—I didn't know he could do that! He made me laugh!'

"The great thing with theatre is that you have immediate response. You hear people say with their hands, 'I have heard you. I have heard what you have to say. You are valuable to me.' It's good to get that response—especially for people who have not been heard before."

The Drawer Boy director Shannon Blake told the audience at a recent production that their goal is to put on plays that are both "excellent and inclusive." Blake also wrote last year's production, The Passages of Everett Manning, which was inspired by the true-life stories of people at Sanctuary.

Stolte explains: "With many people in our community, there are certain events or types of events that are standard, and so you can write some kind of generalised event and give voice to a hundred people.

"There was one man—who had inspired one of the characters—who came to see the play twice. [The] first time he came he was stone cold sober. The second time he came he was not sober. Not even remotely sober. I could smell him from across the stage. But he came because he had seen himself in the play. And he saw the hope at the end. And he saw that other people were seeing him, and responding to that."

The troupe gets its name from their first production back in 2004 entitled Words, Words, Words about a group of caged monkeys who have been instructed to write Hamlet. The troupe has included the homeless and those in temporary accommodation, people on welfare, students and professional actors volunteering their time.

"My job is to invest in relationships with people and to be there for them," Stolte says. "One of the ways I best invest in relationships is through theatre. Theatre gives you a chance to get to know yourself better in the safety of community, where everyone is working together for a common goal."

Tony Mednis plays Morgan in The Drawer Boy and has starred in almost every Monkey's production.

"I enjoy acting," Mednis says. "It's something I always wanted to do but never had the chance. [I] got too involved in alcohol. You never feel alone when you're on the stage. We help each other."

Stolte adds, "We care for each other. We look out for each other in those moments when the lines fly out of our heads and out over the audience!

"The Drawer Boy is a play about hope. It's a play about how theatre can be a revealer of truths and a restorer of relationships. Theatre gives people an opportunity to right a wrong and to heal from past hurts, so people can start fresh again."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dale Savidge, "Performing The Sacred"

Performing the Sacred is the first book-length exploration of the intersection of theatre and theology, illuminating the importance of preserving live performance in a virtual world. This compelling dialogue unfolds between a theologian and a theatre artist who revisit theatre's rich history and paint a picture of its promising future while building bridges between theatre and Christianity

Theologically, theatre reflects Christianity's central doctrines-incarnation, community, and presence-enhancing the human experience and shedding new light on theology. The authors show how theatre engages viewers on multiple levels, including political, social, religious, personal, intellectual, emotional, and kinesthetic. In theatre, the presence of live human beings speaks of the incarnate nature of God's redemption in Christ and of the imago Dei. The communal nature of theatre models the Trinity, while the immediacy and transcendence of theatre performance draw out the presence of God in nature and grace.


"Performance theory, history, criticism, theology, and worship are all brought together in a refreshing new look at the old art of live theatre in Performing the Sacred. It is not only an entertaining read by itself but also a unique and much needed text for university theatre arts studies."
Gillette Elvgren, Regent University

"Johnson and Savidge have given Christians a unique gift with Performing the Sacred. Their clear love of theatre and deep faith in Jesus intersect to reveal the wonders hidden in a live performance. They remind us that when theology and theatre meet the result is insight into what it means to be human and a beautiful doxology to our God."
David McFadzean, Hollywood producer/writer; cocreator of the television series Home Improvement

"Reading Performing the Sacred is akin to the thrill of the theatre's house lights dimming, the stage lights intensifying, and a great play beginning. The panoramic sweep of more than twenty centuries of theatre and theology--beginning with the ancient Greeks, detailing the mystery plays of the medieval period, and examining present-day drama--is a tour de force. Through it all, the authors articulate and affirm the indispensable role the audience plays in the production of good drama. Christian playgoers, after reading this book, will come to understand and appreciate even more deeply the theological dynamics of incarnation, Trinity, and presence at the heart of theatre. Performing the Sacred deserves a standing ovation!"
Peter Gilmour, professor emeritus, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago

"We have been waiting years and years for theatre artists and Christian theologians to get back into serious dialogue, and there is hardly anyone better prepared to lead us than Todd Johnson and Dale Savidge. This book is a hugely significant conversation starter. Decades from now we will be saying that the conversation began with this book."
Jeff Barker, professor of theatre and speech, Northwestern College

"Performing the Sacred is a landmark book--the first full-length study that explores contemporary live theatre from the perspective and experience of both the theologian and the theatre artist. Todd Johnson and Dale Savidge demonstrate a deep understanding of both theology and theatre practice, and their work explores all the important questions related to Christianity and theatre. Performing the Sacred examines the ways Christian faith can inform the study of theatre and the ways theatre can deepen our understanding of faith. This book will be useful for Christians working in theatre, pastors and church leaders who care about the connections between Christianity and culture, and scholars in theology and the arts who are looking to build on solid theological and aesthetic foundations. Focusing on the themes of incarnation, community, and presence as they apply both to theatre and Christianity, Johnson and Savidge interweave theory and practice, examining both historical and contemporary plays and productions. Performing the Sacred explores profound theological issues, but it never loses sight of the direct and immediate encounter between theatre artists and their audiences--and how lives change as a result of that real presence. I highly recommend Performing the Sacred to all serious students of Christianity and theatre, and I look forward to participating in the scholarly discussions it will inspire and deepen."
Peter L. Senkbeil, professor of theatre, Concordia University, Irvine, California

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

YOU STILL CAN'T: Audience Responses

First, this note from Karl Peterson, who originated the role of Grandpa Tony in the premiere production of the show, ten years ago: The play was AWESOME! LOVED the live music... so Ron-esqe... sort of Enya meets Tibet. You were great, a very passionate convincing urban crawler/terrorist. Made me want to try it. Loved Al the poet... he made me actually LIKE the poetry. Laura was great... the costuming on her was perfect too. That guy who played Norman really brought that
character alive... great character and well played. I'd want to play Norman. Sky and Dave were very strong.
"And tell Glen his grandpa was absolutely excellent... spot on. Loved it. The best that character has ever been played... really. His pacing and tone were perfect. His love and charm were infectious.
"Well done. Thanks for an evening of forgetfulness of all else and a reorientation of values and perspective. My vision's been corrected again." Karl Peterson

"Sad to say, it's very seldom these days that a play or movie stays with me for more than 24 hours. But YOU STILL CAN'T is still bubbling away in my mind as I replay scenes and dialogue and (in some cases) try to figure out what exactly was going on! Wish I could see it again, but I'm stuck with an editing deadline this week. Anyway, I bought myself a "Johanine and Pauline Crossing" fridge magnet to celebrate one of the greatest moments in theatre I've ever experienced. / Just really, really love that play! Thanks so much." Mike Mason

"I just wanted to drop you a line to say how much David and I enjoyed both Holy Mo (a while back) and You Still Can't this past weekend. I only wish I had seen Holy Mo before closing weekend so I could have gone again--it was fantastic. We laughed about it for weeks afterward. / "You Still Can't was great. I loved the kooky characters--and even the 'bad guys' were handled with compassion. I loved how free each character was to be themselves and to pursue their passions, regardless of how the 'world' valued their activities. I really appreciated when Tiffany (I think) asked, 'but what's it for?' It was encouraging. Thank you." Genevieve Miedema

"Congratulations on a great production last night! We really enjoyed it. We discussed it at length this morning over breakfast, and Gayle says it was her favourite of the year. Maybe mine, too - she remembers all the details of past productions much better than I do. Our guest liked it so much she's thinking of coming again and bringing her boy friend." Bill Horie

"So enjoyed last night's production. Blogged my appreciation. I just wish I could write a review worthy of the genius of the play, the acting and production. God bless." Bill Hay (Bill's a regular Opening Night subscriber, and renewed his subscription on the spot last Friday - looks like he truly is #1!)

"Saw the show this evening - wanted to let you know that it's great fun. ... Re-writes have just made the show much tighter. Nice performances all round from your cast, and the Crossing of St. Paul and St. John still strikes me as brilliant. Oh, and I like the mood at the top of the third act with dim lights and the well-chosen jazz on Norman's radio. In fact, I was largely impressed with all of the musical selections - very good taste indeed..." MEL

Email to Debra Sears: "What a fun play, and your part is a pearl, and you are perfect in it! So hope it continues to go well. Particularly liked the Dave stuff (being an old Cheech and Chong fan), and of course "the Crossing". Right era for me, being an old fart." Margie Beasley

And another to Deb: "We thoroughly enjoyed the play, and we hadn't realised what terrific comedy timing you have. We will recommend it (the play) to all." Robert Smith

Those are just iPhone shots I took during rehearsal. We'll have some real pix to show you soon, but for now... It's a taste! That's Laura Van Dyke (Sasha) and Brett Ziegler (Dylan).

Friday, June 05, 2009

Jun 18-20: SILK THREADS at Pacific Theatre

Andrea Loewen is an apprentice with Pacific Theatre, who'll be our publicist next season. You can see her moving furniture as Aunt Bea in YOU STILL CAN'T, and once that's closed, check out her one-woman-show the following week...

by Andrea Loewen
June 18-20 at Pacific Theatre

Tickets 731-5518 or online
$11 in Advance / PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN at the door / FREE for Subscribers!!

This girl has BIG dreams: she’s going to be a ballerina / actress / writer / ballet teacher / model / photographer / counselor / interior designer. She’s got a lot to accomplish, and she’s not going to let her all-too-practical, physics-teaching Grandpa get in the way.

Silk Threads, written and performed by Pacific Theatre apprentice Andrea Loewen (You Still Can’t) tells her story of figuring out what she really needs to get out of life.

In a family made up of doctors, nurses, and teachers, Andrea’s made a vow to star in a blockbuster film, be on the cover of a magazine, and have written a book by the year 2000—in the summer of 1998. No one seems to understand why she can’t just pick one career (preferably one that provides medical coverage), least of all her Grandpa, a family man who taught thousands for 36 years on 3 continents.

Sure, Grandpa’s stories were fun to listen to as a kid, but what can an old Mennonite man who escaped war and left it all behind to come to Canada just in time for the Great Depression really teach someone today? Join Andrea on her list-making, goal-declaring journey through success, disappointment, and a lifetime of dinners with Grandpa.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

SOUL FOOD: Jones / La Grand, YSC and more!

For some yet-to-be-determined reason, Telus isn't allowing me to send out my Soul Food emails. Until I get to the bottom of it, I'll post the email here (so you can access all the links)...

First up because it's short notice and such an amazing event... Tonight at Pacific Theatre there's a rare opportunity to see UK singer-songwriter Miriam Jones (formerly of Vancouver, used to hang around Regent College, had a cd produced by Charlie Peacock) in concert with Peter La Grand (currently of Vancouver, still hangs around Regent College, opened for Over The Rhine). Doors 7:30, concert at 8. More details here.

Also need to mention YOU STILL CAN'T at Pacific Theatre, a lively little show I've written and directed that's something of a theatrical tip-of-the-hat to the classic Kaufman and Hart comedy YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU. People are really loving this play! It's funny, it's got heart, it's fast-paced and leaves you feeling fantastic. And - I'll be frank - I'm worried that most of you are going to miss it. The sun is shining, the media are simply not covering the show - they don't tend to review our Emerging Artist shows, and right now we're in the shadow of LES MIS - and we're having a hard time letting people know that this is really a lovely show. Closes June 13. If you've thought you just might come see it, please do - this week, if you can. And just so you know, you really don't need to have seen You Can't Take It With You to completely enjoy You Still Can't - think of it more as a tribute or an homage, rather than a sequel. 604 731-5518 for tickets, and Soul Food Blogs for lots of fun background: Daves, raves, Mets, pix, and even a little theology! Trust me, you don't want to miss this one.

Also check the blogs for news about Jessies, Pacific Rim String Quartet, a Commercial Drive one-man-show with Lance Odegard music, Ken Priebe's Breath Of Life animation festival, Regent Summer Lectures and Soul Food Movie notes on L'ENFANT, L'ARGENT, an overlooked Melville, and a cool summer movie project. And coming soon to Soul Food Movies: Vertigo, La Strada, Up, Velcrow Ripper, Sunshine Cleaning, The Soloist and more.

Jun 6: Breath Of Life Animation Festival, Ken Priebe

A while back, I mentioned Ken Priebe's mini-festival of animation. Well, it's coming up this weekend, and Ken's posted a trailer on YouTube...

Marvelous clip. Certainly makes the connection between "animate" and "breath of life."

Ken is a professional animator (and teacher of animators) who writes for hollywoodjesus. Great guy, big IRON GIANT fan, extraordinarily knowledgeable - his book on stop-motion animation is the standard text in the field.

Breath of Life Animation Festival

A fun family event celebrating the art of animation!

Saturday, June 6, 1pm-8pm (free admission), doors open at 12:45pm
Workshops, Film Screening, Animators' BBQ (at cost), and special presentation on Animation as an Act of Worship (the latter at 6:30pm)

Cedar Park Church 5300 44th Avenue, Delta

Jul 28/29: Regent Summer Lectures

Tuesday July 28
Ralph Winter and John G. Stackhouse, jr.
How to Watch a Movie: A Theologian and a Producer Compare Notes

Wednesday July 29
Michael Ward
C.S. Lewis, Narnia, and the Baptised Imagination

All lectures are free and held from 8:00–9:30pm in the Regent Chapel. These lectures tend to draw large crowds, so plan to arrive early for a good seat. Private taping is not permitted. Audio recordings may be ordered following each lecture.

Monday, June 01, 2009

New York: "Everyday Rapture"

"Sherie Rene Scott—'one of Broadway’s biggest, brightest semi-stars,' she smiles with cold teeth—has co-written, with Dick Scanlan, the excellent, well-titled 'Everyday Rapture' (at Second Stage). Scott expertly conveys the internal spiritual drama of an attractive, talented Midwestern Mennonite ('They’re nonjudgmental, if you don’t mind the shunning thing') struggling to reconcile her upbringing with Broadway’s Destiny of Me. As she says in a droll, self-deprecating way that’s rare in this genre of showing off, 'I was searching . . . for a way to be one with God while a lot of other people clapped.' Scott has a good voice, backed by a pair of jazzy singers called the Mennonettes, and the show is exceptional for the expertise of its collaborators: Tom Kitt’s elegant orchestrations; Christine Jones’s zany, eye-catching set; Michele Lynch’s clever choreography. Michael Mayer has directed the raffish proceedings to a T. The show won’t make Scott a star, but it goes one better: it makes you feel the miraculous in the everyday."

John Lahr, The New Yorker, June 1, 2009