Photography Blog from ON.ca.

My Wife in Theatre

Recipe Book - Hibiscus Screen Theatre Stage

 

My wife’s background is visual arts & drama. In a past life she has been a Art (the whole Department) teacher, Drama teacher and a Special Education (History & Performing Arts) teacher. Now retired, she has become the directer & founder of the Elliot Lake Roundabout Exceptional Puppeteers. She is also a member of the Jewels of Harmony (four part harmony) singers and a member of Elliot Lake Arts Council (ARIEL).

Exceptional Puppeteers Members Tr

Exceptional Puppeteers Members and Support Staff

You know, when you are married for as long as we have been and are now both retired, somehow certain aspects of one’s lives seem to blend into one another. To put it another way, a little over a week ago I found myself bound for the boards. Perhaps I should explain,……… .

 

 

playbill collage 2M

It begins with the typical things, a need of a driver, a lugger of props & materials, ….. and there is a bit of technical support. You know, a few photos to be taken, a very limited assist with audio editing and digital copies, and perhaps a bit of assistance with image editing and the sort. Gladly given, along with assistance setting up a blog. Nothing out of the range of my limited skills.

Shadow Players1 MT

Shadow Players Scene

Shadow Players2

The Gambler – Shadow Play

Exceptional Puppeteers Poster

Exceptional Puppeteers Poster – Wonderland & Oz Adventure

Mind you, one’s home environment does get somewhat transformed over time. Stage lighting and props invade the garage & house.

Puppets in Bags MTFrx

Puppets start appearing in interesting locations – life size puppets.


Wizard of Oz & Wonderland Rabbit - Puppets

Wizard of Oz & Wonderland Rabbit – Puppets

Well, no matter, it adds a bit of surreal charm to the home’s natural sense of chaos. The singers did invade for a barbecue – the ladies appreciated the cooking and I got to prepare some of my better numbers on the grill. They were really happy as the evening progressed – must have been the sugar in the funny jelly cubes and fruit flavoured drinks. Lots of singing and laughter. And they did come by to sing on Valentine’s Day.

Jewels of Harmony - Valentines Home Tour1 Mt

Jewels of Harmony – Valentine’s Day Home Tour

All in all, an interesting retirement, …… now, a couple of weeks ago is when things got a bit more dramatic. Liz had taken on the role of the Mad Hatter when Cora had to be away for a couple of weeks, then the scarecrow called in with medical issue. It was a Friday and the next performance was at a senior’s manor on the Tuesday. She asked my son – he who is in London – by way of Skype what he would suggest. “ Get Dad to do it,” was his reply.

read it on his face BRtd

read it on his face

So there I sat, watching them set up the stage, and calling up my spirit mentors, Harpo Marx, Red Skeleton and Stan Laurel. There is no dialogue – all prerecorded narrative multi-character voiced by Liz. Let me see,….. to be or not to be.

Stage set-up1 DG

Tuesday evening Liz came in the door and said, “ You have a part in our play.” I had an existential moment of confusion – I was the Scarecrow again. As it turned out the Jewels were putting on a dinner & show Friday and Saturday and there was a need of extra actors.

To Be or Not

Liz had been talking about the up-coming show. It seemed a bit confusing in the initial descriptions. It would primarily showcase the Jewels and a guest quartet, “On The Rocks”. from Sudbury. The theatrical element, as I understood it, was that it would be presented as if it were a live radio broadcast before a live audience.

Radio Show Poster

Now the catch was “back to the 70s”. Not only was there going to be a small cast performing the roles of MC, sound effects man, and radio performers putting on a Old Time Radio mystery, but everyone was to act as if they were back in the 70s. The girls in the chorus would flirt with the MC and the radio performers and all sorts of shenanigans would ensue. In short a play with in a play. How Shakespearean, …… to be or not to be .

Radio Days - Program

Liz said there was no problem. She told them that her husband was an English teacher and could do anything of a theatrical nature,…….. project voice, Italian accent. No need to worry, the “radio script” would be in my hand on Wednesday before the Thursday rehearsal.

Sonnet XXIX

Now as some of you know, I have a fondness for Old Time Radio and radio drama in general. My parents would talk of listening to the old radio shows and the impact it had on them. Back in the early 60s, when I was just turning into a comic-book and science fiction geek, there was a brief revival of radio drama – Lights Out and The Shadow had me hooked. Of course, I could not turn down the chance to perform in a mock radio drama, ………. oh, but who could foresee any complications before the metaphorical curtain went up ?

330115

Well Wednesday arrived, the script did not. I did find out I was to be the butler with a “butlery accent”. There would be an afternoon 2:00 o’clock run through on Thursday, before the evening dress rehearsal. Unfortunately, Liz & I, being typical retired people, had an appointment with the doctor at that time. Well then the script would have to wait till dress rehearsal,…… this was beginning to feel more and more like teaching. You have a lesson plan and then the class walks in and the improvisation begins,……… back to Red, Harpo and Stan. It is a comedy after all and I can imagine the accompanying laughter.

1490 cord

So there I sat, watching them set up the last bit of props on the stage. Liz had created these fantastic Old Time Radio mikes with the call letters that went the stage banners. The Ladies came appropriately dressed in their 70s regalia. I made sure I had a brightly coloured wide tie. And so it began, ………. introducing the cast. A number of us had never met before.  Interestingly, several of the gentlemen had wives who were in the Jewels chorus – quite a coincidence.

IQ Quartet 2 fr

IQ Quartet swings the tunes

Jewels Rehearsal fr

Jewels Rehearsal C – O – R – D

 

 

IQ Quartet1 fr

IQ Quartet swings & sings

All went on, two nights of great music and a bit of laughter to fill the imaginary airwaves. If this should happen again, perhaps with enough advanced preparation portions could be recorded for online consumption. Why do I hear laughter ?

BKtnLaff

The final note, as I said at the beginning, there is a blending of lives. Liz tells me my efforts were acceptable enough that I am now considered community theatre worthy material. I guess they didn’t notice I had the script in my hand, but then it was radio.

Stan and Ollie

Now is the time to check out some other blogs.

This Way Please Card

Hello Fig has a theatrical all star post for you

Robert Lancaster / Burt Mitchum 

The done by hand work on this blog has been inspiring some of my own virtual projects & processes.

 

 

Now Playing LS 12

Over at Fuzzy Photo you will find

Dramatic Dragons in B&W (check other posts for parrots).

 

Now Playing LS 11

Go to Lemony Shots to experience the  poetic & visual that is

That I might fly away

 

Neil Patrick Harris -Theatrical

 

For a Media Literacy look at Broadway and classical music on my other blog  go to see & hear ………

Trans Media Gender Music Values

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14 responses

  1. Wow, you’re busier than you were when you taught! All of it sounds like so much fun! Two creative people contributing their genius still… Great stuff, Joseph!

    June 15, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    • elmediat

      I work very hard at not working. I do not always succeed. Liz has so much busy it just jumps off her like a static charge. For me , it is quite a shock. 😀

      BTW Love the footwear. 🙂

      June 15, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      • That mistake actually happened… But, when I recovered from the shock, I thought it was funny and illustrated precisely who I am! 🙂

        June 16, 2014 at 12:07 am

      • elmediat

        Therefore not a mistake, but a deep inner perception of reality and self. That which is and is not – Schrödinger’d slippers. 🙂

        June 16, 2014 at 12:18 am

  2. Ha-ha! Schrodinger’s slippers! I hadn’t thought of that damn cat in forty years. You always make me laugh.:-)

    June 16, 2014 at 3:51 am

  3. That was great fun! So now you are an actor as well as your many other talents. That whole volunteering the spouses works backwards in our house. My husband is forever getting me involved in projects he wants nothing to do with. 😉

    June 16, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    • elmediat

      Thanks very much. Your husband’s approach is very Zen.
      The sound of one spouse volunteering alone in the woods.. 😀

      June 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm

  4. leecleland

    What a riotous rollicking read. Sound like between the two of you, there is always time for more – more laughter, more challenges, more inclusion and more love of people. What creative people you both are and love the posters throughout the post.

    June 16, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    • elmediat

      Thanks very much.
      Some days it is just more challenge. The laughter sometimes is there in hindsight. 😀

      Hope you get to check the other links. 🙂

      June 16, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      • leecleland

        Read most of the links, found a few blogs I liked and didn’t already follow and learnt more about the Lake Elliot community which appears to be thriving 🙂
        I don’t watch a lot of the videos as my connection is very slow and they get too broken up. If I really want to I can put up with it for a few minutes, but I don’t often bother.

        June 17, 2014 at 8:07 am

  5. Hi, Joseph! I’m late to the show!! Thank you so much for the recognition! Very kind of you. I can’t get over how much you do. You’re just always branching out, it seems! I’m so inspired by your endless creative energy. A wonderful post! 🙂

    June 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    • elmediat

      Thanks very much. My wife keeps pushing me out there. My natural bookworm tendency is actually to withdraw to a quiet creative place, whether it is with a camera or a computer. My biggest challenge right now is my recent diagnosis of sleep apnea and the tentative steps of treatment . My sleep cycle is a mess. There are days when I have all these ideas for creative projects and energy. Other days, not so much energy. 😀

      Hope you will have an opportunity to check out the Broadway post on the media Literacy blog. 😀

      June 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm

  6. Joseph! What an account and how many illustrations you had to do! Excellent. Could this be your longest post ever?

    June 26, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    • elmediat

      Not sure about the length. I have a few where I keep blathering. I put images in between to break up the blather. 😀

      June 27, 2014 at 12:23 am

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