Leave the Therapy, Take the Cannoli

Hey everyone! For the past month or so, I have been helping out with a play that Premieres tonight as part of the Montreal Fringe Festival. For those not in Montreal, or who are simply wondering what the Fringe festival is, it’s an amazing opportunity for artists to showcase their skills and passion. For about 3 weeks, all kinds of theatres and venues across town welcome a multitude of plays, cabarets, musicals and performance pieces. Tickets are incredibly affordable and the artists are completely uncensored.

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The play I have been helping out with is called “Leave the therapy, take the cannoli” and tells the story of an Italian family that decides to try therapy to work through some issues. A lot of hilarity ensues, but also a lot of heart. I am told watching the play is just like spending an hour with your Italian family, in the best way possible.

If you’re wondering how I got involved and what part I play in all of this, “Leave the therapy, take the cannoli” was written by friends of mine. One of these friends, Luigi Buffone, who is also directing the play, asked if I would be his stage manager. My answer was “No, I have no idea how to do that.” Luckily for me (because it was an amazing experience), although probably not for him (because I really have no idea what I am doing), he kept asking, explaining that he didn’t so much need a stage manager as just someone who would help out. Which I can do. And have been doing. He still introduces me as the stage manager, which really isn’t the case, but it has been a pleasure so far to be a part of this wonderful story, and to watch this incredible group of people go through this adventure.

There are 6 shows in total, with the first one tonight at 9:15, and the last one June 18th at 3:45, at Mission Santa Cruz (60 Rachel St. West). Our venue houses other great shows you might want to check out, and the entire festival is an amazing opportunity to see a huge amount of incredible performances.

Rehearsals and Plays


Last week we had no classes, just rehearsals, which meant lots of downtime to work on lines and see some theatre 🙂 There was a discount code on today tix for Easter weekend, so I had bought tickets to The Play That Goes Wrong (possibly the funniest play I have ever seen), Phantom of the Opera and Hand to God. The first plays went off without a hitch, but then when I went to see Hand to God on Wednesday, there was an announcement that Harry Melling would not be performing that night.

I know it’s bad of me and I should be going to see plays regardless of who is in them, for the story or the art and such, but most of the time, I still choose my plays according to the actors that I know who happen to be in them. This was a play I chose because of Dudley Dursley being in it, so I managed to change my ticket and saw it on Thursday night instead 🙂 I am sure the understudy was amazing and talented as well, but I was in awe of how seamlessly he went from being Jason to being Tyrone (the puppet), which involved changing his accent, the tone of his voice, his emotions…It was incredible. And, the actors that I saw at the stage door didn’t come out like celebrities waiting for their fans, they both seemed surprised that we were waiting there and were really nice about signing stuff and taking pictures with us.

On Wednesday, I didn’t want to go home after walking almost 2 hours to get there, so I queued for returns and got to see the Painkiller, which was at the top of my list. It was really funny, but also had a lot of heart.
To round out my plays, I saw the dress rehearsals for The Ritual Slaughter of George Mastromous and Goodnight Children Everywhere. Both LAMDA shows. I really enjoyed the first one, especially the weird way in which his life story is told. Both plays were disturbing, in their own way, but I would probably still recommend seeing them if you have the chance.
As for rehearsals, we have now done every scene twice with Rodney, except for one of the banquets. I often feel like once I know my lines, I’ll be good, but I am quickly realizing that there is so much more to it, and I maybe just never got past step one. The play is Shakespeare and my lines are in verse, so that there is already a big challenge, and then I have an emotional progression that leads to a breakdown where I will have to cry. In our rehearsals, we have been working a lot on how to occupy the audience so they are too busy listening to you to do anything else, how to use the words and sounds in the text to convey ideas…then a whole lot on being grounded and speaking from the gut instead of from the head. It is no longer just a technical voice thing, but an unlocking emotions thing. Still really intimidated by Rodney, as well as nervous and slightly terrified about my first ‘performance’ of Shakespeare, but I am also really excited to see how it all comes together. We have our first full run-through today. I often don’t put the time and effort into things I think I might fail at, so I can use that as an excuse, but this time I really want to give it my all, and work on it so much that there are no excuses.
 

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

-William Shakespeare