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- About Us | Our Theatre Voice
Our Story The worldwide pandemic of Covid has certainly altered the trajectory of the professional theatre scene. Here at ‘Our Theatre Voice’, it is of extreme importance to continue reviewing and commenting on the arts to encourage audiences to return to this important cultural format in community gathering for storytelling. If your non-professional or community theatre company wishes to contact us, please do so and we will return your message to set up a conversation. @szekeresjoe On Twitter Meet the Founder Joe Szekeres Involved in community theatre outside of the Greater Toronto area for over 30 years as an actor and director, Joe now reviews and comments on professional theatres throughout Ontario and Montreal. Qualifications : Ontario College of Teachers (retired), Ontario Ministry of Education Additional Qualifications Dramatic Arts Parts 1 and 2 Bachelor of Education (Queen's University) Certificate of Honours Standing and Bachelor of Arts (King's College/University of Western Ontario) English Language and Literature Major/ French Minor Theatre Ontario Workshop : 'Writing Reviews that Matter" Part One with Lynn Slotkin Theatre Ontario Workshop : "Writing Reviews that Matter" Part Two with Lynn Slotkin Our Values These are our values. Please respect them. Inclusivity ‘Our Theatre Voice’ includes all voices that will be heard and recognized with dignity and respect. Diversity ‘Our Theatre Voice’ recognizes the uniqueness of all individuals and will continue to reach out for their voice. Integrity ‘Our Theatre Voice’ believes in due diligence and we stand by what we say. Objective ‘Our Theatre Voice’ recognizes the importance of fair, impartial, and unbiased views of live theatrical performances. Meet the Original Web Designer Elodie Hraynyk For her work in building OUR THEATRE VOICE website, Elodie Hraynyk received the "Prix d'excellence academique Education cooperative" at her Grade 12 graduation ceremony. Congratulations, Elodie, in helping to build our website presence. She will continue her studies in "Pre-Health Science" this fall and will remain part of the team. Along with her interest in the theatre and all things arts related, Elodie continues to make people aware of mental health issues through her own social media accounts. @el_hraynyk on Instagram Business inquiries: email@example.com Get Involved If you would like your community event reviewed, please send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you in a timely manner. Meet the Guest Writers “I’ve known Dave Rabjohn for over 30 years as our common interest in community theatre forged a friendship. Aaron Kropf was part of the Canadian writing team for OnStage Blog. These gentlemen have promised to be impartial, unbiased and fair as they continue to work with me in sharing our commitment to you, the reader, to share the good stuff that is happening in professional theatre on Canada’s east coast, in Toronto, Stratford, London, Montreal and hopefully the Ottawa area soon.” Meet Contributing Writer Aaron Kropf Aaron has been a lover of the performing arts from a young age. He attributes that to growing up in Stratford and attending at least one performance at the festival from grade 4. Aaron has been involved with a number of community theatre groups, and worked for some of the largest theatre companies in the country. When not at theatre Aaron enjoys time with his family and living the east coast life. Meet Contributing Writer Dave Rabjohn As a youngster, I went to see a production of 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' at the old Colonnade Theatre on Bloor St. There were about five people in the audience - probably some special Tuesday matinee. I sat on a bench in the first row, my knobby knees sticking out into the playing area. Martha was literally on one side of my nose and George was on the other side. They were screaming back and forth over my head like I was the tennis net. Boom - fifty years of loving theatre ensued.
- Endorsements | Our Theatre Voice
Home About Us Acknowledgements Endorsements News Profiles This Month's Reviews Review Archives Search More Thank you to the following artists for their endorsements. Jayme Armstrong What a pleasure to chat with Joe... One of the best interviewers I’ve come across with fabulous questions about creating theatre during a pandemic and the state of the industry moving forward. Drayton Entertainment & Enchanted Entertainment Steffi DiDomenicantonio Joe is so much fun to talk to and asks some awesome questions. I love talking about theatre and it's always nice to meet someone who likes to as much as I do. Artist and Performer in Toronto Company of ‘Come from Away’ Liz Callaway I am so appreciative of all the work Joe did in preparation of my profile and the other ones he has compiled. His attention to detail in the many points of our conversation, and in the other profiles I've read online, as well his caring manner made it easy for me to open up and share my thoughts on how I, as a performing artist am faring during this tumultuous time of the worldwide pandemic. I applaud his continued work in serving the theatre industry. Cynthia Dale I had a wonderful time speaking with Joe. He is a smart, kind and joyous man who loves our industry as much as I do. He made it easy to open up about the wonders and struggles of being a performer. I applaud his endeavours and say ’Bravo’ to all he is doing to remind us all about the magic of life in front of behind the footlights… Street Legal, Stratford Festival Michael Cerveris I had the distinct pleasure to be interviewed by Mr. Szekeres and, in addition to genuinely enjoying our conversation, was delighted with the finished piece. It accurately captured our discussion in a highly readable form. More importantly, his appreciation and respect for the theatre and concern for its future made the whole experience very worthwhile. Tony Award winner Mitchell Marcus Thank you for keeping the fire burning. Rick Miller Joe Szekeres has earned an important place in the Toronto theatre ecology, bringing commitment, curiosity and intellectual honesty to his … reviews. I’m grateful for his support of my work, both as a solo artist and as a co-director of Kidoons stage productions. BOOM, MacHomer : The Simpsons Do MacBeth Sergio Di Zio Joe Szekeres reached out, early in this pandemic, to feature me in his Artists in Isolation series of interviews. I thoroughly enjoyed our talk over Zoom. His questions provided an excellent opportunity for some self-examination of what an artist can aspire toward during Covid-19 and what gifts and challenges its struggles might bring. His curiosity is genuine, and his kindness is welcome in this unique and surreal time. And the feedback I received from friends who read the piece was that they could hear my authentic voice, which, in my opinion, is the highest praise of the interviewer. Flashpoint, Coal Mine Theatre Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill Intelligent. Engaging. Thought-provoking questions. Always a pleasure to be interviewed by a pro who does their homework and is truly interested in the person they are talking to. On the journalistic front, Joe is a rock star! Craig Lauzon I’ve done a lot of interviews and almost always you can’t wait for them to be over. Not with Joe, he actually knows how to talk to people and put them at ease…we could have chatted all afternoon. The Royal Canadian Air Farce, Soulpepper Amy Keating Collaborating with Joe was an absolute pleasure. He is thorough, passionate and highly knowledgeable about all things theatre. I felt engaged, taken care of, and heard during my time working with him. Raoul Bhaneja Remarkably, during such a dispiriting time in the theater, the majority of this pandemic so far, Joe took the time to speak to numerous theatre artists, including myself, to inquire about our state of mind and work. I not only appreciated the opportunity to be profiled but I enjoyed reading the profiles of my peers. An excellent contribution and chronicling of our theatre scene.
- 404 | Our Theatre Voice
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- Home | Our Theatre Voice
W elcome to Our Theatre Voice Welcome to Our Theatre Voice. It is important to be visible and remain visible in sharing with all of you what’s coming up in the world of theatre. If you have questions, comments or concerns, please email us: email@example.com ABOUT US Here at ‘Our Theatre Voice’ , we discuss all things in live theatre sincerely. We welcome disagreements with thoughts and ideas, but will never tolerate, acknowledge or publish anything hurtful, malicious or spiteful. Read More Follow us on our Socials Don't miss a thing Join our mailing list Subscribe Now
- 'Inge(new): in search of a musical'
Back 'Inge(new): in search of a musical' Now onstage at Toronto's Red Sandcastle Theatre Dahlia Katz. Foreground: Cory O'Brien. Background (l-r): Astrid Van Wieren, Mairi Babb, Elora Joy Sarmiento Joe Szekeres An intelligent world premiere of a Canadian musical by Theatre Myth Collective about the roles we play. ‘Inge(New) is performed by a strong ensemble of theatre artists who tell the story with confidence. Bridget (Mairi Babb) shows up at an audition for the role of the ingenue in a soon-to-be-cast musical. Over her career, she has played every heroine from Juliet to Christine in ‘Phantom of the Opera’. Nevertheless, time marches on, and Bridget begins to realize perhaps she is not the young and impressionable ingenue from years (and shows) ago. Should she continue auditioning for such roles? Each time the musical accompaniment leads her in for her audition piece, Bridget doesn’t sing but instead speaks to an unknown individual out there in the dark. Is it the playwright? The director? The musical director? Others soon join Bridget on stage for the audition. There is bubbly Joy (Elora Joy Sarmiento) who idolizes and looks up to Bridget. The two of them worked together in another musical, but Bridget cannot recall working with Joy. The truth then comes out – both Bridget and Joy are auditioning for the same ingenue role. Gertrude (Astrid Van Wieren) next arrives. Throughout her career, she has worked with everyone in the business. Gertrude is at that stage in her career where she is no longer the ingenue but the bold, brassy, and seasoned performer who loves delivering that big 11 o’clock number in the second act. And there is Max (Cory O’Brien), the perfect-looking handsome leading man with a profoundly deep baritone/tenor voice who sweeps the ingenue off her feet. Director Evan Tsitsias’s cleverly written blur-the-lines Book connects the world of the theatre and real life regarding the roles we all play in life. I’m reminded of Jaques’ monologue from Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’: (All’s the world a stage/and all the men and women merely players/They have their entrances and their exits/And one man in his time plays many parts…). One doesn’t have to be a theatre lover or aficionado to recognize how each of us becomes different things to different people. We’re husbands, wives, parents, lovers, partners, friends, siblings – the list is endless. Sometimes we behave differently depending on that role or part and on the context of our relationship with others. Sometimes the parts or roles that we assume in relationships with others need repair or are unfixable. Irene Ly’s set design of brick wallpaper at the back of the stage showcases this reality. Some of the bricks are in complete disrepair while the cement in other parts still needs to be put together. Rachel Shaen’s lighting design mysteriously reminds the audience that we are sometimes in the realm of the present but can quickly revert to some painful reminders of the past. An overhanging bulb periodically makes a loud buzzing noise at various moments of emotional growth for the characters. This bulb reminded me of the ghost lamp in theatres that is turned on as everyone leaves for the night. Tsitsias’s script takes a deliciously ironic turn of events. Many plot surprises along the way are funny and poignant. Just to whet the appetite – while actors Bridget, Joy, Gertrude, and Max go from one theatre contract to the next in real life, ‘Inge(new)’ entwines their lives together where the audience learns more about Bridget’s life and where she is headed next. (Spoiler alert in this next sentence only – the title sort of gives away Bridget becomes a new person resulting from this moment in the theatre.) The cozy black box Red Sandcastle Theatre on Queen Street East sets the audience smack dab in the heart of the plot action. The arm’s length intimacy from the stage thankfully allows the audience to clearly hear the messages conveyed through the songs. Acknowledgment of Music Director Kieren MacMillan in creating some fine vocal performance moments. I especially liked Gertrude’s song about why she wears rubber boots. Alexis Diamond’s lyrics with additional lyrics and music by Evan Tsitsias and Julia Appleton remain richly sharp thanks to the poetic-sounding language of the at times amusing and affecting subject material that moves the story along naturally. Evan Tsitsias soundly directs the production. There’s a clearly trusted and insightful vision in combining the world of musical theatre and personal relationships. It’s impossible not to be pulled into the lives of these four characters who tell the story with confidence and assurance. And this cast. Mairi Babb, Astrid Van Wieren, Elora Joy Sarmiento, and Cory O’Brien are WONDERFUL. They deliver four uniquely distinctive performances of tremendous conviction and ardent emotional passion for the subject material. They each have their own 11 o’clock numbers where I just sat back and allowed the sound of their voices and the messages of the songs to move me back and forth between the world of the theatre and real life Final Comment: A treat and a joy to be able to see and experience a new Canadian musical at its birth. I certainly want to keep an eye on Theatre Myth Collective and see what Evan Tsitsias has planned for the future. ‘Inge(new): In search of a musical’ represents why we must continue to get out and go to the theatre. Go see it. Running Time: approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. ‘Inge(new): In Search of a musical’ runs until June 4 at Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen Street East. For tickets: redsandcastletheatre.com/tickets. THEATRE MYTH COLLECTIVE presents: ‘INGE(NEW): In search of a musical’ Book, Additional Lyrics: Evan Tsitsias Music: Rosalind Mills Lyrics: Alexis Diamond Add. Music/Lyrics: Julia Appleton Director: Evan Tsitsias Music Supervisor/Music Director: Kieren MacMillan Choreographer: Jen Cohen Set/Costume Designer: Irene Ly Lighting Designer: Rachel Shaen Stage Manager: Annasofie Jakobsen Producers: Lauren Welchner, Evan Tsitsias Performers: Mairi Babb, Cory O’Brien, Elora Joy Sarmiento, Astrid Van Wieren. Previous Next
- This Month's Reviews
Welcome to Monthly Reviews Thank you to the readers who offered this suggestion to find recent reviews: All monthly reviews will be placed under this tab. At the end of the month, each review will then be placed into its separate thematic category. May Reviews 'Boom X' Written, Directed and Performed by Rick Miller Click Here 'Inge(new): in search of a musical' Click Here 'God of Carnage' by Yasmina Reza. Translated by Christopher Hampton. Click Here 'The Sound Inside' by Adam Rapp Click Here
- Review Archives | Our Theatre Voice
Welcome to Reviews A theatre review is meant for the audience. Therefore, OUR THEATRE VOICE reviews strive to look at the show from an audience’s perspective. Hopefully our reviews OR any theatre review will allow you to look at a live production and appreciate more than just the outer look. Reviews by Genres Dramas Musicals Comedies Solos Opera Young People Dance Unique Pieces French Pieces ---- ---- ---- ---- ----- ----- ----- Important Messages “Our goal is to provide to the best of our ability reviews and commentaries that are fair, unbiased and impartial. If your community group wishes to get in touch with us and discuss the possibility of a review, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org . We continue to build our site in moving forward. If you are aware of a previous review we have written that is not posted here, and you would like to read it, please email us the title of the review to email@example.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.”
- Profiles | Our Theatre Voice
Welcome to Profiles “The Pandemic Profile series stemmed from a friendly check-in in on professional and equity-based theatre artists. The profiles continue...” Profiles Gallery Tracy Michailidis Tim Leyes_edited_edited Rick Miller Pamela Mala Sinha John Ng Love You Wrong Time 1 - Photo Credit Erin Brubacher (1)_edited Joelle Peters Colin Ainsworth Shawn Ahmed Steve Carty Matthew MacKenzie Ali Kazmi Michaela Jeffery Dan Mousseau Fiona Mongillo and Lucy Jane Atkinson and Atkinson Charlotte Dennis and Deborah Drakeford Paolo Santalucia Brett Christopher Jeannette-Lajeunesse-Zingg (2) (1) Dianne Montgomery Jordan Laffrenier Samantha-Sutherland-e1650501814672-600x600 Gabi Epstein Gaetz Photography _Justin Stadnyk - Corner of the Sky 1-min Bahia Watson Eric Peterson Andrew Seok _edited alan_lucien_Oyen..__square Michelle Bouey PHIL_NERO_HS_1N David Walker Michael Torontow Carol Libman Steven Jackson Uju Umenyi KeithBarker_edited_edited Barbara Diabo Ma-Anne Dionisio Lisa Horner Petrina Bromley Charlotte Moore Mark McGrinder Mikaela Davies Kaylee Harwood Eliza-Jane Scott Kristen Peace Susan Ferley Ted Sperling Cory O'Brien Rebecca Perry Rick Roberts Evan Buliung Allen Macinnis Show More