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Gearing Up in The Rail Car (Posted On: Monday, June 21, 2010)

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The Rail Car beside the Collingwood Museum & Welcome Centre may appear stationary, but inside, the pace is moving at a hundred miles an hour!

The Rail Car is the ‘funky’ home to Theatre Collingwood’s Box Office and Administration which publicly operates weekdays between 11am – 3pm, year-round.  This is certainly the busiest time of year for ticket sales, as patrons drop by to book their season subscriptions,

choose dates and reserve their favourite seats.

Single ticket purchasers are beginning to line up. The phones are ringing off the hook with group sales inquiries, bus operators confirming their bookings and tourists pre-planning theatre tickets for their vacation.

Behind the scenes, operating day and night, the Rail Car is also command central for the production team.  The car is bustling with design meetings, props being researched, detailed drawings being rendered for carpenters while the Technical Director is drafting floor plans.  The Stage Manager and Production Assistant are developing detailed schedules, marking in special cues, cross-checking lists and communicating with actors.

Long ago, the Artistic Director has read hundreds of scripts, auditioned several hundred professional actors for roles in this season, interviewed production personnel and discussed concepts with the creative team of designers.

It has taken a year of careful budgeting, fundraising and marketing to get to this critical point of production execution.

All this in preparation for a season themed:  FANTASY, FAME AND DEADLY GAMES!

The first production is written by Canada’s most prolific playwright, Norm Foster.  Canadian summer theatres program his plays because they are deceptively light-hearted, with an underlying depth combined with a keen observation of human nature.  THE LOVE LIST is as appealing to guys who fantasize about the perfect woman, as it is to women who want to understand the male psyche.  It is definitely adult programming due to some coarse language and content.  While it offers more suggestion than demonstration, this comedy is recommended for ages 18+ ! 

Leisa Way, the creator of the second show of the season is no stranger to Theatre Collingwood audiences.  Over the past years, she entertained us with her music theatre sophistication in “Side by Side by Sondheim”, and demonstrated her comedic talents in “The Long Weekend”. 

After collaborating with Bruce Ley on a Patsy Cline CD, she was inspired to develop this concert.  Bruce is another brilliant and familiar talent, having recently acted as Music Director for the pantomime, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”.

Leisa explains: "After the CD release concert, audience members said to me, 'Do you realize, you have a show with this?' So, a year later the band (The Wayward Wind) and I performed our first of many concerts now titled, SWEET DREAMS: A TRIBUTE TO PATSY CLINE.”

It’s more a concert than a play, with elements of characterization, costumes and theatrics.
"I tell stories in my concert that the audience has never heard before, and as Leisa, I am able to tell her story better than if I tried to be Patsy. Response to the show has been overwhelming…the show has performed in well over 20 theatres across the province already”, Ms. Way comments.

"For me, being able to perform this concert is a gift.  I have performed so many roles in my career, and sung so many songs, but this particular performer is very special to me. I am a huge fan of Patsy myself, and I think that definitely translates to the audience.
I am so lucky to be able to sing this beautiful music and share my love of not only the music, but of the artist herself."

The finale to the season is the brilliant drama thriller, SLEUTH.  The title will likely ring a bell, because you may recall two film adaptations and many awards, based on the original play.

When the stage play, SLEUTH made it’s first appearance on the London stage in 1970 then moved to Broadway the same year, it enjoyed instant success.  That’s because the playwright, Anthony Shaffer took the murder-mystery genre to new heights by creating a unique new style of ‘whodunwhat’ combining plot twists with elements of farce.  The first film adaptation of the play in 1972 starred Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. The second film adaptation in 2007 starred Michael Caine in the older role, against Jude Law.

It is a fact that SLEUTH has been staged around the world and now, it comes to Collingwood.  One minute you’re laughing…the next you’re terrified by the deadly games being played. The experience is always better in the moment, live, onstage!

Excitement for the 2010 theatre season is overwhelming.  All theatrical systems are set at GO! at the Rail Car.

Call: (705) 445-2200 or toll-free 1-(866) 382-2200.  Email:  Browse our website or Visit:  45 St. Paul Street at the corner of Pretty River Parkway, across from the new Shipyards.

Whatever you do… don’t forget to contact YOUR THEATRE COLLINGWOOD in the Rail Car!



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