Friday, October 3, 2014

Dramaturgy Notebook - October 3, 2014

Dramaturgy Notebook – October 3, 2014

By Laurel Green

I recently joined the creative team at a theatrical space where Canada, the Internet and performance minds intersect. The team is scattered all across the country, and so we work together online. It is very appropriate that this group curates and produces a website that features online performances from artists across the country by collaborating via google chats, emails, tweets, text messages and weekly video meet ups. We share information, ideas and opinions from wherever we are when the thought strikes us. This is pretty cool. SpiderWebShow features videos, podcasts, photography, commentary, and criticism about making theatre in Canada today. My first project was to help commission a new video series called Bath Time Theatre where theatre parents reenact their favourite plays using only their kid’s bath toys. The first result is the most adorable Beckett play I’ve ever seen.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about how dramaturgy happens online, and what it means to create and produce work on the internet. How are we performing? Who is the audience? Where are they? How do we interact with each other?

I sat down at the end of a work day to have a google chat with SpiderWebShow’s Digital Dramaturg Graham F. Scott. He’s the talented guy behind the scenes who brings the website to life. We published part of our chat on the website this week, exploring how a dramaturg can contribute to the site’s use of Social Design: the strategic implementation of social media to deepen or broaden the nature of an artistic project. You can read our article over at #CdnCult Times: 
(Click the preview below to be taken to the full article!)

Laurel Green is ATP’s Artistic Associate. She is the production dramaturg for Butcher, premiering October 17, and the assistant director for Charlotte’s Web, opening November 28.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Final Reviews of Venus In Fur

Alberta Theatre Projects couldn't be happier with its first production of the 2014-15 season. It was funny, provocative, sexy, and intelligent. Wonderfully written by David Ives, the lines leapt off the page thanks to the performances of Tim Campbell and Amanda Lisman, under the direction of Tracey Flye. Here are some of the reviews:

"With a sparkling cast deliciously handled by director Tracey Flye, Venus is a ball to watch"
- Stephen Hunt (Calgary Herald - 4 1/2 stars)

"(Lisman) Is the essential performance necessary to turn the sparks of sex and humour into lightening bolts of erotica and repressed passions."
- Louis B Hobson (Calgary Sun - 3 1/2 stars)

"Alberta Theatre Projects consistent delivers amazing productions filled with intrigue and top-notch performances. So when I say their latest production, Venus In Fur, is amongst their best, you can begin to grasp how stunning it is."
- Amy Jo Espedveidt (

"Alberta Theatre Projects' season opener is funny, sexy, and often intense."
- Maureen McNamee (FFWD Weekly)

The next production is the World-premiere of Butcher by Nicolas Billon - the first play in the new Enbridge playRites Series of New Canadian Plays. A political thriller that challenges our modern-day conceptions of justice and vengeance.

Butcher runs from October 17 to November 1. You can get your tickets at (403)294-7402 or online at

Friday, September 26, 2014

Working in the Enbridge Creation Lab is a dream come true

Several weeks ago I stepped into the ATP offices to be greeted by a new official nametag - which I’m told gets me lovely drink discounts at the new Bob White bar - that says: “Jonathan Brower: Enbridge Creation Lab Intern.“ What a fantastic and specific title to outline my volunteering at ATP in the newest department in the company.

So, what exactly am I doing in this so-called “Creation Lab”? Well, aside from the beaker logo and bio-hazard signs that will soon be erected on the door, I will be assisting Artistic Associate Laurel Green as we develop new Canadian plays in the season. I will be receiving dramaturgy mentorship, helping her with the Raucous Caucus Emerging Artists Assembly, and workshop readings throughout the season. The office, and our work, takes its primary direction from activities that support the Enbridge Series of New Canadian Plays, which is premiering Butcher this October & The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst in February.  

Already this season, as the Creation Lab Intern, I’ve been privy to the launch of the ATP Exchange, The Wines of ATP, opening night of Venus in Fur and a new archiving initiative for the ATP storage room we lovingly call “The Cage.”

As a dramaturg, I follow detective-like leads on stories that need research and development, and I read new work by up-and-coming Canadian playwrights; all under the tutelage of a talented professional like Laurel. The rest of my day, as they say in most labs developing new work, is top secret.

If you see in the Martha Cohen Theatre lobby this year with my magical name tag, feel free to say ‘Hi.’ If you dare, ask me what I do at ATP because the answer will be: “It’s top secret. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” Obviously, I’m kidding but I will tell you the truth about why I love what I do at ATP. I’m in a department that is committed to the development and fostering of new Canadian plays. My work here will continue to keep Calgary on the map as an important part of Canada’s theatre history; which is absolutely, positively a dream come true!

Want to learn more about the work we do at ATP? For more information about Job Shadowing please contact Katt Boulet

Jonathan Brower is the Artistic Director of Calgary’s Third Street Theatre. Find out more about their work at