The cast, crew and orchestra of VOS THEATRE’s Guys and Dolls got together one last time to pose for a Team Photo. Somehow putting the whole production together took less energy than getting a good group shot!
We’d like to thank our patrons and our sponsors (see links below) for supporting local theatre. We had a great time!
Watch our Facebook page and website for information on our upcoming AGM in June and join us to hear about next season’s projects!
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Carlotta Rutledge is “the General” in VOS THEATRE’s
upcoming production of Guys and Dolls
VOS THEATRE: Hey it’s been great to meet you and have the opportunity to get to know you. Tell us all things Carlotta. We know you’re a director, an actress, a costume designer………tell us more!
Carlotta: Well let me see. I was born in England, developed a love of the stage after my first performance at the tender age of 6. I left England during the coal mining strike of 1973 and thought I would travel the world. My first stop was Canada where I met my husband to be that year and subsequently settled down. Canada became my home. I have three children and four grandchildren with another one on the way.
VOS THEATRE: Best Community Theatre story…………go!
Carlotta: Now that’s tricky. Here goes. It was Cabaret with Oshawa Little Theatre many moons ago. We were in the middle of one of the very risque dances in the kit kat club and a youngster from the audience shouts, “Is that Mrs Rutledge my Sunday School teacher?” Some cast members never let me live that down.
VOS THEATRE: Northumberland County is rich with opportunities to see and be involved in music and theatre. Some say there’s too much going on but we think it’s what makes this place special. Do you agree?
Carlotta: Absolutely. It is and I do.
As Golde in Oshawa Little Theatre’s Fiddler
VOS THEATRE: Theatre should look easy to patrons but the making of “easy” is hard work. Volunteers contribute thousands of hours to a production. Is it worth it?
Carlotta: I have always loved the process of putting a show together, so to present your best you have to put in the time.
VOS THEATRE: Tell us about the first time you saw Guys and Dolls.
Carlotta: I saw the movie on television as a youngster and fell in love with the rich assortment of characters and great music. I may have had a crush on Marlon Brando at that time.
VOS THEATRE: We are so lucky that you joined us for this production, Carlotta. You’re making the experience richer. Thank you!
VOS THEATRE PRESENTS GUYS AND DOLLS
April 19-28 – Victoria Hall, Cobourg
Box Office: 905-372-2210 Purchase Tickets Online
Audience members were treated to a spectacular Christmas dinner on December 1 followed by a show filled with Christmas musical favourites. Christmas at Dalewood was a very successful evening and a great way to start the holiday season! Our thanks to all involved.
The next opportunity to enjoy Dalewood’s stellar food and two play readings will be on February 10th. Bring your BFF, your partner or make it a girl’s night out! Tickets are on sale now.
Want to be involved?
Producer Florence Fletcher is looking for help with the Valentines Readings. She would love to have a couple of people assist with gathering a few props and costume pieces. Remember, this is a reading not a show so the list of items needed is not long. No experience is necessary and the time commitment isn’t onerous. It’s a perfect way for you to get your feet wet and enjoy the fabulous experience of working with the Dalewood team. It’s been so much fun working at this venue. As Florence says “the more we work together the more fun we have!”
Please give her a call at 905-372-9010 or email her for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you not agree that Mindy’s is the best cheesecake alive?
We are well underway with the production of Guys and Dolls. The show has been cast and initial music rehearsals took place in December. The cast and crew meet up again on January 7 to begin the work of bringing this classic to the stage.
VOS THEATRE caught up with Erin Welsh who plays Mrs. Barry in our production of Anne of Green Gables the Musical.
VOS THEATRE: It is well known within our organization that you love this production. So what is it about Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books that you love so much?
ERIN: Anne was a book that my mom grew up reading and she introduced me to it. I guess what I love is that even though Anne lived a hard childhood, she always had hope and was full of adventure. My best friend growing up had red hair so her and I had fun pretending we were Anne and Diana and acting out the book.
VOS THEATRE: You lived in PEI for a while?
Erin: I Did! It’s such an amazing place. I knew that I always wanted to visit the red sand of PEI and visit the places described in the book. I ended up working at Avonlea village…..a place that acts out the story on a daily basis.
VOS THEATRE: Can you tell us about your job in Anne’s country?
Erin: I worked in Cavendish at the Anne of Green Gables store. It was a lot of fun to get to share my love of Anne with the customers and the cast at the village. On my breaks it was fun to go out and have high tea with your favourite characters and participate in good old kitchen parties.
VOS THEATRE: How many times have you seen the show?
Erin: Oh goodness I’m not sure I want to share that. I’ve seen Anne and Gilbert twice. I’ve seen the musical at least 10 times plus, I also listened to the soundtrack on a loop 8 hours a day for 4 months at work.
VOS THEATRE – What’s the appeal? What is it about the show that audiences love?
Erin: I think it’s just a feel good show. Anne has such a sense of wonder and excitement that’s it’s hard not to be pulled in to her world.
VOS THEATRE: What is it you’re enjoying most about finally appearing in the show?
ERIN: Well I mentioned before that I used to pretend to be Diana Barry as a child. It.was always my dream to be her and live her life. And now I get to play Mrs Barry which is pretty awesome….my chances of being Diana are pretty slim now unless we put on production of Anne the geriatric version.
VOS THEATRE: Now you’ve given away our summer show for 2018.
You’re a teacher. Tell us, is the Anne series still relevent today?
Erin: It is! It’s definitely a story the children still Love! I’ve used it as a read aloud in class book before and the kids loved coming dressed up as their favourite character.
VOS THEATRE: Tell Anne of Green Gables book fanatics how the musical represents Montgomery’s series.
Erin: It does a great job pulling out the fun parts of the story, and does stay true to Montgomery’s story line, just with an infusion of energy and fun songs.
VOS THEATRE: Oh we almost forgot – favourite song in the show?
Erin: Oh, that’s a hard one. I think it would be a toss up between the Lady Cordelia and Ice Cream. Anne’s songs are just so catchy – you can’t help but smile and sing along.
Anne of Green Gables runs for 2 weeks only
Tickets are available through the Victoria Hall Box Office
Really? You thought we’d just come right out and show you Chitty from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang before Opening Night? Not a chance. The car is hidden away. But we have the next best thing for you; a chat with Robb Howells, the designer of VOS THEATRE’s fantasmagorical car!
VOS: We call you “our own Caractacus Potts”. You have an amazingly creative mind. It seems you can make everything out of anything and it all ends up being a glorious treat to the eyes. What’s your background?
Robb: My background is as a furniture maker, but I’ve been making props for about 15 years now. I’ve developed and built props for Jesus Christ Superstar, Sweeney Todd, The Woman in Black, Mary Poppins, Singin’ in the Rain, Shrek, Shout, The Elephant Man, The Putnam County Spelling Bee, and several others.
VOS: What has presented the biggest challenge?
Robb: They’ve all presented their own challenges, but none more so than Chitty. I’ve never worked on such a complex, and large piece before!
We’re keeping Chitty top secret and plan to move her into Victoria Hall covered so that no one catches a glimpse until we open.
VOS: You’re the creator of VOS THEATRE’s Chitty. Without revealing too much what has your process been like?
Robb: The process has been totally engrossing, to the point where thoughts of it wakes me up in the morning. My workshop is currently a bit of a train wreck, and there are calipers, trammels, compasses and rulers everywhere. I’m taking most of the scaling and detail from the Corgi toy that came out with the movie in about 1968.
VOS: Coolest thing about the car?
Robb: The coolest thing about the car is its complexity and our efforts at making all the contraptions work. It is pretty stylish too.
VOS: Tell us about some of your other creations? Which projects have really fueled you?
Robb: Although I’ve had fun challenging myself on all my projects, my favourite was probably Sweeney Todd, which was done as a steampunk version. I love contemplating an alternate version of the world where everything is cog and steam driven with lots of brass, copper and mahogany. The entire show was up for grabs, design-wise, so we let our minds go with our only restriction being what things we could source. So much fun!
You don’t have to be a kid to appreciate Robb’s craftsmanship. Your first chance to see his creative genius live and onstage is Opening Night, November 19, 2015. Order your tickets by calling 905-372-2210 or online at vostheatre.com.
They are an insanely busy pair but they’re every producer’s dream to work with. I ask questions. They answer them.
Liz Clark: You two have worked together on projects before as director and cast member. It’s obvious that you have a pretty great give and take. How are you making it work – the co-directing thing?
Joel Varty: Right from day one Bea has been a great mentor to me. From casting, to planning things out scene by scene, to watching each other work, we’ve been able to connect creatively and meet in the middle. The word “collaborate” is one that get’s bandied about too lazily, in my opinion. Collaboration is much harder than just doing something yourself, however, with Bea it’s what has made this experience so fulfilling creatively. The things we’ve tossed about in conversation have worked their way into the work that folks are doing onstage in a really natural way. I want to thank her for her patience and all that she’s done for VOS and for me personally. It’s a gift to have someone with so much talent and experience who’s willing to give of themselves.
Bea Quarrie: Directing is experiential. You can read all the books, but you have make the daily decisions on the go all the time. It is in being respectful of what every member has to offer that is important. Joel knows that his actions inspire others to dream more, learn more and do more. Marshaling the collective’s forces in a cohesive vision is a tricky thing to manage and directors must learn by making mistakes. Humility is an essential attribute for a good director, and because we trust each other to make informed choices, we move forward in concert by empowering everyone on and backstage to contribute and innovate.
Liz: Joel, you’re tacking the role of artistic director for the first time but you’ve been a part of a lot of community theatre productions. What has come as the greatest surprise?
Joel: I didn’t know I’d like it this much. I didn’t know how much satisfaction I’d get from seeing an actor making the progression from a first cold reading to creating a character out of thin air. I also didn’t know what it would mean to be so consumed by the job, mentally and emotionally. I spend hours drawing scene layouts, or pictures of set pieces, or talking to the folks building costumes, or considering how to make something work technically. The amount of time spent collectively by a production team in putting on a show of this magnitude is staggering, and it can’t be done alone. We all have to give our time and our care to each other.
All that being said, though, the sheer amount of talent that has gathered for this project is really huge. I can’t wait for folks to see Stacy and Angela Main onstage together – they are spectacular – but it goes right down to every member of the cast, right through the band, assembled by Jill Baker, and through our production team. There are more great moments to look forward to than I could have ever hoped for.
Liz: What has been the greatest challenge with this production?
Bea: Chitty is a huge undertaking. Aside from the number of characters in the show, there are choreographic challenges, which means training singers/actors to move as dancers- thankfully we have a fabulous choreographer in MacKenzie Russell ! Actors have to share the space with a huge car, flying loos, life sized dolls- it is a logistical challenge too. This show is a spectacle that challenges every team member to find creative solutions, from those inventing the set pieces, to stage management who have to organize the backstage shenanigans. It’s all hands on deck while singing and dancing effortlessly.
Joel: The inventions. The car. Scheduling. The amount of technical expertise needed to simply make a decision on something and the sheer number of hours needed in the planning phases before work can even start. Trying to sleep after rehearsals. Trying to get this great music out of my head.
Liz: Bea, you’re directing VIMY in Peterborough at the same time you’re co-directing Chitty. Two so very different productions. How do they both have a place in Community Theatre?
Bea: Vimy is a dark, brooding piece that can bore into the soul for those who have an open heart. Chitty is a child’s escape fantasy. Both need a delicate yet firm directorial touch, both have different rewards that need to be earned with hard work. Both challenge amateur companies to their maximum capacity in different ways. As directors, the trick is to find the balance, always.
Liz: Joel, tell us two important things you’ve learned during the process of getting Chitty on the stage in six words or less.
Joel: Do you job, trust your team.
Tickets for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang are going fast. Don’t wait until it’s too late to get a seat. Call the Box Office at 905-372-2210 or purchase them online at vostheatre.com.
VIMY runs at the Peterborough Theatre Guild from Oct 30-November 14. For tickets call: 705-745-4211