Omnium Gatherum

Posted November 23, 2021 at 5:48 am by

Helen from Island Stage Left shares some thoughts with you about this year’s pro­duc­tion of Omni­um Gatherum…

Dear Friends,

So, how are you all? We have man­aged to keep our heads above water over here at Island Stage Left, but there is no doubt that the waters have been ris­ing — both phys­i­cal­ly and metaphorically.

I think, of all the arts, live the­atre has been hit the hard­est by the pan­dem­ic. Our whole art form depends on the inter­ac­tion between actors and audi­ence. We set off on each pro­duc­tion with a script and a cast, but the mag­ic only hap­pens when we get togeth­er with you: to share space, to respond to each oth­er, to exam­ine togeth­er the whole gamut of humanity’s possibilities. 

We were extreme­ly lucky to have that won­der­ful, euphor­ic and short space of time last sum­mer when we believed this dread­ful virus was going away. It gave us the space and time to pro­duce “Much Ado about Noth­ing”, which was a roar­ing suc­cess, a great joy to direct, and which brought us all togeth­er once again.

Now we find our­selves in a more uncer­tain world, long­ing to play togeth­er once more, but unsure of the wis­dom of doing so. Being inside with lots of peo­ple, even masked, seems daunt­ing now and our tiny space at the Fair­grounds would not allow for social dis­tanc­ing unless we reduced our audi­ences to about twen­ty people. 

SO, we are mak­ing a change:

We are mov­ing into the warm and com­fy Brick­works for our win­ter hol­i­day show, so that our audi­ences have the space to dis­tance, if desired. Because this is a more expen­sive venue than the Fair­grounds, we will lim­it our­selves to five per­for­mances, over three con­sec­u­tive days, of our peren­ni­al­ly pop­u­lar pot pour­ri, “Omni­um Gatherum”. Among the songs, sto­ries and poems will be many of your old favourites and, as always, a few new pieces to keep us all hopping. 

Car­ol Hoop­er will not be able to join us this year as she is tak­ing time to be with her grand­chil­dren back east, so we will return to the way we began our pro­gram over ten years ago — with just a gui­tarist — the amaz­ing Mark Maz­zarel­la — and two singers: the mel­liflu­ous tones of Joe­ly Louks and Pat­ti Bair, plus Dan and me recit­ing poet­ry and telling sto­ries filled with laugh­ter and beau­ty, reflec­tion and heart.. 

Sim­plic­i­ty is the watch­word for us this year as is, per­haps, apt for the whole world going for­ward — sim­pli­fy­ing our lives with our choic­es: eat­ing local­ly, dri­ving and fly­ing less, con­serv­ing and recy­cling, swap­ping items, mak­ing things with our hands, mak­ing music, plant­i­ng trees, find­ing joy clos­er to home, with a new appre­ci­a­tion of our friends and fam­i­ly and what they mean to us. As we cir­cle around the fire with those clos­est to us, we for­get some­times that all humans, no mat­ter their pol­i­tics or reli­gion, yearn for the same basic needs and wants. Our pro­gram is designed to be inclu­sive, hence its title which means “A gath­er­ing of all”.

Stage Left is excit­ed to cel­e­brate this sea­son with you. Here’s to life, with all its con­tra­dic­tions and its extra­or­di­nary beauty! 

We look for­ward  to see­ing you soon — at BRICKWORKS! 

Please note that both proof of cur­rent vac­ci­na­tion, and mask-wear­ing are necessary.

Dec 22 at 7:30
Dec 23 at 4:00 and 7:30
Dec 24 (Christ­mas Eve) at 4:-00 and 6:30

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Categories: Arts, Entertainment

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