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