[Phoenix-eNews] PHOENIX THEATRE: BackstagePASS > Spotlight on Storytelling, Phoenix Phacts & more

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Phoenix Theatre: BackstagePASS
	October 2019 • Act 13 Scene 2

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      eNews: Spotlight on Storytelling

It's been a busy beginning of the season and our Spotlight on Alumni 
presentation is already off and running! If you haven't seen the reviews 
for Sam Mullins' wonderful evening of storytelling scroll down to the 
excellent reviews. Below, meet Sam and learn more about his approach to 
storytelling: "be present, tell the truth."

      Behind the Scenes:
      ***Telling the truth on stage***

/*Alumnus Sam Mullins talks about the magic of storytelling*/*

As an alumnus of the performance program here at UVic, Sam Mullins 
admits, he never really loved acting. It’s in writing and storytelling 
that he’s found his passion. But what’s the difference between acting 
and storytelling?

“Technically, if I’m in a 300-seat theatre with lighting and sound…the 
only gimmick I have is, be present, tell the truth. Make sure you look 
people in the eyes. Break the fourth wall,” said Sam in an interview 
with the Edmonton Journal 

“Being a storyteller, I am pretty much exclusively working off of my own 
personal experience.“

/A Spotlight on Alumni presentation sponsored


“/Weaksauce/ is about a summer of firsts," Sam shared withThe Charlebois 
<http://charpo-canada.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-question-sam-mullens-of-weaksauce.html> "First 
job. First time away from home. First love. When I sat down to start 
writing my memories, I realized that all I had to go off of were just 
the vague residue of faded feelings. I don’t remember the conversations 
I had with my first love. I don’t remember how I dressed… I just 
remember the adrenaline, the nausea, and the excitement of falling in 
love for the first time. I remember the depression of having my heart 
broken when someone else won her affection. I remember the freedom of 
being away from home by myself for the first time. I remember how it 
felt when the wheels of the plane left the runway in Toronto to take me 
back home, and how I knew that things would never be the same.”

“As a writer, I’m almost glad that my memory is so scatter-shot. It 
gives me the wiggle-room to get at larger truths. I’ll create the 
conversations that make me feel the way that I felt.  I’ll fabricate the 
conversations so that when I’m before an audience, I can tell them the 

“I need to trick myself into getting really excited to go onstage... I 
think, “OK, I’m at a party, and someone says, ‘hey, what’s that story 
you have about when you fell in love when you were a teenager?’ or ‘what 
was that thing, when you were in the restaurant? Tell us that story.’ I 
imagine we’re in a living room and that calms me down, and really, once 
you get that first laugh… I always try to get a laugh in the first 10 
seconds,” he said. 

‘But nervous energy is a good thing for me on stage. It’s really easy to 
be vulnerable on stage when you feel really vulnerable. I don’t have to 

“Storytelling is magic,” he says in one of his blog post. 
“It is capable of changing people’s lives in a way that few other forms 
of expression can. A well-told story will make a room laugh as one, cry 
as one, breathe as one. It can bring people together in a way that 
almost nothing else can. It is truly a special thing.”

*/“Weaksauce /*is my favourite thing I’ve ever written and I’m delighted 
to be back onstage where my theatre journey began,” Sam writes in his 
programme notes for the “Spotlight on Alumni” performance at the Phoenix 
Theatre. “Truly everything I know about theatre I learned inside the 
walls at the Phoenix. This is a very special place to me, and I couldn’t 
be more pleased to be bringing my most special piece back here.”

      Weaksauce Media Round up!


    *Mullins’ Weaksauce hits the mark, like a good hockey pass* review
    inMonday Magazine
    (October 11)

    /"This soul-searching biographical collection of tales ...left the
    audience and this reviewer grinning a lot and laughing out loud at
    times. His down-to-earth delivery and willingness to reflect on
    sometimes painful memories came across as refreshing and honest and
    kept the audience with him./"


    *UVic alumnus Sam Mullins returns to tell his own story in
    Weaksauce* preview article in theTimes Colonist
    (October 10)

    /“After doing all of this tried-and-tested material I’ve done
    everywhere, it’s kind of fun to throw something in that makes me
    utterly terrified,/” he said.

  * Check the Programme
    mini-review on Facebook page (October 11)

    /"The feel-good vibes of ‘Weaksauce’ are balanced nicely with an
    offbeat trio of short stories Mullins has chosen for his second
    half, perhaps an even stronger showcase of his gift as a writer. ...
    this particular set is a masterclass in pacing, story structure and
    comic timing that delivers sharp meditations on spontaneity,
    parenthood and chance encounters with Mullins’ trademark charm and
    sincerity... If you love to be told a good story (or four),
    ‘Weaksauce and Other Stories’ is well worth the trip to campus."/

  * *Stage Left: Weaksauce has lots of strong points* review in theTimes
    (October 12).

    /"What saves Weaksauce (the title references hockey slang) from
    being just another jejune trope is the sensitivity and intelligence
    of his writing. It also benefits from his easy, likable acting style
    — Mullins relates to a theatre full of people as though confiding to
    a single listener./"


      Phoenix Phacts: Fall update on Phoenix alumni in the
      community and afar!

Past and present Phoenixers are often widely represented at the Victoria 
Fringe Festival, 
<https://intrepidtheatre.com/festivals/fringe-festival/> and this summer 
was no different, taking home awards for: /Summer Bucket List/, directed 
by *Anna Marie Anderson (BFA ’18)*, which won Favourite Original New 
Work as well as Favourite Drama. The show also included *Aaron Smail*, 
*Hina Nishioka*, *Devon Vecchio*, *Arielle Rose Parsons*, *Emily Hay*, 
and previous student *Willa Hladun.  Jeff Leard (BFA ’10)* won Best 
Performance by a Fringe Artist for his performance in /False God/. Most 
Audacious Risk-Taker award was won by previous students *Monica Ogden 
*and*K.P. *(Ann-Bernice)*Thomas* for /LUB DUB/.  Congratulations to 
everyone involved! "

This summer at the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, *Dr. Jennifer 
Wise*, Theatre Professor Emeritus, won the Critic’s Choice Innovation 
Award for her contemporary adaptation of Bard on the Beach’s production 
of /Lysistrata/ 
with Lois Anderson), and/Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 
<http://www.sweeneytoddthemusical.ca>directed by *Chris Adams (BFA ‘11), 
*received four awards. Congratulations to you both! 

Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre 
<http://bluebridgetheatre.ca/2019-season/>’s production of /Barefoot in 
the Park /this past summer was directed by Phoenix professor *Fran 
Gebhard* and included *Laura-Jane Tresidder (BFA ‘15), Jonathan Mason 
(BFA’12)*, previous student, *Jacob Richmond*, *Jacqueline Gilchrist 
(BFA ‘16)*, *Rebekah Johnson (BFA ‘83)*, and current students *Ted 
MacRae* and *Emma Jo Conlin*. /A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the 
Forum/ included current students *Ciaran Volke*, *Carter Gulseth*, 
*Grace Fedorchuk*, and *Emma Jo Conlin,* previous student *Jacob 
Richmond*, and alumnae *Britt Small (MFA ‘04)* and *Rebecca Marchand 
(BFA ‘16)*.  One of Victoria’s newer theatre companies,hapax theatre 
<https://hapaxtheatre.com>, featured Phoenix alumni *Brendan Elwell (BFA 
‘19)*, and also included current students *Taylor Guidotti* and *Aaron 
Smail* in their production of /Constellations/.

TheGreater Victoria Shakespeare <http://www.vicshakespeare.com> 
productions /Two Gentlemen of Verona/ and /Julius Caesar/ featured 
current students *Sivert Das*,*Aaron Smail*,*Julie McGuire*,*Emily 
Wilcox*,*Olivia Wheeler*, previous student *Hilary Wheeler*, and alumni 
*Douglas Peerless (BFA ’19)*,*Jack Hayes (BFA ‘17)*,*Taylor Lewis (BFA 
‘09) and Cam Culham (MA ‘03)*. Theatre SKAM’s SKAMpede, 
<https://www.skam.ca/skampede/> the outdoor performance festival along 
Galloping Goose Trail, included *Logan Swain (BFA ’19)*, *Tiffany 
Tjosvold (BFA ‘13)*, *Sophie Underwood (BFA ‘18)*, *Andrew Barrett (BFA 
‘12)*, *Matthew Payne (BFA ‘93)*, *Hannah Bell (BFA ‘19)*, *Emma Leck 
(BFA ‘18).***

*Hope McIntyre (MFA ‘96)* began her new position at the University of 
Winnipeg's Department of Theatre and Film 
<https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/theatre-film/> as Assistant Professor in 
Performance this fall. PhD candidate and current sessional *Taiwo 
has recently started at the Belfry Theatre <https://www.belfry.bc.ca> as 
the Artistic and Community Liaison, and we would like to welcome 
*Yasmine Kandil 
(MFA ‘05), (PhD ‘12) *back to the Phoenix as a Professor of Applied 

TheBelfry Theatre’s <https://www.belfry.bc.ca>production of /The 
Children/ (September 17-October 13) included *Molly McDowell-Powlowski 
(BFA ‘19)* as the Assistant Director of this show, funded by the 
Emerging Artist Enhancement Program as well as*Alan Brodie (MFA '16)* At 
Blue Bridge, previous student *Jacob Richmond* will be directing /The 39 
Steps <http://bluebridgetheatre.ca/2019-season/>/ (October 22-November 
3), with designs by alumnae *Jacqueline Gilchrist (BFA ‘16)*, and 
*Rebekah Johnson (BFA ‘83)*, and *Alan Brodie (MFA ‘16)*. Victoria 
Operatic Society <https://vostheatre.ca>presents Mamma Mia 
November22-December 1 at the Mcpherson Theatre. This show will feature 
performances by current students and alumni *Brock Kneeler* and *Ashley 
Richter *and *Hailey Fowler (BFA '19).*

This December, the WONDERHEADS, co-founded by *Kate Braidwood (BFA 
‘03)*, present a giant-masked take on a holiday classic, /Christmas 
Carol <https://www.wonderheads.com/awonderheadschristmascarol/>/, 
<https://www.wonderheads.com/awonderheadschristmascarol/> which will be 
touring across the island from December 3-21.

      Upcoming Phoenix Events:


*October 9 – 19, 2019
Sam Mullins (BFA'08)
<https://histrionicstheatre.co>/A Spotlight on Alumni presentation./

/Presented by:/
/Weaksauce & Other Stories/ is a greatest hits collection of stories by 
Sam Mullins featuring the full-length version of his five-time 
Best-of-the-Fest-winning story. /Weaksauce /is the story of the summer 
that Sam turned 16 when he left home to work as a camp counselor only to 
be blindsided by the first great romance of his life. This achingly 
angsty and tender coming-of-age story is a comedy of first times, second 
chances and third wheels. Also included in the evening are two 
10-minute-long stories based on his hit shows /Tinfoil Dinosaur/ and 
/The Untitled Sam Mullins Project /and the premiere of a new story about 
the bleary-eyed joys of fatherhood. */“Fresh, funny and heart-poundingly 
alive.”/*/   Now Magazine/

*BOX OFFICE*: Tickets $15 to $28, including $15 CHEAP TUESDAYS and $16 
Student Rush Seat (every night, 30 minutes at the door.)Subscription 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/mainstage/tickets/subscriptions/>for 3 
or 4 shows start at only $42. Call 250-721-8000

*November 7 – 23, 2019*****
By William Shakespeare
Director Brian Richmond

*Previews:* November 5 & 6 at 8pm
*Preshow Lecture: *Friday, November 8 at 7pm
"Othello at the Globe" with Dr. Will Tosh, Research Fellow & Lecturer 
from Shakespeare's Globe <https://www.shakespearesglobe.com> in London.

With its disturbing portrait of a world infused with racial politics, 
misogynist social structures and backstabbing treachery, Shakespeare’s 
Othello feels like it’s been ripped from today’s headlines – not written 
over 400 years ago. Two lovers come from very different worlds: Othello, 
a mighty General from a foreign land, and Desdemona, a beautiful 
Senator’s daughter. They marry, undeterred by the prejudices that 
surround them. But no sooner are their vows sealed than their love is 
put to the test, as bigotry, envy, and jealousy begin to pull them 
apart. In its raw emotions and ruthless politics, Othello remains an 
ageless and poignant tragedy.


*BOX OFFICE*opens for this show on October 29.Subscription packages 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/mainstage/tickets/subscriptions/>for 3 
or 4 shows are available now and start at $42. Call 250-721-8000**//


//more alumni updates? /*Check out the Alumni Profiles 
<https://www.uvic.ca/finearts/theatre/alumni/profiles/index.php>area of 
our website. Email your updates to us to be posted here in future eNews.

*<https://twitter.com/UVicPhoenix>*Follow the most recent department and 
alumni stories by liking us on*Facebook* 
or following us on *Twitter <https://twitter.com/UVicPhoenix>*. Use 
*#phoenixalumni* to stream on our alumni website or tag *@UVicPhoenix* 
for us to retweet your event!


      Sponsor Kudos:<https://productioncanada.com>

Thank you to the Phoenix Theatre's many individual donors 
<http://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/donations/> and corporate sponsors for 
their support of our programs and talented students! A special thank you 
to this season's /Production Resource Partner, /*Production Canada 
<https://productioncanada.com>* whose support helps realize our 
designer's visions on stage.

Thanks also to our supporters over the past year from the *Cadboro Bay 
Village* <http://www.cadborobayvillage.com> including: *For Good Measure 
<http://www.forgoodmeasure.ca/>, Pepper's Foods 
<http://peppers-foods.com/>, Smugglers' Cove Pub, 
<http://www.smugglerscovepub.com/> Caddy Bay Liquor Store 
<http://www.caddybayliquor.com>, and* *Heart Pharmacy 

Find out how your company can reach our 10,000 audience members and UVic 
community of over 25,000.Contact us <mailto:aholierh at uvic.ca> to discuss 
a customized sponsorship package to meet your goals.


Phoenix eNews is a regular email magazine for those interested in the 
Phoenix Theatre, the not-for-profit productions at the University of 
Victoria's Department of Theatre, PO Box 1700, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, 
V8W 2Y2 Canada. The University of Victoria is a Registered Charity. 
Charitable Registration No. 10816 2470 RR0001

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	© University of Victoria 2019 	

@UVic Newsletter
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