Welcome to Essential Collective Theatre and our 2014-2015 season! I am thrilled to be the company’s new Artistic Director, and delighted to be able to offer you this season of activity.
There are so many ways for us to experience the world around us today. So many things to do, to see, to taste, to feel, to understand – we’re spoiled for choice! Live theatre offers us the unique opportunity to come together as a community, to engage with characters, situations and stories in real time, to witness transformation and to know ourselves and others more deeply as a result.
This year, ECT invites you to experience our contemporary world through two exciting pieces of Canadian theatre, right here in St. Catharines on the intimate stage of the Sullivan-Mahoney Courthouse Theatre. The Valley (November 14-30, 2014) is a stunning new play by multi-award winning Canadian writer Joan MacLeod. Echoing recent headlines, The Valley draws us viscerally into a young man’s struggle with mental illness and his charged encounter with police. Wings of Wax (February 20-March 8, 2015) by Niagara playwright Lindsay Price is a comic portrayal of a twenty-something St. Catharines waiter and his obsession with 1960’s Canadian bank robber, Ken Leishman. Wings of Wax asks the question, “how do we get to be somebody in this world?”, and wonders “what does that even mean?”
You might notice that we’re featuring characters in both shows who are just finding their way to adulthood. We think this is fitting as ECT has recently taken some grown-up steps too. In July we became a registered charity, which means we can now issue charitable receipts to our donors. This year also marks the departure from ECT of co-founders Stephanie Jones and Jason Cadieux. This company has been their baby, and now that baby is all grown up and on its way to the new St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre! This will be our last season at the Courthouse, and we look forward to welcoming you to our shows at the snazzy new PAC starting in the fall of 2015.
In addition to our two productions, ECT has so much going on this year. We’re forming a new ECT Playwrights Unit to support and foster local Niagara writers. We’re holding “The All Night Play Reading on the Longest Night of the Year Fundraiser” on December 20, 2014. We’ll be putting out the call for Niagara scripts for our Play Development program in February, and we’ll feature two of those plays at our Tenth Annual Wine and Reading event in May, 2015. We’ll hold classes again in Acting and Improv, and we’re starting a Playwriting for Youth Program especially for High School students in January. You’ll get to hear their scripts read by professional actors at the ECT Playwright Weekend in June, along with some other great programming.
Yes, we’re feeling pretty grown up here at ECT, so put on your big-boy pants and come join us at the theatre this season. Can’t wait to see you!