Tag: theatre

No Exit, by Jean-Paul Sartre at the Endeavor Art Gallery

So, the blog has been fairly slow lately, but I haven’t been! After joining the Sage team I went on to intern with Verb Theatre as part of their devised creation: Of Fighting Age. (Which premeired at the Glenbow Museum as part of the High Performance Rodeo!)

That took us through to Christmas, and directly afterwards I jumped into co-producing and directing No Exit, by Jean-Paul Sartre. This is exciting for me; it’s the first show with a company that I’m starting up specifically with the focus of presenting some of the classic works to Calgary audiences.

You know, I wrote a press release specifically to inform people about the show, so maybe I’ll just leave that here…



NO EXIT – Dates for the show are Feb 14 -22, PWYC previews on Feb 12 & 13 – click here for tickets.

Theatre BSMT presents the second show of its season, Jean-Paul Sartre’s classic play, No Exit. Co-produced by VIA Theatre (VIA’s first show) and with the Endeavor Arts Gallery, this production will transform the art gallery into a performance space and will feature some of Calgary’s skilled performers.

The play suggests a drawing room with “Second Empire” furnishings, contrasting the expected image of Hell with an opulent, aesthetically pleasing space. VIA Theatre provides that contrast by presenting the story in the Endeavor Arts Gallery. VIA’s focus is on presenting classic and contemporary plays from the theatre canon and producing these shows in unique spaces that contribute to the story and themes.

Three people are brought by a valet into an opulent drawing room, which, apparently, is situated in Hell. Cradeau, a journalist and deserter from the War; Inez, a secretary with a passion for manipulating others; and Estelle, a high-society woman who denies her reasons for being there. Over the course of the play, the characters replace their practised lies with brutal honesty. They prod each other; they switch between looking for understanding and salvation (and failing), to simply looking to spread some of their pain around.

Endeavor Arts is an excellent home for our production. Endeavor is owned by Maria Elena Hoover and Shannon Hoover, who were both in Avenue’s 2013 class of Top 40 Under 40. The venue has a long history as a music and nightclub scene, but has been many things in its history, and was built by theatre owners in 1908.

Our cast collects excellent Calgary talent:

Joel Cochrane, playing newspaperman Cradeau, is a talented, established voice in Calgary theatre. He has performed with The Shakespeare Company and Downstage, as well as with Ground Zero Theatre. He has been seen in such plays as Sequence, Titus Andronicus, and A Steady Rain. Jennifer Roberts plays socialite Estelle. This talented actress has been a part of the Swallow-a-Bicycle iRobot experience, most recently as part of the Beakerhead city-wide event. She has also won awards for playwriting and poetry, and brings sharp artistic instincts to the production. Tara Marlena Laberge, as middle-class Inez, performs and teaches in Calgary. Recently she performed with Fire Exit Theatre in The Savannah Disputation. She’s also a director, educator, and vocal director. She has worked with such organizations as Minnesota Opera, Saint Paul Conservatory, and StoryBook Theatre. Newcomer DJ Gellatly is a recent graduate from the University of Lethbridge, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. We’re happy to be presenting him to the Calgary theatre community! Theatre BSMT’s mandate to showcase emerging artists is boosted by giving DJ the chance to draw on the combined experience of the No Exit cast and crew.

The show is co-produced and directed by Jason Mehmel. For Theatre BSMT, he last directed Pink Sugar: A Dark Tale of Love, Betrayal and Stolen Body Parts, with sold-out performances. He also participated in Ghost River Theatre’s three-week 2013 Devised Creation Intensive, creating End of the Line with the intensive ensemble. Jason developed VIA Theatre with a core team of collaborators.

No Exit is mentored, as part of Theatre BSMT’s mandate, by the acclaimed Calgary director Kevin McKendrick. His specific experience with classic and contemporary theatre texts informs and deepens our our production. Shane Anderson develops the stage design for this production. He is also the Technical Director for VIA Theatre. He and Jason have collaborated on numerous occasions. Another long-term collaborator, Vanessa Oakley, is the Costume Designer.

For more information, please contact Jason Mehmel: 403-889-7961 | jmehmel@gmail.com or visit theatrebsmt.ca or viatheatre.ca

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A Study in Horrible-ness (a Dr. Horrible ‘documentary’)

Find out what the henchman-on-the-street thinks of Dr. Horrible…

Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrXpWw8Tz5Q

This was my first foray into film-making, and I found I really enjoyed the process. That was assisted by no less than Dan Dumouchel from Perfect Pictures Inc, who made every step of it easy and fun. The quality of the product has a lot to do with the skill, craft and art he has at his fingertips.

Something fascinating was in watching this with an audience. Stuff that I only hoped was mildly entertaining got big laughs. Fortunately, so did the stuff that I actually thought was funny. Like a lot of art forms, you have to realize that by the time an audience watches it, it’s going to be a different beast than you thought it was on the page, while you were shooting, or even while editing.

It was invigorating. Addicting. Maybe I’ll have to do some more.

Hope you enjoy it.

Come see Natalie Meisner’s BEFORE THE TIDE

This show, as well as working on the Calgary production of Dr. Horrible, has been keeping me away from this blog for awhile… so it seems as fine a place as any to try to tell people all about it!

Theatre BSMT presents the world premiere of award-winning
playwright Natalie Meisner’s Before the Tide with
Artistic Director Designate at the helm.

CALGARY, AB – Theatre BSMT presents Before the Tide – a haunting new play by award-winning Canadian playwright, Natalie Meisner. Artistic Director Designate of Theatre BSMT, Jason Mehmel, produces the play which stars outgoing Artistic Director, Amy Dettling.

Before the Tide tells the story of Claire, a kayak instructor who makes a macabre discovery while on the water. Rich is the police sergeant she encounters as she tries to chart out the right course of action.  Confronted by due process and a string of coincidences, they learn that the riptide can pull you in directions you never intended. Playwright Natalie Meisner has been recognized with awards such as the Canadian National Playwriting Award and the Jessie Richardson Theatre Award.  Her brilliant and ground-breaking plays have been produced nationwide.

This production features some of the talents of Calgary’s emerging theatre professionals: Director and Set Designer Shane Anderson is partnering with acclaimed comic-book artist Fiona Staples <http://www.fionastaples.com/&gt; , and Sound Designer Greg Smith. The production is produced by Theatre BSMT’s Artistic Director Designate, Jason Mehmel and stars outgoing Artistic Director Amy Dettling and Calgary actor, Brian Doss.
Theatre BSMT is stretching the definition of emerging artists. With Fiona Staples and Greg Smith, we have two accomplished professionals in their particular fields, but had never brought those skills into the theatre space before. Actor Brian Doss returns to the craft after time spent away.

Jason Mehmel comes to Theatre BSMT as an eager and capable theatre professional having received his BFA in 2006 at the University of Calgary. He is currently the Treasurer for the Fight Directors Canada and was featured as Vertigo Mystery Theatre’s Emerging Director in 2008. He is thrilled to take his place as the new Artistic Director of Theatre BSMT for the 2010/2011 Season, and plans to make exciting and innovative changes to the company’s direction and mandate, while continuing to offer rewarding opportunities to emerging artists.

Outgoing Artistic Director Amy Dettling will be leaving Theatre BSMT to pursue her education and career goals in the field of Science! The company wishes her all the best in her exciting endeavors.

Before the Tide runs June 2nd – 12th, 2010 at the EPCOR Centre’s Motel. Tickets are available by calling 403-288-2384 or by emailing tickets@theatrebsmt.com. More information may be found at http://www.theatrebsmt.com <http://www.theatrebsmt.com/&gt; .