Meet Lisa Anne Ross

Lisa is directing a reading of new work by our Playwright In Residence, Anna Chatterton. The play, Switched, will be presented as part of this year’s Play Out Loud: Readings of New Plays In Development series, August 1 at Picaroon’s Roundhouse.

Lisa is artistic director of Solo Chicken Productions and co-founder/co-artistic director of the coop, a platform for contemporary artists to research, develop and perform original works of physical theatre.

the coop made its public debut last summer as part of NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival with the Mainstage production, A Record of Us.

What has it been like directing Anna Chatterton’s new play for NB Acts?

Anna’s play is a romp that at first glance has a soap opera feel but then once you start peeling away the layers, is filled with complex human relationships.  There is lots of juicy text and big characters to play with that makes directing a whole lot of fun.  I love plays like this because they are fun to direct and fun to watch.

What would you say are the biggest challenges in directing a reading? 

From the first moment you read a play, you want to start getting it on its feet, meaning you want to start letting the actors find their blocking and their characters physicality.  Both of those things really inform how the text is spoken.  So when you take that away you have to get crafty about how you are going to infuse the text with the ‘idea’ of blocking and character physicality.

From your experience, how do readings like this contribute to a play’s further development? 

As a playwright, there is nothing better than hearing your words spoken aloud by a full cast.  It gives you the chance to make changes before the stress of a full production.

About The Play

It’s Claudia’s 35th birthday. But it’s also Sandy’s, who’s arrived with a birthday cake and an announcement: She and Claudia were switched at birth, and Sandy is here to switch places into her rightful status in this family. As Sandy desperately inches closer to her birth parents, Claudia is edged out of her family, her home, her life and her identity.

Directed by Lisa Anne Ross. Starring Tania Breen, Leah Holder, Elizabeth Goodyear, Michael Holmes-Lauder, and Len Falkenstein.

Play Out Loud: Readings of New Plays in Development

7:30 PM, Monday, July 31 and Tuesday, August 1 | Picaroons Roundhouse, Union Street | Admission: by donation

Meet Kat Hall

Kat is directing Gamma-Man, one of the plays in this year’s Taking It To The Streets: Four 10-Minute Plays series.

Photo: Dani Brun

This is Kat’s fourth year with the Festival. Earlier this summer she acted in both productions presented by Bard In The Barracks, Fredericton’s outdoor summer theatre company, bringing the works of William Shakespeare to the audiences at Barracks Square and Odell Park.

In advance of the play’s debut, we asked Kat to share a few thoughts on directing the Brandon Hicks play, Gamma-Man.

Can you tell us a bit about the play and what it’s been like directing it?

The play is a story that gives us a window into a mostly happy 25 year marriage. The husband is working long hours, the wife gets fed up and confronts him about the secret he’s keeping, and it’s not even close to what her trusted Dr. Phil self-help book said. It’s been a joy to direct, it’s definitely got a lot of inspiration pulled from the archetypical Atlantic Canadian grandparents. It’s been all about finding those moments that come from a long relationship that can survive just about anything. Everyone involved has been amazing, making my job very easy, despite the short amount of time we’ve all had with the script.

What would you say is the biggest challenge in directing a two-person play?

The most important thing in directing a two person play I think, is that the dynamic between the characters is so, so vital. I was lucky in my casting in that my actors are a couple, so that comfort and energy is already there.

Where you familiar with the work of Brandon Hicks prior to this year? 

Last year, I acted in another of Brandon’s Street Theater plays, Speed Marriage. That show was definitely a little more surreal than this one, but there’s an excellent trend between the two in fun, quirky, feel good scripts.

What do you enjoy most about NB Acts Taking It The Streets series?

Taking It To The Streets is fantastic, as it opens up a super accessible way for people to get into theater, in all sorts of ways. New directors, playwrights, and actors can all come in and work alongside more experienced members of the community, as the shorter script length isn’t as demanding as doing a feature length show. As well, audiences are able to come see a short play or several, at no cost to them.

Taking It To The Streets- Four 10-Minute Plays

Performances:
5 PM, Sunday, July 30, outdoors in Officers’ Square, downtown Fredericton (following site-specific performance of The Marcy Case, Fredericton Public Library)
8:30 PM, Monday, July 31, indoors at the Picaroons Roundhouse, 880 Union Street (following Play Out Loud performance of Both Sides)
8:15 PM, Wednesday, August 2, outdoors in Officers’ Square, downtown Fredericton (following site-specific performance of The Marcy Case, Fredericton Public Library)
3:45 PM, Saturday, August 5, indoors in the Chickadee Room, Main Floor, Fredericton Public Library (following site-specific performance of The Marcy Case, Fredericton Public Library)
Admission: free