Monday, December 9, 2013

Child Performers

"Where did you find those kids?"

Charles and I are frequently asked that question after people see one of our shows. The short answer is - we get them from our acting classes. Once in a while a young person who we don't know will come into an audition and really impress us, but most of the child actors who you see in speaking or featured roles in our shows are also students in our acting classes.

We try to choose our main stage shows so that we can either add a young-person's chorus or we choose shows that have child roles already written in. This is on purpose, so that we can get young people on stage in front of audiences. There is no substitute for performance as a learning tool.

Our students compete for their roles, just like everyone else who auditions. They are in with the pool of auditioners who all want a role in a show. We regularly have 60 to 80 young people vying for roles and most of them are female.

Being a student of ours gives the auditioner both an advantage and a disadvantage.

We know them; that is an advantage. We know what level they are performing at, and what they are likely to be able to aspire to over the course of the rehearsal process. We know if they can get along with other people and if they are reliable. We know if they are team players.

We know them; that is a disadvantage. We know what they can do and if they do not bring their best effort to the audition then we know it. The expectation for our students is higher than for others auditioning. We know if there are personality issues or diva-like behaviours. We know if they or their support team (normally parents) are unreliable, or difficult. We know if they are not team players.

There are many talented young people auditioning that we would love to work with, and we try hard to find ways to bring them into our shows, normally in smaller or chorus roles so that we can get to know them better, and see what the possibilities are for the future.

Where did we find those kids? They found us, and we held the door open for them.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Sound of Music Kingston Ontario 2013

Bottle Tree Productions is pleased to be able to offer the Rodgers and Hammerstien classic "The Sound of Music' for their holiday production again, this year. The venue remains  St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church 130 Clergy East in Kingston, with performances nightly at 7:30pm Thursdays through Saturdays from December 5 through the 14th, 2013. One matinee performance is scheduled for Saturday December 7 at 2:00 pm.

As well as the classic musical, producer Anne Marie Mortensen has worked with a local restaurant and hotel to bring a special offer to heighten the impact of your evening out.

Brian Breitwieser, of Amadeus Cafe is offering a traditional Austrian three-course meal themed around one of the most famous songs from the show. The 'My Favourite Things' special features soup or salad to start, schnitzel and hot German potato salad for a main course, followed by home-made apple streudel and coffee or tea - all generously portioned and priced to please at $15.00 .

The Amabassador Hotel's Jonathan Rebello has created an overnight special for guests during the show. If dinner and the show means a late night drive home, we recommend a luxurious rooms at one of Kingston's top hotels. The room special features two queen-sized beds (can sleep up to 4 people) for $99.99.

Why not take advantage of this opportunity to create lasting memories with your loved ones this holiday season? Enjoy The Sound of Music live - in an intimate venue, and make this one of your favourite things.

For tickets to the show, please visit The Sound of Music tickets or phone The Grand Theatre Box Office 613-530-2050.

For dinner reservations, please call Amadeus Cafe (613)546-7468.

For room reservations please call Jonathan Rebello 613-548-3605       800-267-7880


Schnitzel and Strudel - My Favourite Things - Served Up Hot at Amadeus Cafe

How do you solve a problem like an affordable, delicious dinner out for 40 people of various ages and appetites? You make a reservation at Amadeus Cafe and suggest that they all try chef Brian Breitwieser's "My Favourite Things" special.

Breitwieser has graciously agreed to offer a special meal to his patrons,  themed for our production of The Sound of Music -- quickly suggesting the name (My Favourite Things) and the menu; soup or salad to start, schnitzel with hot German potato salad and veg, and for dessert crisp, home-made apple streudel -- all for $15.00. It sounded so good that we had to try it for ourselves!

Dinner was in the private dining room at six thirty - and it was a cold, snowy, Santa Claus Parade evening. The cast and their guests were fresh from the glow of the parade and the sharp air, and it was lovely to be in the warm atmosphere and hospitality of the restaurant.


The starter soup (of the day) was a mildly-flavoured cream of celery; the starter salad was a soup plate with three taster-sized servings of different salads. On my plate, there was a chilled potato salad, carrot salad and green salad. They were all tasty and fresh.


Most of the cast and their guests ordered the special. Zack Betts shares the role of Friedrich, the oldest VonTrapp boy, and when he was asked what he would order answered, "Oh I am definitely having the special! I'd like an extra large schnitzel." The special was a small schnitzel, however,  it filled half of the plate --  the other half was potato salad. The vegetable serving was placed artistically and pragmatically on the rim  of the plate. The schnitzel and German potato salad both had starring roles - each was delicious and was the perfect companion to the other.


Dessert is always a hit. The apple streudel was light and crisp, and served hot with fresh whipped cream. It was the perfect end to a great dinner.

Everyone in the room commented on the quality of food and service, and the beer menu features many German and Austrian selections. I am already planning another visit.

If you would like to treat yourself and your family to the My Favourite Things special, it is available at Amadeus Cafe on Princess street (between Montreal and Bagot streets). Of course, we recommend pairing the dinner with tickets to The Sound of Music for a holiday family outing that will create memories for a lifetime.



Amadeus Cafe 613 - 546-7468

170 Princess Street

Tickets for The Sound of Music available online at www.bottletreeinc.com and via The Grand Theatre Box Office





Thursday, November 7, 2013

Meet the Marias

Bottle Tree Productions is pleased introduce Erinn Roberts and Sara Sturgeon, the two women who are sharing the leading role of Maria in the holiday production of The Sound of Music, which runs December 5 through December 14, Thursdays through Saturdays, 7:30pm at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church.

Director Charles Robertson says that despite the extra work of rehearsing two leads (and he has also cast two Rolfs and two sets of VonTrapp children!) there are so many talented young women who auditioned, that he wanted to create as many opportunities as possible. Roberts and Sturgeon, he says, are 'very different in appearance, but very similar in their passion for the musical and each brings charm and talent to the role.'

Erinn Roberts, who has performances on December 5, 7, and 13, is the mother of two young boys, and holds a PhD in opera/vocal music performace from the University of British Columbia. She has performed in operas and musical theatre throughout western Canada and has toured extensively through British Columbia and Europe with the University of British-Columbia Opera Ensemble. She has a music studio in Kingston, and is sought after as a clinician and adjudicator. When asked about the rehearsal process of this show compared to others that she has done, Roberts says, "The schedule is similar - they are busy - but having the children in the cast makes it fun and more relaxed. It is always uplifting to be around such positive people."

University student Sara Sturgeon reprises her role as Maria on December 6, 12, and 14. Sara attends Queen's University, studying French and Concurrent Education. Sara is fluently bilingual in French and English, and grew up in a military family. She has been on stage in Kingston several times over the last five years, both in school and community theatre productions. This is Sara's second year as Maria, and her enthusiasm for the production is infectious. "I love this show so much - I was so happy to be cast as Maria, but honestly, I would have played anything just to take part," says Sturgeon.

These two 'Marias' can be seen and heard performing on alternating evenings from December 5 through December 14, Thursdays through Saturdays. For more information about "The Sound of Music" or to buy tickets, please contact The Grand Theatre 613-530-2050 or Bottle Tree Productions info@bottletreeinc.com

*Sara Sturgeon photo courtesy of Mark Bergin.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

November newsletter - special ticket prices, Christmas ideas, casting call

We hope that you had a Happy Hallowe'en and that you are able to enjoy some of this balmy (but windy) autumn weather! We have a few things to share with you:


The Sound of Music Producer's Special  - any ticket for the CHILD PRICE ($18.00, tx incl) That's $7.00 off the price of an adult ticket.  This is a special offer and will end on November 10, 2013, and you can take advantage of it by following this link http://www.bottletreeinc.com/soundofmusic_special.html and purchasing online, OR you can contact any cast member for 'real' tickets. Remember that we have two casts of Marias and children, so if you have a friend or family in the show, please check the date so that you buy for 'their' show! Please feel free to share this link with YOUR friends and family.  Amadeus Cafe is also getting ready for The Sound of Music and they will be offering a 'My Favourite Things Special' - Soup or salad to start, schnitzel with German potato salad, home-made fresh apple struedel, tea or coffee - all for just $15.00 (tax/gratuity not included). If you have company coming in from out of town, and no space to put them up - The Ambassador Hotel is offering a special room rate to people who are attending our show. $99.99 taxes included, two Queen beds (up to four people).

See it live, together, at Christmas. It's a wonderful tradition.

Remember that our Musical Theatre class starts in January 2014, and this year's production is Disney's "Beauty and the Beast, JR". This class is a full-out musical theatre production for young people from 8 - 18 years old. It is produced like our main stage shows with one big exception - you do not have to audition! Every student enrolled in the class is cast in the show, and this show can accommodate a very large cast. Our Musical Theatre Class makes a terrific holiday gift that keeps on giving. Students in our classes learn teamwork, develop confidence, learn skills that cross over to math, science, english, fine arts, music, and phsyical education. The performers in our musical theatre class take great pride in their shows. To register, please visit our class page http://www.bottletreeinc.com/musical_theatre_class.html

Give your young person a gift that builds skills and friendships for a lifetime.

Casting call posted today: please visit http://www.bottletreeinc.com/auditions.html for the notice for YTV's Family Dynamic.

There are also some things happening in town that you may enjoy - Cantabile Choirs of Kingston's concert 'On Nordic Shores' is Saturday Nov. 2 at Sydenham Street United Church. Visit their website for tickets to what promises to be a beautiful concert. Kingston Meistersingers are now up and running with 'Young Frankenstein - The Musical'. The show runs from now until Sunday November 10. Please visit their website or The Grand Theatre for information about performance dates and time, and to buy tickets.

Remember that our next session of Stage Right acting classes (for all ages) begins January, and you can register any time. http://www.bottletreeinc.com/acting_classes.html

Hope to see you soon!

Anne Marie

Monday, August 12, 2013

HUGE LOCAL CAST IN MUSICAL

HUGE  LOCAL  CAST  IN  MUSICAL

Bottle Tree Productions’ presents a new production of Boublil and Schonberg’s Les Miserables at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at the corner of Princess and Clergy Streets in down town Kingston on Saturday, September 28th, 2013. Over one hundred local performers involved in the show.

Les Miserables is licensed by Music Theatre International (MTI) by arrangement with CAMERON MACKINTOSH LTD

This is the first time the full amateur rights have been available in Kingston. The high school version came out several years ago.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased on line at www.bottletreeinc.com or on Facebook or through Event Brite or through the Grand Theatre Box Office at 613-530-2050 or in person at The Grand Theatre at 218 Princess Street or online at www.kingstongrand.ca.
The musical was originally conceived and produced in France, before its English-language adaptation, where the production overcame bad reviews through word of mouth, launching what has turned out to be a world-wide success story.
The recent movie starred Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman winning three coveted Oscars including best-supporting actress for Hathaway.

When asked what was unique about this particular production, director Anne Marie Mortensen (Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver) said

‘This is a very large cast production. Many people auditioned because they love the musical and this is the first time the full rights have been available in Kingston. And this show is all about the music. We have over 100 people in the cast, from children to seniors, and they are all singers. The entire show is sung, and with this many voices, we can expect a lush sound that will do the music justice. It will be staged lightly because of the number of performers and the beauty of the venue at St. Andrew's -- we don't want to diminish the quality of the space or the vocal talent of the cast with too much visual clutter. There will be enough there to tell the story.



Mortensen went on to say that
‘The music is beautiful, and tells a powerful story about overcoming hardship, standing up against oppression -- it is during the French Revolution, so there is a lot of conflict. Our leads are highly talented performers who do the show justice and the chorus are all experienced singers, so it is worth the price of admission to hear 100 people singing the show. It also supports two good causes, St. Andrew's renovation fund, and Bottle Tree Productions' holiday musical, The Sound of Music.’

When asked to mention who stood out in the auditions she said

'I would love to be able to mention all of them - but clearly that would take too long.  So I will talk a bit about some of the leads: Danny Young plays Jean Val Jean, and he is a 'tenor's tenor'. Danny is a member of the Armed Forces, and just returned from Italy, where he was sent specifically to sing for enlisted men and dignitaries. He was offered a place in the Canadian Opera Company, but decided to stay in the military.  

We are also fortunate to have Shawn Barber, who plays Javert, and has a voice that sends chills up my spine. I saw Shawn in performance at Broadway After Dark at the Time to Laugh Comedy Club and was blown away by his performance.

Jack Francis and Amie Bello play the comic roles of Mr and Mrs Thenardier. Jack is a member of The Kings Town Tenors (along with Danny) and has been on stage in many performances for the Meistersingers over the years. Amie is a wonderful actor, and has a rich voice - she played the role of Mama Rose in last year's 'Gypsy' and was outstanding. Her character work will be a huge hit with the audience in this show.

Also gracing our stage from the cast of Gypsy is Sue Del-Mei, who is a vocal powerhouse and highly talented actor. She played Baby June in Gypsy and has a long list of credits. Sue has done a lot of theatre, musical theatre and dance in Kingston and we are happy to have her on board as Eponine.

Amanda Edwards-Brown plays grown-up Cosette and she has a lovely voice and huge range. Amanda is a graduate of U of T and has a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance. She appeared as Helena in our recent production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and was also on stage in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

Hannah Smith plays Fantine -- Hannah has an extensive body of work in theatre and musical theatre, and pdirected and starred in A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has a beautiful rich alto voice and certainly knows how to sell a song.

Lukas Duchaine is another fabulous young man. He plays the role of Marius and he is another man whose voice is electric. Lukas is a dynamic performer, who people would recognise from musicals at Queens, and as Motel from last year's "Fiddler on the Roof".

Casting was quite difficult because of the number of high quality performers who auditioned. So I am really happy that we have an exceptionally talented ensemble backing up our leads and supporting actors. I feel like we have won the talent lottery.’

For more information contact Anne Marie Mortensen or Charles Robertson at info@bottletreeinc.com or call 613-384-8433. More information about this show, other shows or classes can be found at www.bottletreeinc.com. BottleTree Productions has a facebook page with up to date news from the company.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Classes de théâtre en français

Classes de théâtre en français

Bottle Tree Productions offrira pour la première fois des cours de théâtre en français qui débuteront le samedi 14 septembre 2013, de 14h30 à 16h. Les cours viseront à enseigner les bases du théâtre à travers de jeux, tout en permettant aux acteurs de développer leur estime de soi, leur sens de coopération et leur appréciation de l'art du théâtre de façon amusante. La session de 10 semaines se terminera avec une performance où les amis et les familles des jeunes pourront constater leur progrès. Les acteurs seront encouragés à se développer à leur propre rythme, et seront poussés à relever des défis selon leurs habiletés et leur niveau de confort. Les classes sont idéales autant pour les jeunes gênés que pour les extravertis, et plairont à une vaste gamme d’âges.



Acting Classes in French

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream



A scene from Bottle Tree Productions' A Midsummer Night's Dream in July 2013. Directed by Hannah Smith. Costumes by Anne Mortensen. Lights provided by Kingston Soundworks. Set by Tom Falcao. Venue St Andrews Presbyterian Church at Regent and Princess Streets in downtown Kingston, Ontario.




A Scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream

A scene from Bottle Tree Productions' A Midsummer Night's Dream in July 2013. Directed by Hannah Smith. Costumes by Anne Mortensen. Lights provided by Kingston Soundworks. Set by Tom Falcao. Venue St Andrews Presbyterian Church at Regent and Princess Streets in downtown Kingston, Ontario.





Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Michael Costello in concert at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church


Pianist Michael Costello is in Concert at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in down town Kingston Friday June 21st.


Michael's animated playing style and engaging stage presence come to life 

in such works as; Mozart Piano Sonata in Bb Major K.333, Chopin's Heroic 
Polonaise in Ab Major, and Rachmaninoff's prelude in g minor Opus 23 
#5 . Interwoven in the program is a fun and interesting narrative that touches upon the composer's life and varied musical styles. 

Purchase your tickets today! 
$20 in advance or $25 at the door 
In Person: St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church 
130 Clergy St E, KINGSTON
By Phone: 613.546.6316 

Order of Performance

Piano Sonata Bb Major
Piano Sonata K333, W.A. Mozart

Impromptu in Gb Major
Opus 90 No.3, F. Schubert

Polonaise in Ab Major- Heroic
Opus 53 No.6, F. Chopin

Intermission

Prelude G minor Opus 23 No. 5
S.Rachmaninoff

Etudes
C# minor Opus 2 No 1., D# minor Opus 8 No. 12
A. Scriabin

Clair de lune
Claude Debussy

3 Preludes for Piano
G. Gershwin

Michael Costello was born in the town of Carleton Place on the 
29th day of May, 1968. His love of music began at an early age 
and was derived from his family (“Namely his Uncle Bernie 
Costello – an old time piano player and legend of the Ottawa 
Valley”) Formal training for Michael began in Carleton Place and 
Ottawa during his early teen years. He went on to study under 
Dina Namer and Dr. Ireneus Zuk at Queen’s University and 
received his Bachelor of Music and Bachelor f Education 
Degrees. Michael has gone on to study with Dr.Tom Plaunt of 
McGill University and has done piano master classes with Paul 
Berkowitz and Beethoven Scholar/Expert Kendall Taylor.

Buy Tickets to see Michael Costello live at St Andrew's

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Buy Tickets to Les Miserables in Kingston, Ontario


The world-famous musical; Les Misérables; is based on the novel of the same name by French poet and playwright Victor Hugo. It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, with an English-language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer. Set in the early 1800’s  France, it is the story of Jean Valjean and his quest for redemption after serving nineteen years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his starving sister's child. Valjean decides to break his parole and start his life anew, but he is relentlessly pursued by a police inspector named Javert. Along the way, they are are swept up by the revolutionary fever in France.
The musical was originally conceived and produced in France, before its English-language adaptation, where the production overcame bad reviews through word of mouth, launching what has turned out to be a world-wide success story.
The recent movie starred Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman winning three coveted Oscars including best-supporting actress for Hathaway.

This is part of our Fundraiser for St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and it’s resident theatre company; Bottle Tree Productions, featuring a spectacular One Night Only! performance of Les Mis Saturday September 28th at 7 pm.

St Andrew’s is an important cultural and historical landmark in down town Kingston. When the Scots came to Kingston they brought their Presbyterian religion with them.  Located at the corner of Princess and Clergy Streets it is notable with it’s cross of St andrew’s on irs tower and the canon out front. Many influential Canadians have worshipped at the church in the past, including Canada’s most famous parliamentarian; Sir john A. MacDonald. MacDonald and the rest of the local presbytery put their heads together and put plans in motion for Queen’s university. In 1839 it was recognized that there was a need for an educational facility in Kingston to provide training for Presbyterian ministers.  St Andrew’s influence can still be seen in the name Gaels that the sports teams use. The Scots left the persecution and hard times in scotland to gain political and religious independence in Canada. Well, it was Canada after Sir John created it. The church needs financial help in maintaining its architectural and cultural significance as an important Kingston and Canadian landmark

Bottle Tree Productions is the resident theatre company of St Andrew’s. It started as a company that toured Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes with orginal award-winning theatrical productions. Charles Robertson and Anne Marie Mortensen named the company Bottle Tree Productions, because of a suggestion from actor Mackenzie Gruer. The first play they toured; Charles’ Ghost of the Tree was about the ghosts in a family tree that haunt the living. Bottle trees are an African tradition imported to the United States where home-owners would tie bottles to the branches of trees near their dwellings to catch the spirits of the ancestors before they could snatch the souls of the living.  Bottle Tree Productions offers drama classes and musical theatre classes at St Andrew’s and produces productions from original Canadian Theatre to Broadway musicals. such as Cats and The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music was presented with great success last December in the sanctuary.

In support of our fundraiser; Bottle Tree productions is producing a one-night only production of Les Mis with local Kingston performers. Tickets are only $30 for adults and $25 for seniors and students. There is a silent auction as well as hors d'oeuvres and mocktails.

Come to St Andrew's Presbyterian Church Saturday September 28th to be transported by song back in time to the dramatic times of the French Revolution.

A night not to be missed!


Buy Tickets to Les Miserables in Kingston, Ontario

Friday, May 10, 2013

Buy Tickets to A Midsummer Night's Dream


Buy Tickets Here!



Bottle Tree Productions summer performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream runs from Tuesday July 2nd until Saturday July 6th at 8 pm. The play is directed by award-winning actor and director; Hannah Smith. The play takes place at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Kingston's down town on Princess Street.  

Written by the world's most famous playwright; William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream has to be seen on stage and not studied in the classroom. The Magic, Comedy and Romance only comes out in live performance. The beautiful music for this production was written by Felix Mendelssohn.

While away a magical summer evening at St Andrew's with some of Kingston's finest actors.

Suitable for the whole family, as this popular play is easily understood and enjoyed in performance.

St Andrew's offers a beautiful performance space and the wonderful acoustics will enrich the music. Mendelssohn's overture will be played before the show on the church organ.

All the elements of theatre, music and dance make A Midsummer Night's Dream the experience of the summer.

Click on the icon below to buy tickets. Tickets also available at the Visit Kingston Centre in Confederation Basin across from City Hall and at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church at the corner of Princess and Clergy Streets, Mondays to Thursdays during the day.


Eventbrite - A Midsummer Night's Dream

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Indy film Audition


A new Independent short film is auditioning in Kingston. Following is some casting info.
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The roles we are looking for the short film are :

Males
white, 30s chubby build, mama's boy
black, 50-65, thin, cook in a diner
white, 16-23, lanky, runaway
white, 20-40, construction worker

Females
brusk, overweight, waitress, 40-60
skinny mean girls, aged 18-25

Family
father biker look 45-60
mother, waifish, 30-50
son, 4-6
daughter 10-12

for more info please contact crystalthefilm@gmail.com









Thursday, May 2, 2013

Casting A Midsummer Night's Dream Summer of 2013


Director Hannah Smith has cast the following roles in Bottle Tree Productions'; A Midsummer Night's Dream. Nineteen year old Smith has been involved in theatre since she was eight years old. with starring roles in Romeo and Juliet, The Sound of Music, Ghost of the Tree, Miss Julie, Les Mis, The Sound of Music and Grease among her numerous productions.

Below is a video of her rehearsing for the show.



Cast List – Midsummer Night’s Dream
Theseus/Oberon: Jason Shulha
Hippolyta/Titania: Hannah Smith
Egeus/Snout: Rob Bruce

Philostrate: Sarah Hamilton
Hermia: Trina Skanthavarathan
Lysander: Erik Scribner
Demetrius: Justin Robertson
Helena: Amanda Edwards-Brown
Quince: Emily Townshend
Snug: Abby Wilson-Campbell
Bottom: Daryl Notley
Flute: Daniel Smith
Starveling: Morgan Roff
Peaseblossom: Maureen Barnes
Puck: Colby Silva
Cobweb: Evelena Falcao
Mustarseed: Annika Broadhead
Moth: Gia Silva
Attendants: Claire Lapointe, Maddy MacVicar, Maggie Garrison
Huntsmen: Hector Jenkins, Adam Handleman, James Fair






Friday, April 12, 2013

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Hannah Smith directs William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in downtown Kingston this summer at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church at the corner of Princess and Clergy Streets.

Dates and times are Tuesday July 2nd to Saturday July 6th at 8 pm.

This story of lovers lost in the woods, a hapless band of actors and a mischievous group of fairies is one of the funniest plays ever written. Starring some of Kingston's best actors, this play is a must-see. Community theatre at its best.

In ancient Greece, a young woman named Hermia runs away from Athens with her boyfriend; Lysander to get married. Lost in the woods, they are pursued by a young man named Demetrius who has a thing for Hermia and he is pursued by Hermia's friend; Helena who has a crush on him. Meanwhile a bunch of hapless actors, led by the inept Bottom, have gone into the woods to rehearse a play. The play they are rehearsing is hilariously bad. Unknown to the mortals there is a domestic battle going on between Titania; Queen of the Faeries and Oberon; the King. Oberon decides to get revenge on Titania by sending his henchman; the mischievous Puck, to place a love potion in Titania's eyes so that she will fall madly in love with the next living creature that she sees. It will be the actor Bottom who Puck has turned into an ass; a donkey. He also sees Lysander sleeping on the ground near Hermia. He puts the potion in Lysander's eyes who, when he wakes up, sees Hermia's girlfriend; Helena. He falls madly in love with her and chases her through the woods. Puck tries to fix his mistake by putting the love potion in Demetrius's eyes, and he too falls in love with Helena. Hermia; who was loved by both Lysander and Demetrius finds that no one loves her now. She goes ballistic, thinking her friend Helena has stolen her boyfriend from her.

But finally the fairies fix their mistakes.

After the romantic chaos of the night before, the morning sun returns order to Shakespeare's magical world. A Midsummer Night's Dream then ends with a performance of Bottom's hilariously bad play; Pyramus and Thisbe. Bottom plays the young lover; Pyramus, and the awkward young man; Francis Flute, plays Thisbe in drag. Shakespeare was making fun of the acting convention of his day, when young boys played the female roles.

One of the world's most popular plays.

To buy tickets, please go to Buy tickets




Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Acting Classes 2013

Fresh from our wonderful musical theatre class production of The Little Mermaid our Acting Classes start on Saturday April 6th. We have classes for 6-10 year olds where the kids get the basics in acting, including improv, theatre games and basic technique. Our acting classes focus on developing self-confidence. Self confidence is an important tool for acting. Acting can help shy kids develop socially and performance-wise. We write a script for the kids which involves every child in the class equally. The parts are specially written for the ability and personality of the kids.

We have classes for 11-12 year olds which helps to further develop a child's talent. This is a safe environment for these kids to learn their craft as their class mates are a ready-made and supportive audience for each other. The play that is written for them is a more sophisticated piece written in collaboration with the kids.

Our class for teens is a far more technically demanding class where vocal and physical technique is emphasized. The teens may work on well-known scripts or on a play that they themselves have helped create. Socially theatre is a wonderful experience for teens, a place where they can express themselves. Here, teens get to meet other teens who share the same interests.

We provide a child with the ability to have fun in the performing arts, or if they are interested, we can offer professional advice about the things required to make the performing arts a career.

Anne Marie Mortensen works for the Ontario Arts Council as an educator in the schools. Anne Marie recently directed Fiddler on the Roof for the Meistersingers and The Little Mermaid for Bottle Tree Productions. Charles Robertson has written four award-winning plays and his plays have been produced in Canada, the United States and Australia. Charles recently directed The Sound of Music for Bottle Tree Productions.

To register for acting classes please go to Spring acting classes-2013






Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Little Mermaid-First Time in Kingston

Rehearsal Footage



Maddy MacVicar, Mariah McDaniels and Anne Marie Mortensen talk about our upcoming production of Disney's The Little Mermaid. This Disney musical was just made available for theatre companies, and we are pleased to offer it for the first time in Kingston.

COGECO came and filmed some interviews and some of our musical rehearsals. The show is a product of our musical theatre class and it opens Friday March 29th at L'Octave Theatre at 711 Dalton Avenue. Curtis Brunet from COGECO interviewed some of the cast members and the director and took some footage of the kids working on songs from the show.

The Little Mermaid is a Disney Jr production which means that no one over the age of 18 can perform in the show. Disney does this so that the kids that love seeing the Disney shows can also participate in them. Its a great opportunity for young people to star in something as well known as the Little Mermaid.

Easter weekend, take your kids to this highly entertaining show. Our kids have put a lot of work into the show and it should be an amazing experience.

Show times are Firday March 29th at 2 pm and 7 pm and then Saturday March 30th at 2 pm and 7 pm.

Tickets are only $12.

You can purchase tickets at the door or online at Purchase Tickets Online at Bottle Tree Productions







Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Paid acting job for female 18-30, Kingston

We are looking for an a female actor for an all day job in Hamilton on Wednesday March 20th. Pay is 200 dollars. Transport, accommodation and meals included. The role is as part of a married couple looking for a job with Homestead Land Holdings as a superintendent. There will be a two hour training session. There are 4 actors going up from Kingston. Details have yet to be finalized. Contact us at c.robertson (at) bottletreeinc (dot) com

There will be two roles to play for you as actor. One role would be as the ideal candidate and the other would be as a less successful candidate. Homestead Landholdings is using actors to test the hiring practices of their managers. It is a newly developed interview technique that is considered behavioral in method.

We have already done one of these interview session in Kingston at Homestead's head office and the actors had a lot of fun.

If you are interested please contact us at c.robertson (at) bottletreeinc (dot) com

Thursday, March 7, 2013

April 6th/2013 Kingston Acting Classes

Bottle Tree's Acting Classes start up again at St Andrews Presbyterian Church in downtown Kingston at 130 Clergy St East on April 6th for kids and teens. 6-10 year-olds can enroll in the 9:30-10:30 am class. 11-12 year olds can enroll in the 10:30-12 noon class. And teens from 13 up can enroll in the 1-2:30 class. Adult classes will occur Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30 pm.

Bottle Tree Productions Musical Theatre Class Show


Our classes involve warm-ups, improv and scenes or original scripts. Anne Marie Mortensen is a registered Educator in the Arts with the Ontario Arts Council. Charles Robertson has been involved in all facets of theatre for many years.

Our classes are a safe place for kids to learn drama, to develop self-confidence, to learn to speak clearly and effectively, to develop the potential within.

Each child or adult that wants to get better will get better.

When we do our major productions such as Sound of Music, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and others that we are involved with like Fiddler on the Roof and Oliver!, we like to take actors that have worked with us previously and that includes giving special consideration to the kids, teens and adults that have taken our acting classes.

When we do one of our major productions we stress that importance of the team. Theatre is a collaborative effort and everyone has to be pulling in the same direction in order for the production to work. We stress the team atmosphere, the family atmosphere in our classes.

Our classes are also a great way for like-minded people to get together and share common interests.  Parents of kids in our acting classes often say that finally, here is a place where other kids 'get their kids'. They all understand each other and where they're coming from. It is a place where kids can finally be themselves.

We make sure that our acting classes are bully-free.

For further information about our Acting Classes please go to April 6th Acting Classes


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pretty Pieces at the Screening Room

The Film Adaptation of Charles' play Pretty Pieces opens at The Screening Room on March 10th. Local film maker; Leigh Ann  Bellamy had acted in the play when Bottle Tree Productions produced it in Kingston, Toronto and Halifax. It is a play full of darkness. Pretty Pieces is about two people who could have had another life, a beautiful life, but their lives are shattered by something that happened to them in the past. Their past prevents them from getting on with their lives. They are broken. Like pretty pieces of broken glass. Interestingly enough; Zorba Dravillas, who starred opposite Leigh Ann in Charles' original production is starring is in another movie running along side Pretty Pieces, directed by Brent Nurse and filmed by Curtis Campsall called Funny Thing About Coffee.

Show times and dates are Sunday March 10th at 7 pm and Monday March 11th at 9 pm.


Pretty Pieces is having its world premiere in a night of three new short films by local film makes, 
'All three movies take you on a dark journey through the minds of their characters, leaving you never knowing where things will end up. The third, "The Collider”, is a sci-fi thriller looking at what happens when the Collider is turned on and a tragic accident happens. What follows is a harrowing journey of one man’s survival.' Screening Room.
Bellamy; who stars in the film, has starred as Juliet in Charles' production in the park of Romeo and Juliet and Ophelia in his production of Hamlet at the Wellington Street Theatre.
Zorba Dravillas; who stars in Funny Thing About Coffee, has appeared in a number of plays directed by Charles. Zorba is a very talented actor.

Kingston seems to have a very active independent movie scene. With cameras being affordable now and editing suites falling in price, alongside Kingston's very vibrant theatre scene, you have the makings of a burgeoning creative hub for indy films.

For more information about these three films and what is happening at The Screening Room please go to The Screening Room



Saturday, February 16, 2013

Young Kingstonians star in Disney's Little Mermaid

Bottle Tree Productions brings Disney's beloved Little Mermaid to life on stage at L'Octave Theatre Friday March 29th at 2 pm and 7 pm and Saturday March 30th at 2 pm and 7 pm. Tickets cost $12, including hst, L'Octave Theatre is located out on Dalton Avenue off of Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard near the 401. From the team that brought you The Sound of Music, Oliver and Fiddler on the Roof comes the wonderful watery world welling up from the imaginations of the great creators at Disney.

By show time, 20 local kids will have spent ten weeks mastering their craft and honing their skills. Learning to act, sing and dance, these kids will leave the theatre on closing night having accomplished much. It is important for a cast to pull together and become a team. And this cast has  done that. They have supported each other and because of that each young actor has grown in ability and confidence.

Based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy-tale of the same name; The Little Mermaid follows the adventures of Ariel the mermaid with the beautiful voice. With her best friend;  Flounder she heads to the surface to collect human artifacts. They visit the seagull Scuttle. Scuttle is a self-styled mis-informed expert on Humans. During a storm, Ariel saves the handsome human Prince Eric from drowning and she falls in love. She wishes she were human, too and could walk among the humans. She wished she had feet instead of fins. She finds an unexpected ally in Ursula the Sea Witch who will make her human in exchange for her voice. Disney creates a magical world under the sea with the faithful Flounder, the entertaining Sebastian and the friendly sea gull; Scuttle. There is a host of imaginatively created characters with wonderful songs such as Part of Your World, Under the Sea, and She's in Love.

The audience cannot help but be moved by this very energetic and talented young cast of local performers, as they breathe life into this Disney classic




Buy Tickets

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Award winning television writers finish second and third in One Act Play Competition


Do television writers make good playwrights? The results of Bottle Tree Productions One Act Play Competition for Writers 2012 would seem to suggest so. Seth Freeman took second place in Bottle Tree's play writing competition. James Harmon Brown finished third. 

From reading their plays, two things become apparent. One is that nothing hones a writer's skill like continual practice. The right words fall into place when you learn to write under tight schedules and under strict guidelines. There's nothing like a deadline. Two; is that television writing with its obvious differences from theatre writing, has to contend with very different visual rules. You can't shoot a closeup in theatre. You have to manufacture the effect of a closeup in other ways. You can't switch locations quickly in theatre. The world of theatre is more dependent on words though than television is. Television is more of a visual medium. However, the rules of good writing for the theatre, namely good dialogue, apply equally to television. We look at these characters from the outside, revelation only elicited through words, actions and the skill of the vast team that supports either medium. Good television is hard work and the artists that work in that medium have often worked in theatre as well. Both theatre and television require great amounts of skill and a great degree of sacrifice and hard work.

Eighty-Two; The first prize winner is a tender look at an ex-ball player in his eighties living by himself in New York. Guilford Blake is a master craftsman in the dramatic medium. Evan has won 39 play writing competitions.

Imperfectly Frank is Seth Freeman's Bollywood trip through Toronto. A very funny look at arranged marriages in modern Canada. Seth has won three Prime Time Emmy awards and a Writer's Guild award. He is also a prolific playwright.

The third place winner Close Your Eyes by James Harmon Brown is a very funny, very insightful, very touching look at mortality. James won a Daytime Emmy for Guiding Light.

The thing that unites these three American writers is their skill with words and they have won numerous awards over the years because of that skill. 

To find out more information please go to Bottle Tree Productions One Act Competition for Writers







Saturday, January 26, 2013

Finalists for Bottle Tree Productions One Act Competition for Writers 2012.

Bottle Tree Productions is pleased to announce its announce its 12 finalists for the 2012 playwriting competition. Next week, we will announce the first, second and third place winners.

Last year we decided to announce a larger list than we had previously, at least a top ten list of finalists because so many good plays that were submitted did not get the recognition that they deserved. All of these plays are worthy of being winners-so this is our way of acknowledging the great writing out there. Keep it up guys.

Surprised by Snails by Charlie Richards
Close your Eyes by James Harmon Brown
Welcome Home by Geoffrey Craig
Box O Thoughts by Le Ann Dowd
Eighty-Two by Evan Guilford-Blake
Imperfectly Frank by Seth Freeman
A Nice Girl by Dave Pescod
Stalled by Eugenie Carabatsos
Out of Water by Anthony MacMahon
Everywhere I go People are Smiling by Greg Gasawski
Collaboration by Leigh Hunt
Catwalk by Angela Wye