Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fall Acting Classes, PLUS Musical Theatre (Dancing and Singing), and Technical Theatre!

It's that time again--FALL-- and a new term of acting training for Kingston children and youth.

We are always considering what is needed in the community for training young people to become confident contributors to theatre and we have developed three new courses to help round-out our offering to the next generation of artists and practitioners.

Young actors rehearsing.
Singing for Musical Theatre takes a group approach to vocal class and is intended for a chorus of girls and boys with unbroken voices. We take ages 9-16 (boys likely a younger top end). Our Music Director, Darrell Bryan, teaches correct, safe vocal technique to improve the voice and to keep it healthy for life. Terrific class for  young people to gain confidence through correct technique and practise. Pitch-matching is important to this course, as it is a group endeavour. We retain the option to excuse students who are not able to match tones ("I will play this note, and you sing it back to me.") and will offer an appropriate refund or the option to transfer to a different class.  *If you would like us to test for pitch-matching before you enrol, please email a.mortensen@bottletreeinc.com and we can set up a time to get together.

Dancing for Musical Theatre trains those who may not necessarily have a dance background, but find that they need something to help with musical theatre auditions and performances. This class will boost confidence and understanding of dance terminology, and give your young thespian practise in dancing.

Technical Theatre is an upper-year course, training youth in the non-performance aspects of theatrical productions. Students will learn basic to intermediate costuming, lighting, sound, set and props design and creation, including safe use of tools and equipment. They will have access to and training on sound and lighting boards, hand tools, sewing machines, and video and sound recording and editing equipment.  There is also a stage management aspect to the course, as we take the class through managing a production from the ground up. The course covers three terms, and is paid in three installments. Once completed, the students will have an intermediate knowledge of the practical aspects of costuming, lighting, sound, set and props design and of stage management techniques. They will have been exposed to theoretical aspects of design, they will be able to put their ideas on paper, and they will be given the opportunity to execute their designs. This course is for middle to high school students (grade 8-12).

All of our courses culminate in term performances (every ten weeks). Actors need audiences!

Classes start Saturday Sept 23. Our class performances are on Saturday Dec. 2 at the Grand Theatre in the Baby Grand.  Winter Term begins after the Winter Break.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

CASTING NOTICE POSTED - Non-Union, Paid, Full-TIme Seasonal

Bottle Tree Productions has partnered with the Saint Lawrence Parks Commission to provide theatrical programming pertaining to the cusp of the Confederation of Canada. We are thrilled to be able to provide full-time, seasonal employment for five actors between May and August this year, and we are accepting submissions until March 25.
Our casting notice is posted in full on our website, here. If you can rehearse as a Kingston Ontario local starting in mid-May, and are willing to travel with us to Morrisburg for site-specific, immersive theatre this may be the job for you.
In a nutshell, we are looking for two males who can play between 18-35 years old, one man and one woman who can play between 35-55 and one female to play between 18-25. You must be aged 18 or over to submit for these roles.
For more information, and how to submit, read the casting notice on our website. We look forward to your submission!


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

No Small Parts: in Praise of Big Acting

It is challenging to cast a play. There are probably two larger roles (Romeo and Juliet), some supporting roles (Tybalt, Friar Laurence, Nurse), and some smaller roles and bit parts (Peter, Gregory, Sampson), and you are dealing with human beings who are hoping for a 'lead'. Sometimes, actors will equate their self-worth with the size of the roles that they are given. Sometimes, they will be upset that a director clearly did not see the talent that was before her, and they will be unhappy with  a 'bit part'.

 "There are no small parts - only small actors." Stanislavski knew that the roles were not small - but the acting in them sometimes caused the role to shrink. We like to pair his quote with this rule of thumb, "The smaller the role, the bigger you can be."

While we could not tolerate an entire play where Romeo was as exaggerated as Gregory or Sampson - played well, played BIG - those actors get noticed for the right reasons. They are fresh and different and they bring a different energy to the stage. They can be played as noteworthy.

Take a look at the young man in this video. He has a tiny teeny little role that he didn't even audition for. He has the same role as the other Celts fans, but they do not see their opportunity to play it big. He does.

People remember the performer who fully embraces his role.