Graduates of the Canadian College of Performing Arts are treading the boards with two shows in one.
Alumni of the school have created a unique two-act show called Double Bill Triple Threat which features Art Isn’t Easy: A Musical Review, a review-style show about struggling artists trying to find their way in the world and The Blind Pig, a retelling of Shakespeare’s 12th Night, set in prohibition era featuring the music of Fats Waller.
2002 grad R.J. Peters directs The Blind Pig. “I’m the oldest alumni in the cast and on the creative team,” says the 35-year-old who now teaches at the college. “I’m originally from Alberta, stayed here eight years, then moved to Toronto and came back her to teach at the college.”
The entire cast and crew, from the pianist to the set designer are graduates of the college that provides training in a broad spectrum of skills which prepare the students for careers in the performance arts locally, nationally or internationally.
“It’s a brand new venture for us, we’re pretty excited about it,” says Peters. “The idea is to have a company available when people call and ask for run outs.”
Run outs are short performances given during larger events for corporations, at senior’s centres, or schools, Peters explains.
“It’s really fun. We went through the audition process and the dance call. It’s been nice to hang out with everybody. We’ve got a good mix, from somebody who just graduated to myself at the other end of the spectrum.
“It’s turned into a bit of a mentorship project as well. We share a common experience, it bonds us together. This morning at rehearsal we joked that we were going to start with Jacques Lemay’s work out – it was torturous, we were glad to forgo it,” he says with a laugh. “The school is a unique experience. It’s very grueling and emotionally draining, that we share that experience brings us together right away.”
The two-45 minute performances showcase the talent of the alumni, including well-known jazz singer Sarah Carlé and music director Brad L’Écuyer.
“We’re doing a trial year as a company to see if we can make it work. It’s to promote the college and let people know what’s going on in Oak Bay. That’s the intent, we hope it’s successful so we can keep doing it,” Peters says.
May 29/30, June 5/6, 12/13