ARTSMARTS – Janis La Couvée

Year begins with a blitz

In January we welcome the New Year, and sally forth, full of good intentions and resolutions. If one of your goals is to make the arts an ongoing part of your life, you’ll be pleased to see the wide variety of events available.

Opening a month brimming with theatre, music, dance and celebrations is a very special project commissioned by the Belfry Theatre, Home Is A Beautiful Word (Jan. 7-19).  Playwright/journalist Joel Bernbaum spent over a year interviewing hundreds of people and then edited these conversations into a verbatim play, a portrait of homelessness in our community. It will move and challenge you. belfry.bc.ca

Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre presents Ignorance by the Old Trout Puppet Workshop (Jan. 7-19) a puppet documentary about cavemen and the evolution of bliss. Where did happiness come from, and where did it go? It’s been almost seven years since the Old Trouts have been to Victoria. This is puppetry like you have never seen before. TicketRocket.org

If, like me, you’d like to learn how to think on your feet, or make off-the-cuff presentations, workshops by master improviser Dave Morris will be of interest. Classes for beginners and more advanced students start Jan. 12. davemorrisisa.com.

After the hubbub of the holiday season, I crave quiet and introspection. Over the past year, regular visits to A Place to Listen concerts (founded by Daniel Brandes) have helped me achieve this. Vancouver-based flutist Mark McGregor performs besandro el tiempo Jan. 15 at James Bay United Church. Take time to become immersed in the experience of now. aplacetolisten.tumblr.com.

From quiet to incredibly raucous; from present-day Victoria to Berlin in the 1930s, Langham Court Theatre presents Cabaret Jan. 15-Feb. 1. This classic of modern theatre is provocative, sexy and chilling. I saw snippets at an art showcase in September. LanghamTheatre.ca.

Two of my favourite theatre companies, both masters of sketch, comedy and improv – Launch Pad Productions and Paper Street Theatre Company – have joined forces to create The Half Time Show (half scripted and half-spontaneous) and the theme is a mystery. Two companies, two styles of comedy, one hell-of-a-night, case closed. Jan. 17-18 at Intrepid Theatre Club. bringingyouthestars.com.

Theatre SKAM is finally legal, and celebrates its 19th year with games, prizes, live music by Mike Demers & Waves of Daves, and the world-famous SKAMraffle! Theatre SKAM Birthday Bash Jan. 18. skam.ca

Do you have a writing project sitting on the backburner, or an idea for a movie that has been gathering dust? Local screenwriters Brian Paisley and Keith Digby offer decades of experience, including in features and thrillers. They present a Weekend Blitz Screenwriting Workshop Jan. 24-26 at Cinevic. digby_keith@hotmail.com for more information and to apply. westcoastscreenwriting.com.

Dance Days (Jan. 23-Feb. 8), now in its fifth year, becomes a festival with Night Moves (Feb. 6-8).  One of the evenings is dedicated to BOUNCE Around the Building Jan. 25, an evening of short performances throughout Dance Victoria headquarters. The festival features new dance works, studio showings, discussions, demonstrations and free dance classes. DanceVictoria.com.

Winterlab Theatre Festival by Intrepid Theatre returns for a second year Jan. 24-Feb. 1 with an array of work designed to stretch the imagination. Bookended by a launch and farewell party, Winterlab also has a puppet and live action adventure for the whole family. IntrepidTheatre.com.

Janis La Couvée is a community builder, writer and arts advocate. She is incredibly grateful to be the audience. In 2013 Janis was recognized with an M Award as Biggest Supporter of Local Theatre.

 

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