ARTSMARTS – Janis La Couvée

Spooky offerings round out the fall

Community builder, writer and arts advocate Janis La Couvee

October is one of the busiest months in the arts with an incredible number of dance, opera and musical productions happening throughout the Capital Region.

During the summer I volunteer for the Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival, and was intrigued to learn about Shakespeare Onstage Offstage, a six-week community celebration of the Bard starting Sept. 10 with exhibits and special events (many free) to engage youth and adults. Highlights include Pacific Opera Victoria’s presentation of Verdi’s opera Falstaff, and Ann-Marie Macdonald’s play Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) at the Belfry Theatre. Online at internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/onstageoffstage.

I was originally introduced to the choreography and work of ballet dancer Amanda Gray at Treena Stubel’s Bounce Dance Cabaret. Gray and Ashley Evans founded Ballet Étoile last year. During the summer I attended Summer Musings, a well-rounded program of short dance numbers at Muse Winery. This fall, they bring La Boutique Fantasque, the whimsical story of a magical toy shop where dolls come to life and are swept into all kinds of mischief, to the theatre at Berwick Royal Oak, Oct. 4 and 5. TicketRocket.org.

Both the Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA) and the University of Victoria Phoenix Theatre allow audiences to catch young performers at the start of their careers. I love following their development and successes – from school to stages locally and across Canada.

Company C enables year III students at CCPA to become a collaborative theatrical collective. Guided by guest directors, they mount three fall productions and are responsible for every aspect of the performances from set, costume and lighting design to marketing and fundraising. Join them Oct. 4-6 for the smash Broadway comedy Lend Me A Tenor, directed by Julie McIsaac. Tickets CCPACanada.com

The Phoenix Theatre at UVic begins its season every year with an Alumni Spotlight (Oct 17-26), this year featuring Ingrid Hansen and Rod Peter Jr. in Kitt and Jane, a Survival Guide for the Post-Apocalyptic Future. Hansen and Peter are engaging and zany in this quirky take on a teenager’s view of the state of the world. I’ve seen this work during development and highly recommend it to families with teens. Tickets through UVic’s Phoenix Theatre.

If you’re a fan of fantasty, improv or Dungeons and Dragons, you’ll want to take note – the second iteration of An Improvised Dungeons and Dragons returns to the Intrepid Theatre Club Oct. 11 and 12. Originally presented at the YOU Show this spring, the inaugural event sold out. Victoria’s finest improvisers (including members of Paper Street Theatre’s Pick of the Fringe-awarded An Improvised Quentin Tarrantino) return in this improvised theatrical adaptation of the fantasy adventure game. TicketRocket.org.

Spooky theatrical treats abound this year.  Dracula – The Blood is the Life returns to Craigdarroch Castle Oct 23-31. First presented in 2012 to sell-out crowds it’s sure to be very popular. TheCastle.ca.

Atomic Vaudeville’s Fall Cabaret is the stuff of legends – creepy, dark and gory (don’t sit near the front with good clothes on), Oct. 25, 26, 31, Nov. 2. If you’re expecting to go on Halloween night, get tickets now. TicketRocket.org.

Celebrate 40 years of the world’s most beloved rock n’ roll musical as Kaleidoscope Theatre presents Rocky Horror Show Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. There will be plenty of costume-clad audience members for this night of fun and frivolity.

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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