WE’RE GOING TO FESTIVAL

Posted: February 25, 2007 in Theatre
Tags: ,

The Guelph Little Theatre production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” is has been selected for the Western Ontario Drama League‘s Festival during March Break!!

This has been an amazing experience. I have to admit, when Lloyd Lindsay (our director) first asked me to be a part of this production, I was a little reluctant. But I am so glad I said , “Yes.”

I have long wanted to be a part of a production of “Death of a Salesman.” I think I was one of only a handful of kids back in high school who ‘got it’ when the teacher tried to explain it’s significance. There are some plays that just define what theatre is all about and what it accomplishes beyond mere entertainment. “Death of a Salesman” is one such play.

I knew as we went through the process we were putting together a fine production. — our selection to Festival confirms it. There is a wealth of talent to be found here that is exceeded only by the dedication that accompanies it.

I want to take the time to thank the entire cast and crew for what has proven to be an incredible learning experience for me. At over 50 years of age I am learning more and more just how much I have yet to learn. My gratitude and admiration goes out especially to the ‘tech support’ team I was so privileged to be a part of..

Gary ChapmanTechnical Director/Master Carpenter – having someone else who spoke ‘my language’ around made being the rookie a lot easier. Gary – you’re the best.

Greg InsleyProducer – This former ‘sound guy’ has certainly found his true calling as a producer. Thanks Greg for your incredible support. (And yes.. I still have two computers.)

Ruth ConnorStage manager – I’ve been away from theatre for nearly two decades, but you made me feel like I never left. Thank you.

Lynn ChapmanSet Decor/Properties – Definitely the hardest working person I have ever met. It tires me out just thinking about how much work you do. Amazing!

Lynn FisherDramaturge/Costume Design – Every night as I came into the theatre, I was met by your lovely smile and a warm greeting that always made me feel like I belonged. Thank you so much.

Anna Graham & Anthony “Pooch” BrownLighting Design – Watching the two of you paint the set with light was a joy to behold. Thanks Pooch for your help as well solving a few technical challenges. You guys are terrific!

Davian HartLighting Operator – I really enjoyed working with you in the booth, Davian. Every time I hear someone of my generation complain about ‘kids these days’ I’m going to point them in your direction. Now we just have to sort out what music we’re playing in the hotel in Sarnia. Jazz vs Heavy metal – tough choice!

Andreen Harwood Costume Design , Kelly InsleyProperties , Deb WoodwardHair & Makeup , Paul CheesmanAssistant Stage Manager – I didn’t work with you folks directly, what with you being backstage and me up in the booth (thought thanks for keeping an eye on the back stage amps Kelly), but I did get to see see the results of your efforts and your dedication to your crafts. It was also great to hear your stories about your experiences in the theatre. You guys are amazing!

Lloyd LindsayDirector/Mentor/Friend – Lloyd, there are those who consider me a fairly articulate person, but somehow I lack the words. It’s been a great ride Lloyd! Thanks ever so much for inviting me along. God bless you!

I could not write about this without saying something to the cast of “Death of a Salesman.” I want the thirteen of you to know that you made my job one of the most difficult times I have ever spent behind a sound board. Take it easy – that’s actually a compliment.

Watching you people perform was amazing! Even after ten shows and I don’t know how many rehearsals you still managed to grab hold of both my mind and my heart and made me want to just sit there and watch. Usually it’s boredom and repetition that gets in the way of my job. Not with you folks! I would have given anything to spend just one performance sitting in the audience enjoying the experience. Thank you so much. You are a credit to your craft.

I’ll avoid the impossible task of picking favorites by thanking you in order of appearance..

Gerry ButtsWillie Loman – You tore my heart out Gerry!

Liz (Stokes) PoultonLinda Loman – More than once Liz — I cried.

Rob Gray ‘Happy’ Loman – (no relation) – Though I’d be proud if you were!

Adam Waxman Biff Loman – Someday, I just know I’ll be turning to someone and saying, “You know, I worked with him once!”

John LicariBernard – Actor and musician, you are a substantial talent John. I’m a fan.

Tracey KenyonThe Woman – The “Other Woman” is an oft underrated role. No one will ever underrate your talent. Well done!

Jim MonaghanCharley – Thanks Jim, you’re sense of humour was quite often just what I needed. – A salesman doing “Salesman” – what a concept.

Paul DuncanUncle Ben – From that first day reading through the script I knew you’d be great ‘Ben’. I wasn’t wrong – well done!

Ken CameronHoward – “Authentic” sounding recordings are one thing Ken, authentic performances are another. Thanks for the authenticity you brought to the stage.

Mary LillicoJenny/Waitress – Some people’s contribution goes well beyond what happens on stage – so it is with you. You often brightened my day, Thanks Mary.

Ryan KotackStanley – Ryan, I know I need unique New York. I also need to see more of your work in future. Great job!

Liz GallagherMiss Forsythe – Will you accept a compliment from a stranger? You ought to be on stage. Oh wait – you have been! Told ya Stanley!

Kimberley YoungLetta – The best dressed cordless power drill operator I’ve ever met. Pretty good actress too! Congrats.

If I’ve missed anyone please understand it wasn’t for lack of trying. This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I thanks to you all for your part in it.

See you in Sarnia!!

Dennis Gray

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