"I need a jolt"

Off the Rails #3
by Mary Beach

Summer 2016 for Railtown Actors Studio provided nothing less than a much-needed jolt to the system. While the rest of B.C. lay on the beach and drank in the pub, we survived the breakdowns and breakthroughs that inform the creative experience.

First up: Railtown celebrated its fourth birthday. It was a fateful day that Kate invited John Cassini to partner up and offer the serious training that Vancouver continues to be hungry for.  Four years on, the two are still taking their students to the edge and back every single class.

It’s no wonder that word on the street is “when you’re ready to get serious, go to Railtown.”

Piercey Dalton and Ty Wood, Hand to God by Robert Askins (Summer 2016)

Piercey Dalton and Ty Wood, Hand to God by Robert Askins (Summer 2016)

“You don’t know what I can take.”

After working day and night mixing sound for The Orchard, Kate Twa went right to the theatre, to begin the two-week Railtown summer intensive. “Intensive” is a bit of an understatement for this two-week professional training course led by Kate with special guest instructors John Cassini and Dr. Iris MacGregor-Bannerman. Working eight hours every day, sixteen brave souls analyzed texts, took risks and let the story move through them. All the hard work exploded into the black box theatre for three sold out nights in late July.

Saige Carlson, FJ Van Wyk, Kaiden Berge & Khadija Amina, Untitled #2 (Fall 2016)

Saige Carlson, FJ Van Wyk, Kaiden Berge & Khadija Amina, Untitled #2 (Fall 2016)

Untitled 1 Formatted and directed by Lauren McGibbon and performed by Lauren McGibbon and Martin Hallat

Untitled 2, Created and Directed by Bryan Demore, with dramaturge Amy Lee Lavoie, Cast: Alex Santos, Caitlin Fysh, FJ Mensah, Kaiden Berge, Khadija Amina, Saige Carlson

“Timewasters, don’t bother me.”

The Railtown Lab Untitled Series comes on strong in August with fresh and original work by Bryan Demore and Lauren McGibbon. Demore kicked off the evening by thanking John and Kate and saying the evening would be sort of “ like listening to a friend’s demo CD -- in a cool way.” And it was, very cool. In McGibbon’s piece, she and Hallat  improvised a love story with the help of details from audience members. Bryan Demore’s Untitled 2 used Craigslist (shockingly real) personal ads to paint a funny and twisted stage portrait of loneliness in the age of devices.

 

Mary Beach