Andrew G. Cooper
Mary and Max: The Musical at Theatre Calgary
I made it to Calgary.
The move from Kamloops itself was quite easy, I just loaded up everything I could fit into my Mazda 3 and drove across the Rocky Mountains. I've been in Calgary for about two weeks now and I'm still living out of boxes and unpacking and getting settled.
"Why?" Thank you for asking imaginary reader.
It's because after opening Padova: The Untold Story and Escape From Padova with Tranquille Tunnel Theatre in Kamloops on September 1st, I had one day to load up and move, one day to get into my new basement suite, and then on September 4th I started rehearsals for the world premiere of Mary and Max: The Musical at Theatre Calgary!
I'm so in love with this show already. The music and lyrics are beautiful, the book is fierce, all the performers are lovely and talented, and the creative team is amazing. Assisting on this show so far has been a dream come true and I'm very excited to continue to help it grow and come to life.
How did all this come about? Well, this season I have two main focuses for myself as an artist. The first is to develop myself as a puppeteers and explore as much as I can about puppetry. (Wait until you hear about the show I'm helping create in Kamloops this winter!) The second is to assistant direct with multiple theatres and directors around Western Canada to learn and grow as an theatre director. With this second goal in mind, I applied for the TC Mentors program at Theatre Calgary this past spring. I was delighted when I heard the news that I was chosen for the project I submitted for.
I chose Mary and Max because I love musical theatre and have a passion for new work. It seemed like the perfect fit for me and I was really excited to mentor under Stafford Arima, Theatre Calgary's new Artistic Director. Articles like this and this about him have just made me more excited about learning from him and so far (two weeks into rehearsal) I've learned a lot from his knowledgeable and respectful way of directing and leading a production.
I was also delighted to hear about the casting (which was announced in Playbill) and that the show won the Critic's Prize from Germany's MUT awards (read about that in Broadway World). And so far, all the superstars in the cast and the now award-winning play are really making magic happen in the rehearsal room and I'm very excited to be a part of it.
If you're in Calgary (or Alberta, or Western Canada), come and watch this amazing show at Theatre Calgary next month. It's running October 16th to November 11th, 2018 at the Max Bell Theatre.
You can find more information about the show here: https://www.theatrecalgary.com/2018-19/mary-and-max
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