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Occurs on Saturday June 1 2024

All Day Event


Morpheus Rehearsal Centre
3512 - 5th Avenue NW
Lower Level
Calgary AB T2N 0V7

Play Notes

× Design and the Director

A one day, introductory exploration of theatrical design for the director. Learn how to collaborate with your creative team to create the physical world of the play! We’ll examine how each aspect of design can help to tell the story; how to read a script for design; prepping to meet the designer(s); and even get our hands dirty with a little prelim design project of our own!

1. Beyond the obvious: How (each aspect of) theatrical design contributes to theatrical story-telling.
2. The director prepares: how to read the play for design and get ready to meet your designer.

3. Design in practice: Create a prelim design for a provided text.

Based in Calgary, Vanessa is a theatre maker who has spent over twenty years working with new Canadian plays in various directorial and dramaturgical capacities. Her practice is rooted in directing plays and opera. Lately, Vanessa’s trajectory has expanded to include filmmaking, writing, translation, teaching, and arts consulting.

In the past year, she directed Venus & Adonis… and the Rest of Us and the public reading/sing-through of Grant Tilly’s The Book of Joan, both with the SCPA at the University of Calgary; Richard III starring Bruce Horak at The Shakespeare Company and The Replacement by Clem Martini at Seniors Acting Lab, both in Calgary. She attended the Banff Playwrights Lab to translate Evelyne de la Chenelière’s play A cause du soleil, a response to The Stranger by Albert Camus, and made her second short narrative film, Things I know to be True. She is shopping a third film script, My Witch, and has a treatment and act one of a full-length screenplay.

Selected directing highlights: co-creating and directing The Yuletide Sessions, an online concert film for Calgary Opera; the world premiere in English of To the Light by Evelyne de la Chenelière, translated by John Murrell (Alberta Theatre Projects); the English language world premiere of Christina The Girl King by Michel Marc Bouchard, translated by Linda Gaboriau (Stratford Festival); the world premiere of Gracie by Joan MacLeod (Belfry Theatre/ATP); and The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (ATP, Arts Club Theatre).

Writing collabs include co-writing and directing the world premieres of The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan (ATP, twice, FTA-off, and a tour,) and Pinocchio by The Old Trout Puppet Workshop (ATP, Magnetic North Theatre Festival); and co-writing the libretto for David Rhymer’s world premiere musical Why Freud Fainted (ATP).

This summer she will undertake a research trip for her first novel, Hole in the Torso.

Vanessa is an MFA Candidate in Creative Writing at UBC -- Optional Residency, where she was recently awarded a SSHRC grant to fund a novel, Tala and the Ghosts. For almost a decade she has taught directing and other theatre practices at the School For Contemporary and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary.

From 2009 - 2017, Vanessa was Artistic Director at Alberta Theatre Projects in Calgary, after a decade as the company’s dramaturg. She is a member of CAEA, LMDA, CGDC, and an individual member of PACT.

Saturday June 1, 10:00am - 5:00pm

PRICE: $50

Morpheus Rehearsal Centre (3512 5 Avenue NW, Lower Level), Studio B

This workshop is presented at this low cost in the spirit of community theatre. This Workshop is sponsored by Theatre Alberta with funding from The Alberta Foundation for the Arts as part of the ‘Workshops by Request: Hometown Series’

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