Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A New Christmas Memory

Artistic Director Heather Dick formed the Sirius Theatrical Company in 1989 and, based in the Toronto neighbourhood of Mimico, the company produces plays and trains young and old to participate in the theatre.  Last year I participated in a play writing workshop with the company in conjunction with the project Forgotten Voices: Beyond the Conflict of the War of 1812.  It was a pleasure to confer, converse and otherwise hob-nob with my fellow writers in the flesh.  It was an even greater kick to hear my words spoken by genuine actors who were involved in the concurrently running acting workshop.

Recently, Sirius celebrated their third annual reading of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol as a fund raiser for the company and an opportunity to collect food for the outreach program of a local church.  At loose ends this holiday season, I mulled over the opportunity of attending the performance when I saw a Facebook notice for auditions for readers.  Hey, I can read!  In fact, in my younger years I used to read Dickens' Mr. Pickwick's Christmas to my younger sisters until someone got the bright idea of hiding the book. 

Chris Kelk, Fran Raymond, director Heather Dick, Alex Strauss
Patricia Nolan-Hall, Caitlin Robson, David Cairns
Carolers: Kathleen Molto, Margaret Kurek, Glen Molto, Jaime Redford
Christa Weber (hostess, clarinet), Jane Ubertino (cello)
My red sweater has been in the closet for years waiting for a night out.

It was my happy privilege to be one of six presenters of this most popular of Christmas stories this past Saturday, December 7th.  Please, no jokes about a date that will live in infamy.  A small and talented group of musicians and singers provided lovely carols and the story was related so thrillingly by the assembled actors that, even as a participant, I felt as if I were hearing the story of Ebenezer Scrooge for the very first time.

Niece Lenny, with the hoisting help of my daughter Janet, meets the cast

The evening was an opportunity for all of the Nolan girls, even those offspring whose names are Hall and Clayton + my hubby to get together and enjoy some holiday cheer.  Brother-in-law Jim Clayton had an out-of-town gig.  One thing must be distinctly understood about the Nolan girls + the hubby; they are snobs.  They are great big theatre snobs, and they showed up because I was there and the location was convenient.  Well, those great big theatre snobs had the time of their lives.  

While there is much to admire in the diverse aspects of stagecraft, Sirius Theatrical Company's A Christmas Carol was a reminder that to create effective and entertaining theatre all that is required is a compelling story and committed storytellers.  We have a beautiful new Christmas memory.


  1. I took a playwriting class in college. We'd write scenes and then recruit each other to act out our scenes. I fiddled around with some Twilight Zone-inspired material in addition to some straight dramatic stuff. While it was fun, playwriting never stuck with me. I was always more interested in the acting side of things instead, which is why I also took acting classes, both in and out of school. Haven't acted in anything in awhile, but that could just be because I haven't found the right role...

  2. Rich, it's been a while since I did any acting and I had forgotten how very satisfying that creative process can be. Maybe, as happened for me, the Fates will bring you and a role together.



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