re: mass audience, give example of Rideau show where people asked, is this suitable for children, - re: mass audience – intellectual level/ ease of following the story – you have to appeal to the lowest denominator when there’s a story, so for people who are quicker to catch on, can seem a bit mundane Props – pistol story (calling US), jack in the box, accordian At Laurier House we perform on the terrace At the Rideau and at festivals, we didn’t have the capacity to provide chairs, so people, if they did not bring their own, sat on the grass Passersby – we like to think we are so engaging that people won’t just walk by but… i.e. a Francophone will walk by – the actors are professional enough that they don’t let that disturb them Battling the elements – actors do vocal warmups – be vigilant about this Lack of technology – in the middle of a field you don’t have the advanatge of being able to plus in a stereo. So my most excellent actors from last year doubled as musicians, and we purchased a flute, drums, we had them humming underneath the singing – and this created better effects than squeaky feedback from the one show that we did in a noisy area with the wireless mikes (which didn’t help with the authenticity) – so one thing I personally would strongly recommend is to avoid those, if you can – they aren’t historically accurate anyway so. If you do a good vocal warmup you will be fine. Repetition – now this happens with a lot of shows – if you are doing the same show over and over it can get stale. You have to hire the right people – my first and foremost criteria for selecting the actors is their level of enthusiasm. I’m a former corporate educator and I specialized in Organizational Performance, and I firmly believe and endorse that people can be taught, if they have the energy and enthusiasm. So that’s what I look for when I hire.
Parks Canada Summer Heritage Theatre Program Stephanie Haines Theatre Programs Manager Parks Canada
“ Parks Canada Players” – group of actors/directors/singers/dancers
Perform interactive plays on 5 of Parks Canada’s heritage sites:
Fort Wellington Bellevue House
Laurier House Rideau Canal
St. Lawrence Islands
Rideau Canal, Ottawa, ON “ Ghosts and Echoes of the Rideau” This collection of ghost stories, legends, folklore and re-enactments is performed interactively with the audience, and gives a one-of-a-kind Rideau Canal Experience. You're never sure who might appear!
Laurier House, Ottawa, ON “ Confliction” Enjoy an insider's point of view of the political personalities that lived here during the first half of the 20th century. Two of Canada's most celebrated prime ministers make appearances throughout this one-hour interactive experience. Enjoy tea and theatre on the veranda. Includes a guided tour of the house.
Sir John A. Macdonald reflects on his life over a glass of scotch. He recalls his father, whom he could never please, his wives, the son he lost and the friends with whom he caroused. Finally, he recalls Louis Riel, and a difficult and somewhat regrettable decision, as he wonders what kind of lasting effect this decision will have on the rest of Canada. Includes afternoon tea.
Encounter characters from the past as you relive Fort Wellington’s fascinating history as the Parks Canada Players present “Treasures Lost and Found”. Characters from the Fort emerge from the shadows, reliving exciting moments from their past.
St. Lawrence Islands “ Stepping Stones” This fast-paced show takes the audience on an historical and ecological journey through the islands. Have you ever wondered why the turtle crossed the road? Find out this summer!