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.
Presentation national capital interpreters network v2
Parks Canada Summer Heritage Theatre Program Stephanie Haines Theatre Programs Manager Parks Canada
Outline <ul><li>Parks Canada Players (blending Theatre with Interpretation) </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges / The Good Side </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons Learned </li></ul><ul><li>Things to Consider </li></ul>
Theatre and Interpretation <ul><li>Summer Heritage Theatre Program (2005-2010) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Parks Canada Players” – group of actors/directors/singers/dancers </li></ul><ul><li>Perform interactive plays on 5 of Parks Canada’s heritage sites: </li></ul><ul><li>Fort Wellington Bellevue House </li></ul><ul><li>Laurier House Rideau Canal </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>St. Lawrence Islands </li></ul></ul></ul>
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.
Bellevue House, Kingston, ON <ul><li>“ John A.” </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
Fort Wellington Prescott, ON <ul><li>“ Treasures Lost and Found” – Fort Wellington </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
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!
Summer Heritage Theatre Program Objectives <ul><li>To increase visitation to the sites </li></ul><ul><li>To increase Parks Canada Agency’s visibility within Eastern Ontario </li></ul><ul><li>To offer personal interpretive programming by continuing the tradition of excellence through continuous improvement </li></ul><ul><li>To engage visitor experience while educating audiences with regard to the messages of significance of Canada’s national treasures </li></ul>
Summer Schedule <ul><li>May / June – Rehearsal Period (including workshop of new plays) </li></ul><ul><li>July / August – Show period (on 5 of Parks Canada’s sites + festivals) </li></ul>
Show Schedule (July/August) WEEKDAY TIME Show LOCATION Wednesdays 12pm “Ghosts & Echoes” Ottawa Locks Thursdays 8pm “Treasures Lost & Found” Fort Wellington Fridays 2pm “John A.” Bellevue House Fridays 8pm “Stepping Stones” various Saturdays (July) 8pm “Ghosts & Echoes” festivals Saturdays (Aug) 8pm “Ghosts & Echoes” Ottawa Locks Sundays 1&3pm “Confliction” Laurier House
The Good Side <ul><li>Entertaining way to learn about Canadian history </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging way to experience National Historic Sites </li></ul><ul><li>Nature of venues = opportunity for interactivity / creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Employing the youth of today to be the professionals of tomorrow </li></ul><ul><li>Creative artists are employed (professionally) in Ottawa </li></ul><ul><li>Audience appreciation </li></ul>
Challenges <ul><li>Finding the optimal balance (between education and entertainment) </li></ul><ul><li>Degree of accuracy / relevancy to Canadian history </li></ul><ul><li>Pleasing a mass audience (wide variety of ages, educational background, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Finding costumes (i.e. ensuring historical accuracy) </li></ul><ul><li>Finding specific props (historic) </li></ul><ul><li>Seating arrangements </li></ul><ul><li>Passersby </li></ul><ul><li>Wind / rain / noise / birds </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of technology </li></ul><ul><li>Repetition (on part of actors – keeping it fresh) </li></ul><ul><li>FSWEP </li></ul>
Lessons Learned / Things to Consider <ul><li>Can’t have enough hours dedicated to publicity / marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t underestimate the value of research (i.e. stats on audiences) </li></ul><ul><li>Interactivity </li></ul><ul><li>Singing / dancing (+++) </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Hide your stress (as a director) </li></ul>