Fall 2016 Update – Mise à jour automnale

Posted: October 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

What a year we’ve had! If you’re wondering why it’s been so long since our last update, it’s because the past spring, summer and fall have been so action-packed that we haven’t had time to post about it! Now that things have begun to slow down, here’s a little retrospective on the Ottawa Stilt Union’s 2016 season.

Après un long silence, voici enfin une mise à jour! Après un printemps, un été et un automne bien remplis, on prend enfin le temps de vous mettre au courant de nos activités! Voici donc une petite rétrospective de l’année qui tire à sa fin.

 

Art Place

After officially saying goodbye to the Youppi Club, our under-underground series of pop-up audience-powered evenings of awesome, at the beginning of 2016, we went straight into a unique community engagement project supported by the Art Place program, an AOE Arts Council pilot project. This project involved a creative residency at the Carleton Lodge, a home for people with varying stages of dementia. There, we held weekly sessions with a group of roughly 20 people, prompting them with interviews, found objects and familiar songs, and recording their responses. Out of this residency came a series of memory boards displaying objects and the quoted material they inspired in our participants. We also created some beautiful memories of our own along the way. You can read more about our residency and the Art Place program here.

2016-04-04-11-05-01

 

ArborAmor

Après notre résidence de la Place d’Art, nous nous sommes concentrés sur la création de ArborAmor, une courte pièce clownesque aux saveurs de tango, au sujet d’un arbre qui apprend à danser. Les quatre membres du OSU, Laura Astwood, Élise Gauthier, Gabrielle Lalonde et Alex Zabloski, ont travaillé de concert pour créer cette nouvelle œuvre, suite à des sessions intensives de tango avec François Demers et Annick Huard. Nous avons passé plusieurs heures à explorer ce nouveau style de danse et de musique, pour ensuite développer du matériel physique incluant danse, échasses et clown.

All this work resulted in a fun, family-friendly play with no words that was very well received by audiences throughout our 20+ show run. After 7 wonderful performances at the Ottawa Fringe, ArborAmor was tightened and polished enough to be shipped out to Victoria, B.C. for our second appearance at SKAMpede a delightful outdoor theatre festival where audiences bike, walk, skate or scoot from one show to the next, rain or shine. Some of you may remember we first performed at SKAMpede (formerly SKAM Bike Ride) two years ago with an original play, A Considerable Cocoon, created specially for the event. [Fun note: For the past few years, SKAMpede has also featured original performances by OSU alum Emma Zabloski.]

De retour à Ottawa, après notre séjour à Victoria, nous avons présenté une série de huit représentations de ArborAmor à des communautés qui n’ont pas normalement accès au théâtre ou à d’autres formes artistiques. Ces représentations gratuites ont été rendues possibles grâce à une subvention de la Ville d’Ottawa, qui nous a permis de présenter notre spectacle à un public qui n’aurait pas pu le voir autrement. Ainsi, nous avons pu jouer ArborAmor dans des parcs, des gymnases, et même dans une cour arrière! Quel privilège de jouer pour des publics de tous âges et de tous horizons, dont plusieurs n’avaient jamais assisté à la magie du théâtre!

ArborAmor’s fantastic 2016 run was rounded out with a handful of one-off performances, including appearances at Capital Pride’s new Fresh Zone, the University of Ottawa’s Alumni Week festivities, and an unforgettable sunset show at one of our favourite yearly venues, Remic Rapids, amidst the otherworldly balanced rock sculptures of John Ceprano. We are so pleased that ArborAmor got to live such a full life over the summer and fall. Thank you all for coming out and supporting us throughout this wonderful season!

remic-dance-party

 

Changing of the Guard / Un vent de changement

Finally, we have some bittersweet news to report: As of our AGM on September 29, Laura Astwood has officially stepped down from her position as Artistic Director for the OSU. After nearly 10 years of providing the backbone, lifeblood and driving creative force for our little not-for-profit theatre company, she is shifting gears to focus on other projects.

Après près de 10 ans en tant que directrice artistique du OSU, Laura Astwood a décidé de prendre un repos bien mérité, pour se concentrer sur ses propres projets. Tous les membres du Ottawa Stilt Union, actuels et anciens, la remercient pour tout le temps qu’elle a dévoué à la compagnie qu’elle a aidé à fonder.

Thank you Laura, for creating the OSU; for teaching us to walk on stilts; for driving us, our costumes, and sometimes several accordions, around. Thank you for being an absolute joy to work, create, and play with. You will be missed (although you ain’t gone too far).

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