Monday, February 8, 2016

Greetings from Saskatchewan!

First breakfast in SASK- "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!
Team Celeste has been touring around Saskatchewan for one week now.  We’ve already driven over 1400 km, been to 11 towns, and performed 8 shows for more than 2400 students, teachers, and parents! We’ve been extremely fortunate both with unusually mild winter weather, and with wonderfully warm prairie hospitality everywhere we go.

We began our adventure by flying into Saskatoon and promptly meeting up with Roger from Persephone Theatre who was kind enough to store our tour van with all our set, props, and costumes for a couple weeks until our arrival.  We then hit the road for our first long drive to the town of Kamsack.  Arriving into town late Sunday evening, our only option for dinner was the local Subway, which, as it turns out, was quite the local hang out.  

Our first day of touring turned out to be a bit of an epic adventure.  After a great opening morning performance in Kamsack, we hit the road again to get to our afternoon show in Langenburg.  Unfortuantely, our GPS system took us down Highway 8, which we later found out to be known locally as “the gravel highway”.  It was a bumpy ride along some quite icy stretches for an hour and a half.  By the time we arrived in Langenburg, we had little time for lunch, so it was off to the local Subway yet again!

We love hotel pools.
When we finally arrived at our afternoon school, we were surprised to see some odd orange fluid draining out from the bottom rear of our tour van.  Luckily, there was an auto service centre just a few blocks away from the school, so after our afternoon show, we took the van in to get checked out.  It was diagnosed with a worn out pipe and coolant leak.  We had to wait for 2 hours for it to be repaired.  While waiting for the van repair, Lauren was able to do a phone interview with CBC radio Saskatchewan about the show and the tour.  CBC also posted an article about the show on their website that referenced Lauren’s interview.  It’s so wonderful to have the media interested in a TYA touring show and just goes to show how important the themes and messages of our show are not only for the students, but for teachers and parents as well. 

Once we finally got our van out of the repair shop, it was back on the road for a 3-hour drive to Estevan.  We finally ended our 13-hour long opening day with a celebratory late-night dinner at Boston Pizza.

Rib Fest!
On the road again!
Since then, things have been going very smoothly with lots of fun and laughs along the way.  We’ve had lots of long prairie drives, fun hotel pool swims and waterslides, good eats like rib fest and Dairy Queen sundaes in Regina or prime rib with homemade horseradish at Harvest Eatery in Shaunavon, and so many wonderful conversations with everyone we meet.  True to fashion, Team Celeste has been making the most of our time on the road and so far our Saskatchewan tour has certainly exceeded our expectations.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Letter From The Road!

Greetings from Team Celeste in Montreal!  Our 2016 U.S./Canada tour is underway... well, sort of.  We are currently waiting in standby mode awaiting our visas to enter into the United States.  Although the delay has forced us to postpone a much anticipated stop in Vermont, we are making the best of it by living it up here in the wonderful city of Montreal, primarily eating our way through a culinary tour of Quebecois cuisine.

Mikey & Susan, about the dig in!
Our production manager, Michael, picked us up at the airport on Friday, having driven across the country with our van, set, props, and costumes the previous week.  He brought us to our hotel and joined us for our first Montreal meal: calamari, oysters, bison tartar, and 3 different types of poutine (whiskey maple/braised beef cheek/fois gras)! 

 Saturday, our first full day in Montreal, started off on the right foot with crêpes for brunch.  Susan had brie and apple, Jordan had ham, brie, and apple, and Lauren had apple, cinnamon, and almonds; all were delicious.  We then proceeded to wander the streets of Montreal for the rest of the afternoon, poking around the shops until the rain and wind drove us back to the hotel.  We luckily chose a hotel with pool, so we were able to enjoy a refreshing dip before venturing off to a local restaurant for another fabulous meal.  Jordan found possibly the best burger of all-time while Lauren and Susan enjoyed some exceptional ribs.  We also enjoyed a  wonderful appetizer of popcorn shrimp garnished with actual popcorn!  Genius!


   Sunday, we separated forces a bit.  Lauren hung out with her friend, Dom Duchesne, an actor who played the role of “Martin” opposite her “Celeste” in Theatre La Seizieme’s production of Extra-Celeste two years ago. Jordan and Susan “nerded out” at Pointe-à- Callière: Museum of Archeology and History (a fantastic museum by the way) and then went into the Notre-Dame Basilica where we were actually moved to tears it was so beautiful.  Sunday evening was Fondue Night!  We inhaled a 3-course fondue extravaganza (cheese, beef & chicken in broth, & chocolate) at our new favourite hang out (the same place we had crêpes the day before) aptly named Cafe Suzette.  Then we basically rolled home.  

Serious eats at Schwartz's Deli!

Monday, we moved to a new hotel a few blocks away.  It seemed an easy prospect, until we had to haul all of our luggage uphill in blistering cold winds.  Our Vancouver bones are not yet use to the East Coast cold.  Then it was off for another culinary treat.  Montreal smoked meat sandwiches at the famous Schwartz’s deli.  They certainly lived up to the hype!  Delicious.  We spent the rest of the day shopping where we found Jordan some fantastic new additions to his wardrobe, as well as a few choice pieces for Lauren and Susan (namely, a Turkey hat and padded superhero shirt).  We capped the day with another dip in the hotel pool and another lovely dinner.  

Today, we continue to hold on standby for word from ground control.  Looking forward to being told, “commencing countdown, engines, on, check ignition and may God’s love be with you” so that we can adventure forth “sitting in a tin can”! (RIP David Bowie)

So until further notice, here’s Team Celeste signing off!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hello, Goodbye!

Green Thumb Theatre is pleased to welcome Michael Kleinberg-Bassel as our new Production Manager. While we are sad to see former Production Manager Rachael King leave the Green Thumb family, we are very excited for her new position at Exhibition Place in Toronto and wish her every success with this new adventure!
Most recently with 2B Theatre in Halifax, Michael has also worked at The Segal Center in Montreal and The Banff Centre in Alberta. He brings an in-depth knowledge of touring and a deep love and commitment to Canadian Theatre. Michael will start full time with Green Thumb in July.