Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sleeplessness and Sensibility

I know it’s only September, but it’s already time to think about next year’s Fringing. In a moment of moderate madness, I lined up outside Mainline Theatre on St-Laurent for the Montreal Fringe Early Bird Draw. (The first 8 local applicants in each English and French who applied in person on Saturday at 8 a.m., were guaranteed a spot in the June 2011 festival - Out-of-towners were permitted to apply online.)

It was a rather chilly night. I arrived at 1:30 a.m., with my warm clothes, books, camp chair and mug of hot tea and joined the four or so souls already in line. (The first pair arrived at 9 p.m. to ensure themselves a spot!) By 3 a.m. or so, we numbered about a dozen. After dawn, a few more drifted in and by about 7:30 a.m. all the spots were spoken for.

To while away the time, some curled up and tried to sleep, others chatted or read. We also provided a great deal of amusement to passers-by who inquired about our purpose. Sometimes we answered them seriously, other times, less so. (One gentleman particularly enjoyed answering “We’re waiting for Stones tickets.”)

My companions certainly have some fascinating projects in mind: A translated Mandarin opera, a sci-fi comedy, and, very excitingly, a sequel to last year’s Shades of Grey (a live-action drama in the vein of The Twilight Zone). Liz, the show’s writer gave me some tantalizing hints of what might be in store as we counted down the hours and tried to keep warm.

Eventually, it was time. At 8 a.m., we were ushered into the theatre, lined up and our applications were processed. As a result, I am very happy to say the Orange Wine Productions officially has a Montreal Fringe spot in June!

Of course, some of you may be wondering what it is. For the moment, let’s just say it’s Austen-related.

Meanwhile, I am pleased to report I have had some invitations to perform Afternoon Tea With Jane Austen. I am working on some dates and will let you know the details when they become available.


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