S8E3: Niya & Soni’s first Nutcracker

Shumka’s Nutcracker played at the Jubilee Auditorium on December 17-19 (Marc J. Chalifoux Photography)

The Nutcracker holds a special place in many dance hearts. It can be the first professional show for aspiring ballet students to appear on the big stage — usually as mice. And it’s also often the most available ballet production for families during the holidays. This year, Fawnda was joined by Soni Dasmohapatra and seven-year-old Niya for their first experience with Shumka’s Nutcracker. It was pretty magical, especially after 700+ days since the company had performed for public audiences.

Stay tuned to the end for a special preview of the next podcast project Fawnda and Soni are working on in 2022: Kathak, Hopak, Hip-hop.

We’re proud to be part of the Alberta Podcast Network. Thanks to this week’s sponsors: Park Power and Taproot Edmonton

S8E2: Burning bridges in The Great Whorehouse Fire of 1921

Twilla MacLeod and Sue Huff in The Great Whorehouse Fire of 1921, running until Nov. 28. (Ian Jackson/EPIC Photography)

Colleen and Fawnda take in a real, live show! Northern Light Theatre’s The Great Whorehouse Fire of 1921 is a delightful, socially-scorching two-hander by Linda Wood Edwards, played out with sass by Sue Huff and Twilla MacLeod. The show runs at the Varscona Theatre until Nov. 28.

I Don’t Get It is a proud member of the Alberta Podcast Network: Locally grown, community supported. 

Thanks to this episode’s sponsors: RÜMI and Taproot Edmonton.

Other bits:
BE Merry, Ballet Edmonton’s holiday show
Brian Webb Dance Company’s 43rd season announced
Jason Kenney’s Hotboy Summer extends its run
Shumka’s Nutcracker is coming Dec. 17-18

S8E1: CIFF Special: Putting it Together with Kyle Marshall

We’re back with a very special episode from CIFF! Colleen and Fawnda head down to Calgary to chat with the one and only Kyle Marshall, founder of Media Lab YYC and the mind behind Putting it Together, the podcast that examines the works of Stephen Sondheim.

In this episode we chat about:
> Kyle’s many other podcasts: Creative Block, Kyle and Dave vs the Machine, Somebody Date Jenn & Kyle
> CIFF: Calgary International Film Festival
> Stephen Sondheim is working on a new musical called Square One

Thanks to our sponsors ATB and Taproot Edmonton.
I Don’t Get It is proudly part of the Alberta Podcast Network.

S7E4: Guy Lavallee of NorthwestFest

This episode we’re talking with Guy Lavallee, festival director of NorthwestFest, is Edmonton’s documentary and nonfiction film festival, and the oldest documentary festival in Canada. We cover how NorthwestFest is weathering the new world of online festivals, and about the history of the society, too. We commiserate on how volunteer roles have evaporated amid the pandemic, how certain things work really well online, and of course about the films at this year’s NorthwestFest, which runs May 6 to 16 and is viewable all across Alberta.
I Don’t Get It is part of the Alberta Podcast Network: Locally grown, community supported.
Links from the discussion:
> NorthwestFest line-up and tickets
> One of the band members of Fanny was interviewed on CBC’s q.
> Book Women Podcast (thanks to Edmonton Community Foundation for the Pod Power shout-out!)  
> The Pulse on Taproot Edmonton

S7E3: Body of Words with Nisha Patel & Sheri Somerville

We chat with Nisha Patel and Sheri Somerville about BODY OF WORDS, the collaborative performance piece that is being streamed online as part of SkirtsAfire Reimagined. We cover how their collaboration came about, what audiences can expect, and also how the pandemic has effected them, from performing poetry for an audience of one to how a ballet company safely rehearses in this wild new world.

Also discussed in this episode:
• Nisha’s open letter to Jason Kenney
SkirtsAFire, running March 4-14
Body of Words tickets
Ballet Edmonton
Writer in Residence (WiR) program at Strathcona Library

We are proud to be part of the Alberta Podcast Network. This episode is brought to you by NAIT’s Career Essentials podcast and Edmonton Community Foundation.

S7E2: The Look goes more than skin deep

Linda Grass stars in The Look, presented online by Northern Light Theatre.

Happy new year? Paul, Fawnda, and return guest Colleen delve into Northern Light Theatre’s online presentation of The Look by Alexa Wyatt. Note: At the 12-minute mark, there is a brief description of the END of the show. Skip ahead a minute to avoid the spoiler.

Show notes:
The Look presented by Northern Light Theatre runs until January 31
The Situation We Find Ourselves In Is This runs for one night only on January 30. Free!
• Nathan Fillion provides the narration for a delightful new Virtual Forest Tour 
• Metro Cinema is running an online retrospective of the films of Wong Kar-Wai until February 19
• Tim Mikula continues to add to his collection of politico paintings at ABLegGitShop. All for sale, too. 
• Theatre Network is running a book club (for plays!)

S7E1: Of holiday cash cows and pandemics

Is this a lonely pandemic street before me? Alberta Ballet’s Kelly McKinlay in The Nutcracker.
Photo by Paul McGrath

We’re back! And a little rusty. But we’re here to warm the cockles of your isolated hearts with a chat about what it means for performing arts companies to lose their big-box, holiday cash cows this year.

We’re proud to be part of the Alberta Podcast Network. Locally grown, community supported. This week our sponsors are Edmonton Heritage Council’s ECAMP Podcast and Park Power.

Some reading:
Dance Magazine: Land of the Bittersweet: COVID’s Effect on Nutcracker
• Sarah Kaufman in Washington Post: Breaking pointe: ‘The Nutcracker’ takes more than it gives to world of ballet
New York Times: Toning Down Asian Stereotypes to Make ‘The Nutcracker’ Fit the Times
• Clips of the new, freaky versions of other Tchaikovsky classic ballets: Alexander Ekman’s A Swan Lake and Mats Ek’s Sleeping Beauty
• Stream local holiday shows like Citadel’s A Christmas Carol, Shumka’s Nutcracker, and Alberta Ballet’s A Sugar Plum Dream

S6E35: Iso-Sterlings — Season Finale

Paul and Fawnda take in the Sterling Awards remotely, and reflect on the shortened theatre year in their season finale episode.

The winds of change keep blowing. What’s next for Edmonton’s arts scene? Will we start another podcast while we wait for performances to resume? Have you washed your mask lately?

I Don’t Get It is a member of the Alberta Podcast Network.

S6E34: Iso-interview: Natércia Napoleão

Actor Natércia Napoleão has shared a number of public letters that call attention to the lack of BIPOC representation in Edmonton’s theatres. Photo by Brandon Hart.

In the form of open letters on social media, actor Natércia Napoleão has been asking Edmonton’s theatre companies directly what their BIPOC representation looks like not only onstage, but off as well. In this chat we cover how social media can be used to call in — not necessarily call out — and how Edmonton theatre companies are responding to public questions about representation in their casts, staff, boards, and otherwise.

Links
Makram Ayache’s post about the Sterling nominations
Sterling Nominations Full List
Internal Analysis of Inclusion & Diversity in The Sterling Awards report
• Natercia’s letters to the Sterlings, Citadel Theatre, Theatre Network, Teatro la Quindicina, Grant MacEwan Theatre Arts, and Freewill Shakespeare Festival
The 3.7% Initiative in Edmonton (hosted in Edmonton by Concrete Theatre)
Natércia’s Stuck in the House video (with Balki!)
Globe & Mail article on a wave of Black female Artistic Leadership in Canadian Theatre