It has been a hell of a week! With so much of our attention drawn south of the border, we think a breather is in order. SnL celebrate World Kindness Day with a look at the Pay it Forward annual 9/11 tradition that was created by one of the real-life “come from aways.” And speaking of kindness, there’s the heartwarming story of how one of our staff members was reunited with her childhood stuffed animal that was lost during a flight over Hamilton, the city not the musical. We have a new video trailer for Blindness. There’s a very personal dance video created specifically for Meanwhile by Dayna Tekatch. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t take some time to acknowledge Remembrance Day. Let’s do this!
Halloween, a holiday based entirely on dressing up and putting on a show — sign us up! We’re always on board when real life goes theatrical. Not sure how you’re going to celebrate this weekend? We’ve got you covered — whether you are single, a couple, a family, whatever. We’ve got suggestions and all you'll need to do is add your favourite candy. Once the festivities are decided you’ll need a themed playlist, but Monster Mash is so last year. Why not try a mix of music from our favourite spooky shows? Or spend the day reading or listening to the entire series of Ghosts of the Royal Alex. And, of course, SnL are full of ideas for you too. Trick or treat!
We are so excited, there is so much to discuss this week.
First of all: We’re coming baaaaack! In case you missed it, we have announced our first step back into live productions with a one-of-a-kind sound installation called Blindness.
(In fact, we made the announcement a day before the Ontario government set a 28-day moratorium in Toronto on indoor activities in restaurants, gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues. The moratorium ends November 8. Our plan is to start Blindness on November 17. Rest assured, we will delay if the moratorium is extended. We will not do anything that will compromise the health and safety of our staff and patrons. We will only begin Blindness when public health assures us it is safe to do so. We won’t even put tickets on sale until then. All our decisions will be made with an abundance of caution.)
Fall is officially here in all its pumpkin-spice-scented glory. It’s a bittersweet time and we are taking some time to ruminate and celebrate. SnL take us on a fall themed journey, we relive some of our favourite memories and reflect on what we miss most about live theatre, and we have a loving tribute to some of the theatre stars we’ve lost this year. It all comes together like a warm virtual hug as the weather starts to cool.
Today, many of the schools in Toronto reopen. This is another marker that life was it as before the pandemic is slowly returning. Appropriately, Check In From Away checks in with three actors who have played teachers on our stages. It’s an episode you won’t want to miss — full of the charm, humour and honesty that SnL are now famous for.
We also have the final instalment of Ghosts of the Royal Alex. It started with a song that inspired many collaborators: our writer, editors, voice artists, singers, directors, musicians, readers and listeners who in turn shaped where the story would take us. This is the power of storytelling, an art so ancient and compelling that it oozes out of every pore of humanity and has the power to unite us.
We share a new music video from The Rowdymen, a group that includes George Masswohl (aka Come From Away’s Mayor of Gander). The group’s new song, “Bell Island Pony” takes us to Newfoundland and tells the story of the horses that worked in the iron ore mines.
We have made it to September. This year, that feels like a real accomplishment. Usually at this point of the year we'd be delighting in the excitement of reams of loose-leaf and that new-binder smell. But this is 2020, so excitement and joy aren’t where we are right now. Though none of us has been a full-time student in a long time, this year has been schooling us! We're learning resilience and allyship and ultimately, how much more we still have to learn. Hard lessons, but important ones.
We're also learning about finding pleasure where we can. In that vein, thank you to all our readers and listeners who have contributed plot suggestions for Ghosts of the Royal Alex! We never know where you are going to take us and reading and incorporating your ideas has been so much fun. This week Herbie gets closer to the heart of the mystery. We also take a look back at Snail’s journey down the yellow brick road, we check in with SnL for a personal message, and in honour of TIFF we take a look at some musicals that were adapted from movies.
Traditionally, we take a dark week as everyone is busily getting into the groove of new schedules. This year that transition is going to be a bit more arduous, so Meanwhile is going to try out a new schedule too! Look for us every other Tuesday this fall.