Onward and Upward

At the launch of this new decade we’re thrilled to be a part of the thriving theatre and arts scene in BC. 2009 was a remarkable year for Touchstone. January to June saw the completion of one of our most ambitious seasons ever. Focusing on Canadian women playwrights, we co-presented Hannah Moscovitch’s East of Berlin with the Firehall Arts Centre and the Chutzpah! Festival in February. Then we moved on to Linda Griffith’s stunning Age of Arousal in partnership with the Arts Club Theatre. This highly successful new Canadian play played to over 5000 people on the Granville Island stage. The capper to the season was Judith Thompson’s award-winning Palace of the End, produced in association with Felix Culpa and Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. This powerful work had a profound impact on those who saw it and generated some very interesting discussion. All of these shows met with great reviews and excellent houses and we are grateful for that. The latter part of 2009 has been consumed with our Made in BC season. Launching with a co-presentation (with The Cultch) of DualMinds beautifully staged and acted Any Night and followed by the world premiere of Shawn Macdonald’s provocative script Demon Voice. In the midst of it all there has been our wonderful relocation to Granville Island to share with our great friends Carousel Theatre, the casting of another Lawyer Show, the welcoming on board of long time Touchstone supporter Louise Bentall as our new General Manager, and of course the nagging problem of looming arts cuts. But even the specter of losing that all-important support cannot dampen the energy infecting Touchstone and so many other thriving arts organizations in this city. We are growing and moving forward and nothing can stop us. Another bright star has been the news that Touchstone, along with our partners November Theatre, Rumble Productions and Theatre Network, are the recipients of the 2009 Banff Residency Award. We will be taking the entire production team for Hard Core Logo: Live to the Banff Centre for the Arts for 10 days in April to do some high end workshopping of the work’s considerable visual and musical elements. It’s an amazing opportunity that unfortunately knocks out the in-progress showing we were planning for Tremors, but we will be getting back to subscribers to let you know of another opportunity to glimpse this much anticipated work. And we are swinging into production gear for Herr Beckmann’s People – our 2010 Flying Start project, showcasing the prodigious talent of Sally Stubbs. This piece has already won several awards and we’re sure Touchstone’s audience will find it engaging. At the launch of a new decade Touchstone’s mandate seems ever more important. How can we better understand who we are as a national community than be telling and promoting our own stories and our own creative discourse? So thanks so much for supporting us and frequenting our shows. See you at the theatre!

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