Yesterday, the cast of Genesis and our fearless director piled into a van and braved the maiden voyage across wintery terrain to the fabled, but previously unexplored, terrain of that legendary city of old: Hamilton. Having only heard rumours, we knew not what to expect... How our fortunes reveled when we walked into a beautiful, Distillery-esque castle of exposed brick and forgotten treasures known as: The Pearl Company Arts Centre. This building sized art installation is every bit as fascinating and beautiful as the many pieces of creative endeavours it hosts from a cross section of disciplines. Walking in, the walls are covered with paintings, sculptures, and reliefs. On the upper level, a grand performance arena usually reserved for musical guests (the back row is supported by a veritable Great Wall of couches). In the basement, a cave of wonders: birdcages, one ski boot, a freight elevator, window panes, rows and rows of ancient auditorium seating, a moose head, and a children's book entitled "Why do I have Stinky Feet?".
The ground floor hosts a beautifully eclectic 140 seat thrust theatre that recalls a rough and tumble Globe with a rainbow of assorted office/multi-purpose chairs circa. 1973. This is to be our home and playground for the next two weeks.
It's the kind of venue that - in Toronto - would never be empty. Even in Hamilton, I count ourselves so lucky to have been included in this rare opening as part of The Pearl Company's annual Winter Festival.
Yes, it means extensive reblocking, yes, time is short and we open in less than a week, yes, we still have props, costumes, and possibly an SM to source, but the beauty and possibilities presented by this beautiful space more than make up for the realities of Festival rehearsal processes. We've been very lucky with spaces over the various incarnations of this show, but this one just may be the Pearl of the bunch.
In other news, tickets are now on sale! If you live in Hamilton, or have friends in Hamilton, please check out or send them to The Pearl Company website where tickets can be purchased in advance. We're so excited to be on the road with this show and would love your help in spreading the word! And if you can't get to Hamilton, don't worry! We'll be bringing this revised production back to Toronto in February at the Red Sandcastle Theatre!
Stay tuned for next time, when we take a photographic tour of the mysteries and wonder of the Pearl Company....