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When someone says, “You can’t,” tell them “Watch me.”

Filipa Walker. That was her name. I often told her that it sounds like a name of a famous person. “Yes! You’ve got that right! Because I will be a famous fashion designer.” I have always admired her boldness in dreaming aloud. She was a dreamer who believed in the impossible regardless of the many disappointments and skepticism she encountered.

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On & Off Stage – It’s ShowTIME

As I sip my coffee on this rainy morning, I can’t help but hear the quiet ‘tic-toc’ of the grandfather clock that stands tall and elegantly in my living room. It’s a relatively simple looking clock – a basic face atop a deep brown tower-like body. A wave of nostalgia hits me every hour when I hear the Westminister Chimes. It’s a magical feeling indeed.

 

Naturally, it reminds me of my Grandfather and his Mother, my Great-Grandmother, both of whom lived in this very house. Now a place I call my home with my growing family.  In the past 5 years alone I’ve learned a lot about my Great-Grandmother and Grandfather. They both carried themselves with confidence and grace. They were both calm and content. When we moved into the family home, the backyard was a stunning display of beautiful craftsmanship in the gardens. A showcase of the tireless effort, energy, creativity and passion my Grandfather had for his property. Growing up I rarely got to see him working on the gardens directly, but today I can certainly appreciate what he put into it as I enjoy the (many) fruits of his labour. My appreciation goes beyond words. Something I recently learned about my Great-Grandmother is that although she’d often be in a lot of physical pain, she’d never let on. When asked “How are you doing” she’d reply with “Oh just fine dear” when in reality, she was experiencing absolute agony on the inside. Still, she ‘performed’ for the others, wearing her pearls and a smile with the utmost elegance.

 

There goes the clock chime again. This time I look up, and through the glass door watch in awe as the pendulum swings and the weights slowly descend. It makes me think of the inner workings of the clock, all the gears working constantly just to make it all happen. The sound of the chimes, the direction of the hands, the swaying of the pendulum – working hard on the inside behind the walls of the clock while the face shows us the time on the outside. Like the glass door of the grandfather clock, our program at Purple Stage Door Productions wants to open our Door to the inner workings of what goes on offstage during a theatrical production. The ‘effort, energy, creativity and passion’ that my Grandfather had when working on his garden truly mirrors the actions and feelings that are expressed backstage, where the inner workings of the show take place. It’s an unseen show except by those who are creating it together. Without it, the audience would see nothing more than a reflection of themselves on the other side of the room.

 

Like the grandfather clock with its hands and face to tell us the time and its gears and pendulum making it happen, a theatre production of any magnitude needs the storytellers and the writers to create an overall magical experience. Whether it’s time spent in the past tending to gardens or in the present developing relationships, it’s important to be aware and appreciate the inner workings and efforts that are put forth by each and every one of us to create beautiful results and lasting connections. At Purple Stage Door Productions, we’re all stars, even if you never once step foot on stage. Your role may be as a stage hand, set painter, or singing your heart out under the spotlight. We need everyone, working together to tell our stories.

 

It’s like the saying goes, “It takes teamwork to make the dreamwork” just as a clock face needs that team of gears to tell us the time. Speaking of time, it’s already noon. There’s still so much to prepare before guests arrive. It’s not a true tea party without milk and sugar, tea cups and saucers. Tea time (or should it be teamtime) starts at 2pm. Time to grab my pearls and a smile. It’s almost showtime.

Playing your role

Everyone’s role is key. That’s our motto. Whether you are on the stage or backstage during a theatre production, whether you are clearing tables at a restaurant or the CEO of a business, your role is key. We each play an important part in collaborative projects and environments and the theatre is a safe and creative place to explore and test this belief!

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The simple 7 letter word and the part you play.

Theatre. A simple seven letter word that evokes a myriad of emotions in individuals across all walks of life. Some people get excited while others shrink back in fear when they think about theatre. “But I’m not an actor or an actress” or “I can’t sing or dance.” If you have ever had these thoughts toward theatre, I have fantastic news to share with you! Theatre is not just for actors or singers or dancers. I urge you – do not be intimidated by these titles or the spotlight.

We most often see theatre arts programs geared towards those who are both interested and skilled in the performance side of theatre. The audience sees the who’s and the whats on stage, but usually doesn’t realize (or at least forgets) that there’s an entire production happening backstage made up of a diverse team made up of all kinds of skills, talents and abilities!   Over the years, we have met a great number of children and adults, who really don’t have the confidence to join a local community theatre group and participate. “Why?” you may ask. Well for one, as we mentioned in our introduction, the thought of being on stage can be a very daunting thought. Many don’t feel it is necessarily catered to them or that they can contribute based on their needs, interests, or abilities. But why should that stop them? Theatre is and has always been about people coming together – cast, crew, and audience. Somewhat recently, we have developed a greater awareness of recreational opportunities and community accessibility to such opportunities as our youngest daughter has special needs (and happens to love performing!) Do you see a running theme here? Theatre. PeopleCommunity. TOGETHER.

 

We want to be done away with the rigid ideology people have about theatre. At Purple Stage Door Productions, we promote an inclusive environment. We encourage those with  or without special needs and abilities to not be shy and have the confidence to join us and be a part of our company. We are cognizant of the fact that not everyone is made for the stage and guess what? That’s totally fine! However, you might have a particular ability, strength, or interest in other areas where you can make a positive contribution to the overall theatre production and develop essential life skills while you’re at it.

Theatre is not only about performing on stage. We need other people to help to make the production a success. If you are a great artist, you can be a part of a team that designs and paints the backdrop; you can have props ready, or help to produce programs. There are so many roles in theatre and we are confident that you will find where you fit best. You see, this simple 7 letter word is just that: Simple. Theatre is for everyone. Theatre can be for all. No matter your goals, experiences, age or abilities, you play an important role in our production! Here is some more good news: Everyone’s role is key! You have a contribution to make to our team and to your community. So get ready to unlock your potential, and have a blast doing so! We can’t wait to welcome you!

 

Everything Old is New Again

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) – Shakespeare

And…

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts…” As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII – Shakespeare

Both quotes relevant: past, present and future.

I’ve always loved my name (“Tara Lynne Taylor”). Something I would never consider changing about myself.  My first name means ‘star’ in Sanskrit and Hindi amongst other languages. My maiden name (“Beaver”) will always represent a part of who I am, but since getting married, it represents more of the ‘past’ me. My middle name is a mix of my past, present, and future, as it’s a name shared with my Aunt and my daughter. I’m not going to bore you with an explanation:) That’s a story for another time. Please just trust that it will make a bit of sense by the end!

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