December 8th, 2016
Laurie Steven wins OAC Chalmers Arts Fellowship!
Odyssey Theatre’s Artistic Director to Smash Stereotypes
Odyssey Theatre is proud to announce that Artistic Director Laurie Steven is a recipient of the prestigious Chalmers Arts Fellowship.
Awarded by the Ontario Arts Council, this grant provides significant funding for senior professional artists to take time from their usual creative pursuits to investigate, explore and experiment with style, technique, method, content or an issue in their arts practice. Instead of supporting specific projects, the program allows artists to dedicate themselves to their art form and further develop their careers.
Much of Steven’s work as a director, writer, dramaturge, and translator has involved myths and fairy tales—universal stories that are inextricably bound to culture and society as we know them. But she finds the characterizations of women in these stories to be “troublesome,” saying, “fairy tales are often patriarchal: heroines wait to be rescued, old women are demonized, and mother figures are villains extraordinaire.” This fellowship will allow Steven to create new archetypal female characters that speak to audiences today: “The heroines I write tend to be fighting for empowerment. They are characters with modern sensibilities trapped in a mythic past. I want to transport them to the modern world and address the concerns of contemporary women.”
In order to develop these new roles and settings for women, Steven will be venturing beyond our borders to attend the American Folklore Society Conference and study fairy tales, myth, and their integration into popular culture. She will also shape her new characters and worlds by studying the work presented at the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionettes in France and the London International Mime Festival. Laurie will keep Ottawa updated on her explorations via a blog where she will elaborate on her artistic quest and post samples of her work as it is produced.
Odyssey Theatre is absolutely thrilled by the news of Steven’s fellowship. In addition to acknowledging the huge contribution she has made to the Ontario Arts Community over the past 31 years, the grant allows her to develop captivating, original characters and vivid new settings for Odyssey’s future productions. The company looks forward to the creations Steven’s own artistic Odyssey yields.
November 15th, 2016
Capital Critics Circle Awards 2016
We are thrilled to announce that Andy Massingham won Best Director and Jesse Buck won Best Actor at the Capital Critics Awards last night! Our congratulations to these two Odyssey veterans for their brilliant work on The Servant of Two Masters! And congratulations to the whole team: a stellar acting ensemble, wonderful designers, production staff and a dynamite admin team who helped bring this wonderful production to life.
I also want to extend a huge thanks to the Capital Critics. They work hard all year to make these awards an exciting event that celebrates all the fabulous theatre in Ottawa. They make a significant contribution to the theatre community and the artists in this city!
Some words from the director of The Servant of Two Masters:
Thank you Capital Critics Circle for this award. And to all others nominated; We are here to celebrate our united cause that theatre matters and is essential to our community and beyond!
I owe an enormous debt of gratitude, nay love, to one and all at Odyssey; to Laurie Steven for having unending faith, support and guidance. To James Richardson for dedication, long hours and positive vibes throughout the process. And to Aurora and Megan for amazing work in the office. To Vanessa Imeson for her brilliant costumes, Jerrard Smith for an exquisite set and mask design. To Steven Lafond for his smart, riotous and groundbreaking sound design. To Ron Ward, endlessly inventive and adventurous as usual as our lighting designer and Alex Maisonneuve for her guiding light as Stage manager. To Graham Price for tireless enthusiasm and to all our friends who hammered a nail, painted a flat, filled a bucket and helped turn the bare stage in Strathcona Park into Venice of the 1950’s.
To our acting company; Sarah Finn, Jesse Buck, Dana Fradkin, Maryse Fernandes, Jay Maniloff, Sean Sullivan, Zach Council, Lynne Griffin, Josh Wiles and Adam Sanders. You are all rock stars. Thank you for your artistry.
In closing, thanks to our spectacular youth apprentices who represent the future of our theatrical legacy in Ottawa and beyond. I was honoured to spend the summer with you.
To all of you in the room tonight, please keep creating, telling stories and loving theatre.
Your humble servant,
November 9th, 2016
Working Towards The Future
We are excited to announce that we are beginning a partnership with Out of the Wings, a distinguished British organization devoted to making the riches of Spanish theatre accessible to the English-speaking world. In December, in London, they will hold, with the participation of Odyssey’s Artistic Director, an exploratory workshop of The Bonds of Interest by Jacinto Benavente. This is the beginning of what promises to be an inspiring international collaboration.
Workshops In The Community
Theatre Under The Stars may be over for 2016 but there is still a lot happening at Odyssey. On November 21st Artistic Director Laurie Steven will be giving a Mask Performance workshop to TWA, Third Wall Theatre & 100 Watt Productions young company.