Sucker Falls: The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
Three of Vancouver's most innovative theatre companies combined to present an award-winning Brecht in the Park series, performed beneath the summer sky in three Vancouver Parks, in August, 2001. The event featured an original play with music, which though new, is still firmly rooted in the tradition of Brecht. Sucker Falls: The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, was written by Canadian playwright Drew Hayden Taylor, with music by Ron Samworth, and directed by Diane Brown, Katrina Dunn and Savannah Walling.
Award-winning Ojibway playwright and humourist Drew Hayden Taylor wielded his satiric pen to great effect in this world premiere inspired by the Bertolt Brecht / Kurt Weill repertoire. A broad comedy peppered with haunting images and powerful songs, Sucker Falls told the story of the appearance and collapse of a First Nations casino. This epic musical featured all the spectacular elements that have wowed Brecht in the Park audiences in past years: stiltwalking, giant shadow play, and pyrotechnics lighting up the sky. Throughout the play a hot quartet cooked into the night with an original brew of country / cabaret songs and soundscapes, straight out of the pop culture Cuisinart.
The ensemble featured well-known Toronto actors Herbie Barnes, Monique Mojica, and Michelle St. John; local favourites Tasha Faye Evans, Kim Kondrashoff, Jacques Lalonde, Kevin Loring, and Ian Ross McDonald; spectacle performers Sharon Bayly, Laura Crema and Bessie Wapp; along with musicians Travis Baker, Joel Lower, and Dylan van der Schyff, led by Ron Samworth. The design team featured a set by Kate King, costumes by Rebekka Sorensen, spectacle elements by Rick Holloway, and pyrotechnics by Nancy Lee.
Down Dangerous Passes Road
Our English language world premiere production was presented at the The Belfry Theatre in Victoria in March 2002.
Peter Wilds, Donald Adams and Bob Frazer
PHOTO by inter.mission productions.
Our English language World Premiere Production was at The Firehall Arts Centre and was then invited to The Belfry Theatre in Victoria. Ruby Slippers' Down Dangerous Passes Road featured the original fabulous design team of lighting by Adrian Muir, set and costumes by Kate King, soundscore by Yorrit Dijkstra, and visual design by Tim Matheson. The original cast boasted the acting talents of Donald Adams, Bob Frazer and Peter Wilds. Our touring production featured Jonathan Young, Robert Maloney and Donald Adams. Both were directed by Diane Brown.
After two years of development, Ruby Slippers in association with La Luna proudly presented the mainstage production of Love Bites written and performed by Mercedes Bains. A musical storytelling of women grappling with love and lust in an increasingly sexually confused society. Our play married live improvised jazz with spoken word poetry and live performance in various downtown Vancouver bars and nightclubs. Musicians Ron Samworth and friends teamed up with us to help heighten and explore the emotional and psychological fall-out of modern romance. Seen through the eyes of many female characters struggling with intimacy, Love Bites was a visceral, sensual, and engaging journey through our inner and outer battlefieds.
Originally directed by Stephane Kirkland; remount directed by Diane Brown.
PHOTO: Nick Seiflow, actor: Mercedes Bains