House of X Opening at Neanderthal Arts Festival


house_4348_0.jpgA physical theatre piece that explores our addiction to the various genres of storytelling -- tragedy, comedy, melodrama, horror, fairy tale— and suggests that we make up stories from what is going on all around us, as well as in our imaginations.

Directed and choreographed by Conrad Alexandrowicz.

Featuring Sebastian Kroon, Jane Osborne, Linda Quibell and Crystal Verge

The CULTCH: Historic theatre (1895 Venables)

July 19 to 28, 2012

Seven shows only: July 19 (7 pm), July 21 (6 pm), July 22 (8:30 pm, pay what you can
performance), July 25 (8:45 pm), July 26 (7 pm), July 27 (9:30 pm) and July 28 (7 pm).

Tickets: only $14 for single tickets: or

House of X: Students Preview


Friday, May 11: We do an easy run of the piece—I still hate the running around at the top, and consider cutting it, but decide it’s too late for that—and then take a big break.

We have a really good turnout, including Mary Kerr, Jen Wise, Linda Raino, Tim Lilburn, Alison Greene, Warwick and co., and lots of students.

They do a super performance of the piece, and it’s really well-received. I get great comments: that the text was very clear; that the music, text and movement were in good balance, and were equally accessible; that the piece was inventive, playful, emotionally powerful, had a sense of an arc and of a satisfying sense of completion. I DO hope that Lorna feels that way when she sees the video. After all the chatting and hob-nobbing I take everyone out to the U Club for pitchers of beer and snackage; a great end to the day and to the process overall.

House of X: Lights!


Thursday, May 10:  We do our cue-to-cue and then run the piece with lights; it looks super and is called very well by Meaghan. I’m very impressed with the great work Bryan has done on this, and the speed and ease with which he has done it. We run the piece and there are a handful of notes. I keep them for about an hour messing about with poems from O Resplandor and then call it a day.

House of X: Staging Continues and O Resplandor


Wednesday, May 9: I tape our very strong run of the work with Bryan in attendance, give some notes, work some bits, and observe that I feel the music is really coming into focus well, and holding its own. I tell the actors that I’m really proud of and happy with what we’ve done, and that no matter what others may feel about this work—and whether they’ll understand and comprehend the text, which is another matter entirely—we have achieved what we set out to do: to stage these poems as fully as possible.

After our break I try a whole lot of different ways of staging the now-edited text bits from Little Theatres: as voice-over, interview with movement behind it, as text delivered from within the movement field. I get the actor/dancers to do the movement we have from A of L so I can see it with choreography, rather than improv, but the only thing that works is the sketch of a very simple sequence designed for the introduction.

After this I get the actors to read some of the poems from O Resplandor, which are less bizarre than those from A Frame of the Book, but still very strange. The actors are clearly bored and fatigued by this, and most likely feel like puppets for a process that really has nothing to do with them. Oh, well… I AM paying them!

We stop early: I have to go and read the book carefully and see if there’s stuff I will have time to do tomorrow after our level session.

The House of X: The Walk and Talk Run


Tuesday, May 8: We do a really good run of the piece, work bits and do notes, and then Bryan comes in to see a walk-and-talk-through of the whole thing. We are thinking of hanging about 30 instruments and doing basic lighting for the piece.

In the notes session, I try to give people more movement to avoid the stand-and-deliver configuration of much of the work. I do this in response to something Jen Wise said to me when I told her that often locating speaking and moving in the same performing “vessel” becomes inadvertently comical. She asked why, and I had a hard time answering her. I decide to integrate Molly into the scene she narrates called God the Mother. Suddenly she has a reason to be in the scene—mum takes her to work in the big house—and a point of view about the stuff going on around her. It also gives much more weight to the scene that follows later on, God the Daughter, when Randi and Molly again have this complicity as characters.

The actors and I invent questions for which the texts in the eponymous section of Little Theatres form the answers. Only a few of these seem to be up to snuff in terms of the very difficult and obscure content—and some of them are send-ups of the text—but they are the kind of things that an audience member might ask.

I cast Randi as Elisa and get the rest of the actors to ask her their questions. Some of this MIGHT work, but I’m very doubtful. I’m going to have to cut it way down if I’m to use it at all.

Past Production Posters

This Is A Dance