Cup of Joe Talks Tall Tale Theatre Company
In my January 2020 Cup of Joe column in Biz X Magazine I highlighted University Players, the performing arts arm of the University of Windsor’s School of Dramatic Art. Windsor has been abundantly blessed with many theatrical companies spawned by the university and plenty of talent rich actors performing in our community.
A relative newcomer to the Windsor theatrical community is the Tall Tale Theatre Company co-founded in 2018 by Eric Branget and Michael J. Krym. According to Branget, it was formed “with the combined goals of wanting to create high quality, original, multidisciplinary theatre, but also furthering arts education in the city. On top of this, we wanted to create opportunities for trained actors to stay in Windsor after graduation to help grow the professional arts community in the city.”
Krym has since departed the city for Toronto to further his successful writing career. To replace him, Branget – the artistic director – brought on board Averey Meloche (Administrative Director), Samantha Lillian (Educational Director), and Daniela Piccinin (Marketing Director). All four of them are graduates of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the University of Windsor.
With a solid team now in place, Branget says, “together the four of us have fine tuned Krym and my original vision, such as: creating touring opportunities that feature the best talent in Windsor showcased to other cities; expanded our educational program to now include Music Theatre, Voice Acting, Monologue writing, and mask making; and finally providing work for graduated trained professionals.”
To help financially support and grow their initiatives, Tell Tale Theatre Company is presenting Building Blocks – 2nd Annual Fundraiser at Rockstar Music Hall. The evening will feature three all new original works by University of Windsor Alumni: “You’re Invited” by Aaron Hrastovec, “Reloj, No Marque Las Horas” by Elena Reyes Sanchez and “ADR” by Brian Taylor.
These are short works – the first two are single actor performances approximately 30-35 minutes long. The last one, ADR, featuring two actors, is longer, coming in at about an hour. These are only my estimates, from my viewing of their final dress rehearsal. They are all homegrown creations with engaging and brilliant writing.
You’re Invited, by Aaron Hrastovec and starring the writer, is interactive. If you dare to be seated in the front rows you will find yourselves wearing birthday hats, blowing up balloons and engaged in conversation with the actor who wants you as his best friend, There are more than 19 million birthdays celebrated today and you’ve been invited to a very special one.
A nice touch is that Aaron I believe appears in hand me down clothes from his father, Peter Hrastovec, a veteran of Windsor’s acting community.
Reloj, No Marque Las Horas, by Elena Reyes Sanchez, is the second solo physical theatre piece starring the writer. It is inspired by the traditional styles of Commedia Dell’arte. The story follows beloved stock character, Pantalone, on what seems to be a regular day that then turns into a meaningful journey of love and loss through the concept of time. This is an exquisite piece, forcing the audience to feel not only the emotional pain of loss, but also, the physical pain old age. This was so very touching.
And finally, ADR, by Brian Taylor, features Branget and Piccinin. The voices you hear selling you things, the voices you hear conjuring other worlds, those voices coming out of thin air belong to people whose lives are every bit as messy as yours. ADR follows two of these people over the course of a year, as they create realities far different from their own, with humour, and sadness and compassion. Both actors are impressive with their vocal abilities. Welcome to the recording studio.
Performance Details: March 15th, 4:00pm – 7:00pm This is a special Dinner Theatre Performance and your ticket Includes a delicious meal provided by Rockstar Music Hall. (Vegetarian and vegan options available.)
Tickets: Online ticket available online.