Stage Door News
London: Grand Theatre announces fall “Intermission” programming
Thursday, September 24, 2020
An hour long, Season ‘Un-Opening’ virtual celebration scheduled for October 22 at 7 PM anchors a series of Fall events during the GRAND Intermission period of shutdown,
“We gave some thought about this concept of a GRAND Intermission. When you are in the theatre, you use the intermission to grab a drink, chat about Act I, scour the material in the house program, meet your brand new seat neighbours, and re-connect with friends you see across the lobbies,” noted Dennis Garnhum, Artistic Director of the Grand.
“These Fall offerings last slightly longer than a standard 20 minute intermission but will give us the opportunity to connect and re-connect with Londoners, give high school students interested in theatre a deeper dive into the process, introduce us to new faces, new neighbourhoods, and expand our collective definition of arts and culture.”
For six consecutive Saturdays, beginning September 26, Daniel Bennett, the theatre’s technical director, will take us on a GRAND WALK with a special guest each week. An audio podcast, accompanied by a map of the walk route, will encourage Londoners to get out and explore new neighbourhoods and landmarks. In Week 1, Emma Donoghue takes us to her favourite spots in Wortley Village and in Week 2, we chat with Dr. Alan Shepard, President and Vice-Chancellor of Western University, as we stroll along the Thames with his canine companion, Meesha. Marie Williams, owner of Reggae’s Caribbean Restaurant, describes how the Jamaican community welcomed her with open arms during our walk through Kipps Lane and Ed Blake Park in Week 3. Three more special GRAND WALK guests will be featured in the remaining weeks.
“We wanted to use this intermission period to get to get know this incredible city and what better way to do that than through the stories of people who live and work in our neighbourhoods. Daniel is a charismatic conversationalist, and we know folks will enjoy walking along, listening, laughing and reflecting on the diversity of London,” noted Garnhum. “If you choose, you can quite literally, walk the walk with Daniel and his guests!”
Previously announced as being cancelled for the 2020-21 Season, the High School Project has been revamped as an online ‘Master Class’ option for interested students. High School Project Online will begin the week of October 19 and four weeks later will culminate in a virtual parent preview night. Sponsored by Libro Credit Union, High School Project Online, will appeal to students with bold imaginations who are curious about all aspects of theatre, and have big ideas waiting to be explored with a keen desire to jump into all parts of the theatre-making process. Students will be asked to submit a written application, and once approved for the program, will work in large and small groups twice weekly for 90 minutes each session, culminating in an online parent presentation event.
“One of the most difficult decisions we had to make was to cancel the acclaimed High School Project. When we re-grouped as a team to discuss Fall programs, it was the first item on our agenda. We have such a wealth of expertise and experience among our professional staff, who traditionally serve as mentors in a typical High School Project year. This online version will allow those staff members and the students to dive much deeper into the process of the development and creation of a full scale musical. We think this will have widespread appeal to both students interested in performance, as well as students interested in the many technical and production elements from directing to dramaturgy, from wardrobe and props to set design and construction.”
On what would have been the eve of the opening of the 2020-21 Season, Dennis Garnhum and Deb Harvey will host a Season Un-Opening virtual event. Starting on October 22 at 7 PM, the event will be available for viewing up to October 30 at midnight. As always, Dennis has a few surprises up his sleeve.
“In what would have been the opening of our 50th season as a professional company, this unconventional hour will be full of updates and the unexpected and will be just what we need to connect with each other again. We will celebrate this GRAND intermission period and look ahead to the future. Both Deb and I miss seeing the faces of our passionate patrons, particularly on an opening night when you can feel the energy from all corners of the theatre. We can’t wait to see those faces, even if it is on a computer screen,” said Garnhum with excited anticipation.
A number of the Grand’s dining partners continue to offer dine-out meal options so we encourage Londoners to ‘make a night of it’ and celebrate the Un-Opening Night by supporting those downtown eateries, who along with so many other businesses, have been hit hard by the pandemic. Please visit our website for more information on the dine-out options available.
All events noted will be offered at no cost to anyone wishing to participate. For more information on how to register and take part in any of the programs noted, please visit the theatre’s website – grandtheatre.com.
The Grand recognizes the support of the many donors and sponsors who have contributed to the theatre since the forced shutdown and acknowledges the ongoing support of our season sponsor, BMO Financial Group.
About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director
Deb Harvey, the Grand is a leading cultural hub located in the heart of downtown London, Ontario. The Grand offers diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe through collaborations with national and international performing arts organizations and is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through its COMPASS New Play Development program. The Grand supports educational programming through initiatives like the High School Project and Subsidized Student Matinees. The Grand is currently undergoing a $9 million renovation to its lobby spaces and backstage areas scheduled for completion in Spring 2021. The Grand announced the cancellation of its 2020-21 Season in June 2020 due to the global pandemic.