Hello Internet and Welcome!
In case you’ve just stumbled upon us, allow me to introduce myself:
My name is bekky O’Neil and I am the Artistic Director of Quality Slippers Productions. We are an independant company of collaborators based between Montreal, Quebec and Toronto, Ontario. We create original multidisciplinary theatre for audiences of all ages including live music, puppetry, toy theatre, projections and animations.
We have been accepted to both the St Ambroise Fringe Montreal and the Toronto Fringe Festival this summer! That means: we are going to be mounting our newest work – a puppet play inspired by the work of Joni Mitchell!
Disillusioned with her hometown, a prairie girl dreams of running away to the city to follow in her idol’s footsteps. Quality Slippers Productions is extremely proud to present Urge for Going, an original multidisciplinary play inspired by the work of folk legend Joni Mitchell, featuring puppetry, toy theatre, animation and live music.
The Montreal Festival is in June and the Toronto Festival is in July – so we’re busy at work preparing all the elements! The thing is – it takes an awful lot of time to build all these puppets, write original songs, create projections and animations and make it all fit together. We’re doing this project because we love it – but I’d also like to be able to pay my cast and crew for their work.
That’s where you come in! You help us fund the overhead project costs so that we can be paid by door sales.
Set in the picturesque Canadian prairies, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - Joni Mitchell’s own hometown, we meet Carey Anderson a lanky twelve year old girl with long hair and a big smile. She never leaves home without her ukulele, and while she doesn’t have many friends is never lonely. Carey has a wild runaway imagination that allows her to act out her fantasies where her best of friends are deer and coyotes, and where she can imagine her would-be life as a songwriting ingénue exploring life, love, and what it means to “make it” as an artist all at once. Carey dreams of moving to Toronto to be a busker, and later to California to follow in her idols footsteps.
Conceptually this piece explores the conflicting desires to belong and escape the Canadian identity, and the nature of being an artist that is inspired by a place that often one must leave in order to succeed. As Canadians, why do we so often have to run away from the places we treasure, that inspire us most?
Urge For Going aims to transcend the boundaries of traditional theatre by incorporating projected animation, original songs and covers, physical theatre, and image based sequences to create “live music videos”. While it is puppet theatre, this piece is intended for an audience of all ages – from the men and women who grew up listening to Mitchell on the radio, to the younger “MTV Generation,” to younger audiences still – discovering the magic of this music for the first time. Developed with the assistance of a creation grant from The Canada Council for the Arts, the play is a wonderland / down-the-rabbit-hole tale for modern times.
Created by bekky O’Neil (www.bekky.ca), with musical composition and accompaniment by Toronto based folk musician Ronley Teper (www.ronleyteper.com). This will be our second theatrical collaboration with Ronley, whose band The Lipliners played in our 2011 SummerWorks Festival Show Exit, pursued by a bear.
We are super fortunate to have Robin Sharp coming on board to workshop the script and dramaturge the production (www.robinsharp.com). Urge For Going also features original animations by producer Keith Del Principe and bekky O’Neil (Cardboard Reality Animation).
And last, but certainly not least, the show will be performed by bekky O’Neil, Cloé Verreault-Bouchard and Sam Silversides.
Urge for Going has been in development since December of 2012. We are very fortunate to have been assisted by a creation grant in Playwrighting and design from the Canada Council for the Arts. This image based play was originally drafted during the Toronto Fringe Festival’s 24-Hour Playwrighting Contest.
We love the Fringe! We love going to the fringe, drinking at the beer tent, meeting fellow art lovers and theatre makers – but most of all… we love the luck of the draw! The Fringe movement creates a positive space for the development of new performance work – the festival is always a mixed bag of tricks – as the selection is done by lottery. It is truly of, by, and for the people and allows strange-musical-puppetry-projection shows that would otherwise be denied opportunities for being “strange” a chance to let their strangeness shine!
Being part of two of the largest theatre festivals in the country will allow maximum exposure for our work. It gives us access to audience and future collaborators.
What We Need & What You Get:
We are trying to raise $3000 for our campaign, but anything helps! This money will cover the application and participation costs for the Montreal and Toronto Fringe Festivals, as well as the cost of publicity, travel expenses and rehearsal space.
It will also cover the cost of material supplies for building puppets, and the cost of renting a projector for our performance.
You may also want to note that this project is happening regardless of how much money we raise – and if we don’t reach our full goal every donation we do receive will still help us out!
If you donate we have some pretty sweet perks for you, from a shout out on our website and in the program, to signed silkscreened posters, t shirts and puppets – and even private concerts in your home.
Other Ways You Can Help
We are trying to raise money for the production – but that’s not all this campaign is about. We also want to get the word out about our performances this summer. Can’t afford to donate? That’s okay! If you still want to help you could help us get the word out! Use the IndieGoGo Share Tools and tell your friends about who we are and what we’re up to!
We want your bums in our seats this summer!
The tickets for our Montreal show are already available! You can reserve your online at: http://www.montrealfringe.ca/en/show/urge-going
Help us promote the show by sharing our website, passing out flyers, and spreading the word of mouth about the show this summer in Montreal and Toronto.
More information and photos can be found at: www.qualityslippers.ca