The Owl and Cat Theatre opened its doors in Richmond a modest two years ago, but last weekend we partied like it was 1922. The 2017 Fundraiser gala was a speakeasy-themed party, and the venue, the Abbotsford Convent, brought it to a whole other level of special.
The theatre directors favour works which are challenging, provoke and engage you in discussion, if not outright gut-wrenching. This particular night though, everything on stage spoke fun and celebration. The theatre’s many artist and performer friends treated us to comedy, magic, singing, poetry reading, hula hoop burlesque, art auctions and more.
In between each act, Director and actor Gabrielle Savrone passionately announced the theatre’s plans for 2017. It is great to hear and support the new play seasons, art programs, and initiatives.
Playwright and Director Thomas Ian Doyle is in charge of putting together three ‘seasons’ of theatre works – all of them world premieres. The first is launching soon, this month, so keep an eye out on their website. In between each season the Owl and Cat will host two programs: ‘Primary Colours’ will open their space to Aboriginal artists and their work. ‘Platform’ is a program to give emerging artist opportunities. Gabrielle stressed the importance of giving new artists space and the opportunity to fail (and succeed).
Finally, Studio Welder is a part-time professional actor’s course running March to October that seems pretty comprehensive, culminating with participation in a new play – and an opportunity for a follow-up scholarship in New York. The Studio also offers drop-in classes with very affordable fees for and weekly timetables of sessions, much like a gym, where instead you get to work out your acting muscles.
It’s a lot to get excited about. We at The Plus Ones will be checking out what The Owl and Cat showcase throughout the year, and we wish the fine people behind the scenes in Richmond all the success they deserve.
Christian G. is an international man of mystery; lover of books, cats and the performing arts; moonlighting as a finance professional by day.
The Owl and Cat Theatre
34 Swan Street