An Interview with Marion Abbott: The Spirit of Maud Theatre Company

A few months ago I was traveling with a friend to Norval, Ontario where L.M. Montgomery lived from 1926 to 1935, and was told that there was a woman organizing a theatre company in the St. Paul’s Anglican Parish Hall where Montgomery used to participate and direct theatrical productions with her church and a youth organization. Now, I must admit I was weary. It seems that plays, musicals, and more plays are the chosen medium to celebrate Montgomery’s life and works. And while some of them are quite good and even intriguing and I can appreciate how someone considers Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Sandra Nickel, Part Two

On Tuesday I had posted Part One of my discussion with Sandra Nickel. Today marks the second and last post in my Embodying Character Series that I hoped you have enjoyed. Sandra and I conclude this discussion with an exploration of how we can connect acting techniques to the writing process, as well as some of the challenges or opportunities that writers have that an actor might not. Mel: Wardrobe, a wig, a prop. These are ways that actors can find portals into their character. What did you find interesting in how Ellen and Patrick tried to experience Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Sandra Nickel, Part One

It is hard to imagine that it was only a month ago that I had introduced the Embodying Character Series, where–with a little help from my friends–I hoped to explore how acting techniques could also be applied to writing.  I truly enjoyed my fascinating conversations with Ellen Denny and Patrick Cook (currently starring in the Anne and Gilbert: A Musical at The Guild in Charlottetown, PEI) about how they researched and developed their characters. In my introduction, I mentioned that I was partially inspired by Sandra Nickel’s lecture, “Creating the Authentic Gesture: Bringing Acting Techniques to Writing,” so Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Patrick Cook, Part Two

On Tuesday I posted the Part One of my Q&A with actor, Patrick Cook, as we discussed how he approached playing Gilbert Blythe in the current production of Anne & Gilbert: A Musical at The Guild in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Sidebar: Everyone I’ve recommended the show to and has had the opportunity to go has not been disappointed. So if you are planning a trip to PEI this summer, go. Also by birthday is coming up…so… Today’s discussion dives into some of the questions I had about what it means to play a literary heartthrob like Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Patrick Cook, Part One

I’m thrilled to bring you this Q&A with Patrick Cook as part of my Embodying Character Series.  So far the response to Part One, featuring Ellen Denny who plays Anne Shirley, has been tremendously positive, so thanks to everyone who has shared, tweeted, and liked it.   What becomes clear here is that both actors have a genuine connection and respect for their characters and how that is conveyed, as well as for each other. It isn’t everyday one can have the sort of meta experience of interviewing a person who plays one of your favourite fictional Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Ellen Denny, Part Two

On Tuesday I had posted the first part of this two-part interview with Ellen Denny who currently plays Anne Shirley in the Anne & Gilbert: A Musical at The Guild in Charlottetown, PEI. The show is running until October 12th, so if you are considering a out east, make sure to go. Here’s the link to buy tickets. And for those of you who have commented or tweeted or gotten involved in this discussion, I want to thank you. We all like to know that what we’re doing is speaking to people and I’m glad that Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Ellen Denny, Part One

I’ve written in other parts of this blog about how successful the current production of Anne & Gilbert: The Musical is and that I think it has to do with the strong cast, led by Ellen Denny who plays Anne Shirley and Patrick Cook, who plays Gilbert Blythe. Briefly, the show is a successful adaptation of Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island (the latter being my favourite of the Anne books) which follows the years Anne teaches in Avonlea and then her four years in Redmond College. Choosing to focus most specifically on Anne and Read More

Embodying Character Series: Introduction

Last week I announced that over the summer I would be doing a series on Embodying Character, calling in the talents of two actors, Ellen Denny and Patrick Cook, and a writer/actor, Sandra Nickel to talk about embodying character. I’ve been so excited about this series because it merges many of my passions, including, writing, theatre, and L.M. Montgomery. As I pondered how I was going to introduce the series, I came up with a number of themes and stories. I thought about my own relationship to theatre which involved high school drama classes, giggling Read More

New Look. My Travels. New Series.

A couple of weeks ago I had promised an update and so today’s post is a bit of what’s been happening with Mel, as well as what you can expect to see on this blog in the future. First, I’m playing with a new theme. What do you think? This photo was taken on Lover’s Lane. Isn’t the light just exquisite?   I’ve been all about the light recently. Every where I’ve travelled, I’ve noticed how the light laughs with nature. I’ve been doing what I can to walk in Montgomery’s shoes on my travels to Read More

More Method Than Madness

This is my fifth trip to Prince Edward Island and each time I step out of the plane (even when it was raining) I feel like I’ve come home. Intellectually I know that I am from “away” and really a tourist because I’ve only come during the months of June and August and have never really lived here, but the longer I stay here, the more I feel connected to the earth. Here I feel like I can hear myself think. I admit, with all of the research and plotting and character work I’ve been Read More