Creative insights

L-R: Christopher Morris, Andrew Moodie, Stuart Hughes © Andree Lanthier

Attending pre-rehearsal chats and open rehearsals are one of the many benefits donors receive when they support performance, creation and learning across Canada through the National Arts Centre Foundation.

Recently, on two separate occasions, composer Mark Neikrug and theatre director David Ferry gave members of the Donors’ Circle a behind-the scenes look of their performances.

Prior to an open rehearsal of his composition Bassoon Concerto, Neikrug explained that the piece isn’t specifically “about” anything. Rather, the sound transmits information about emotions that are not easily definable. When he composes, Neikrug is extremely aware of an imaginary audience. He likes to imagine them listening, and he questions the path on which he is leading them. He said he would not have been able to write his works if everything had been wonderful for the past 50 years, and indeed, the first movement of Neikrug’s Bassoon Concerto expresses his sadness about the state of the world.

David Hare’s Stuff Happens follows the story of U.S. President George W. Bush and his advisors in the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003. Director David Ferry told members of the Donors’ Circle that Hare was attacked for the politics of Stuff Happens when it premiered in 2004. His view that politicians used 9/11 and the chaos it created in order to further their own agendas was not a popular opinion at the time, has now been vindicated. Ferry said the play is still relevant today, particularly with respect to increased security measures by governments in response to crises such as the shootings in Paris. And he said the play reminds us that societies are responsible for the leaders they elect.

A special thank you to our Open Rehearsal and Preview Sponsor, Rob Marland, Royal LePage Performance Realty who makes these sessions possible for NAC Foundation donors.

Join more than 6,500 champions of performance, creation and learning by supporting Canadian artists, educators and students through the NAC Foundation.


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