On Thursday May 3, director Janet Irwin spoke to NAC Foundation supporters about her adaptation of Up to Low by novelist Brian Doyle and its journey to the NAC’s Babs Asper Theatre.
Up to Low’s first audience attended a reading of the script at Brennan’s Hill Hotel in Low, Quebec in 2014. The next year, the play premiered in the small Arts Court Studio, a space which provided the audience with a sense of intimacy. And today—thanks in part to NAC Foundation supporters—Up to Low has reached the national stage.
Through NAC English Theatre’s Collaborations, Janet was able to develop Up to Low so that it could be performed at the NAC. The development entailed a re-write and a re-design, with the intention of maintaining the intimacy that was achieved at Arts Court.
Janet enthused that donations helped a small, local show be performed on a national stage, where it would reach a larger audience. She shared that one of the main changes to Up to Low from three years ago was that it went to one act and became streamlined. Also, the stage was designed so that it is thrust into the audience, allowing them to feel as though they are part of the story. In fact, Janet invited audience members to sit at one of the café tables surrounding the stage, and to bring a drink into the theatre to add to the inclusive atmosphere.
Certainly, NAC Foundation supporters can consider themselves an important part of the community of Up to Low…your contributions have helped this powerful coming-of-age story grow and reach new audiences.
A special thank you to our Open Rehearsal and Preview Sponsor, Rob Marland, Royal LePage Performance Realty who makes these chats possible for NAC Foundation donors.