Welcome to the tree museum

Welcome to the tree museum

construction paper cut outs of a family eating a picnic surrounded by lumberjacks cuting down trees

Written by: Robert Plowman

Directed & Devised by: Andy Houston

Associate Director: Brooke Barnes

Performances: March 18 - 23, 2019

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Matinees: March 20 & 22 at 12 p.m.

Venue: Hagey Hall Studio 180

But… what happens then? When all the trees are gone?

welcome to the tree museum was a multimedia performance, featuring a lumberjack choir, set in a world (much like our own) that is racing towards ecological disaster.  The always-exceptional Brash children – Hazy, Queenie, Thunder and Toot - grew up knowing they were the generation that would save the world. In fact, the first time Hazy saved the world she was 13 — and that was the start of all her misfortunes. Years later, when the siblings are brought together by a wedding and illness, they are forced to confront the impending death of the woodland where they spent their childhood. How do we mend the severed connection to family and the environment?

Written by Robert Plowman, welcome to the tree museum was developed in part from a research and creation process undertaken by UWaterloo students last winter. In this process, students learned the meaning of ecology, and their agency in relation to this concept, through performance techniques and extensive research of the subject. The play addresses the disregard humanity holds toward the well-being of our environment, further asking of its audience to revive its once thriving relationship with nature, reintroducing us to our once childlike approach of wonder to the great outdoors.

Can we fall in love with nature, again? Andy Houston, director and professor at UWaterloo, believes we can. Working in collaboration with his design team, several of whom are alumni of the program: Brooke Barnes (student associate director), Kaylee Lock O’Connor (Installation Design), Paul Cegys (video design), Chelsea Vanoverbeke (lighting design), Colin Labadie (music composition, sound design), and Sharon E. Secord (costume design).

With an engagement space open 30 minutes before the performance begins, audience members are given an opportunity to immerse themselves into the world of the performance. Talkbacks with the cast, director, and dramaturgy team, were offered post-production to open the floor to questions and comments from the audience about the performance, as well as the pressing problem of ecological crisis explored in the play.

Check out our Dramaturgy Hub for more info on the production of Welcome to the Tree Museum.

CAST

Harriet Brash - Holly Bouillon

Queenie Brash - Elsa Booij

Thunder Brash - Isaac Ellmen

Toot Brash - Joanna Cleary

Barnabas Reet - Reid

Gentleman Charlie - Brooke Reid 

Eight Day - Shamanta Haider

Jigger Jones - Samantha Mirandola

Mother/Billie/Reporter - Anya Forestell

Father/ Jordan Delivery Man / Reporter - Trevor Sinke

CREATIVE TEAM

Director - Andy Houston

Playwright, Supervising Dramaturge - Robert Plowman

Associate Director, Dramaturge - Brooke Barnes

Installation Designer - Kaylee Lock - O'Connor

Costume Designer - Sharon Secord

Video Designer and Instructor - Paul Cegys

Lighting Designer - Chelsea Vanoverbeke

Sound Designer / Composer - Colin Labadie

Movement Coach - Brad Cook

Vocal Coach - Meghan Bunce

Stage Manager - Selin Erkaya

Exhibit Designer, Web Designer, Dramaturge - Christina McArthur

PRODUCTION TEAM

Production Manager - Janelle Rainville

Technical Director - Gill Lesperance 

Assistant Stage Manager - Madie Bennett

Head of Video - Nicole Reid

Head of Carpentry/ paint / props - Lindsay McDonald

Head of Wardrobe - Kristina Nasato

Head of Lighting - Kendalin Bishop

Student Production Crew  - Abbey MacDonald, Monica Durlak, Thien Tran, Madie Bennett, Yuru Su, and May Nemat Allah, Samantha Mirandola, Rebecca Petrosino, Stephanie Dilnot and Yeshu Wu)

SPECIAL THANKS

William Innes, Gerry Altenburg, Wendy Philpott, Jordana Cox, Trudy Trudel, Alan Auerback, Mathew Kensett, Maddy Samms, Arda Wigs Canada, and Alexandra Carruthers

Students of the Winter 2018 DRAMA 301 class:

Jess Bertrand, Holly Bouillon, Adrienne Bruno, Alexandra Carruthers, Joanna Cleary, Darius Hahn, Tausha Hanna, John Krukowski, Abbi Longmire, Chelsea MacDonald, Lindsay McDonald, and Rebecca Reid

The playwright wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the following to the development of the script:

Martin Ford, Peter Gillespie, Derek Hall + Tanya Richardson, Alexandra Rose + Elizabeth Rose, Jennifer Roberts-Smith and Donald Smit