How do you raise 1 million dollars for your theatre?
Dennis Garnhum is the Artistic Director of the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario. Within a few months of taking on the new job he, along with development team, raised 1 million dollars for the theatre.
Garnhum Grew up in London, and he was 13 years old when he first appeared on stage at the Grand.
Later he was an usher, stage manager and eventually, in 2004, he and his husband, Bruce Sellery (also from London) married in the balcony at The Grand.
Before arriving at the Grand, Dennis was the Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary since 2005 where, as well as developing new plays, he built some impressive partnerships with the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, the Shaw Festival and Bard on the Beach.
So our conversation leans towards the business of running a theatre and finding a life balance.
The Grand Theatre’s website
Emm Gryner has found the sweet spot between being an independent artist and raising a family.
In her early 20s Gryner had a hit song on the radio, toured with David Bowie and then transitioned to a successful career as an independent artist.
Her writing has been praised by the likes of Bono and we discuss how a songwriting contest led to a radio hit for Gryner. We also explore the difference between writing a “hit” for radio and writing to explore one’s personal feelings.
Gryner was the driving force behind Chris Hadfield’s recording of Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” in outer space, while he was the commander of the International Space Station.
Recently Gryner ventured into the world of musical theatre performing in “Joni Mitchell: River” with Louise Pitre and Brendan Wall. The challenges of musical theatre were new for Gryner who was more accustomed to performing in concerts. But Gryner explains the inspiration she drew from Greg Lowe, who went on to play on Gryner’s upcoming album.
As well as touring to support her own work Gryner, is also the founder of the popular folk act “Trent Severn.”
Watch for Gryner’s upcoming project “Only of Earth,” an 80’s synth-pop and 70’s classic rock-infused album.
Emm Gryner’s website
Emm Gryner on Twitter
Video: Emm Gryner and Joe Sumner celebrate David Bowie at Terminal 5 in New York
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Krista Jackson left her Winnipeg home in her teens to study acting in Toronto, but after she found herself auditioning, with a dozen other young actresses, for a “Tide” laundry detergent commercial she quit that scene and returned the theatre community in Winnipeg.
These days she’s performing in Matt Murray’s “Myth of the Ostrich” directed by Heidi Malazdrewich at the MTC Warehouse. It runs March 9 – 26.
She’s the founder and Artistic Director of Zone 41 Theatre, a theatre company that produces classic texts that aren’t often performed in Winnipeg.
Krista recently directed “Fly Me to the Moon” at The Grand Theatre in London, Ontario.
In 2015 Krista worked as an associate director at The Stratford Festival, under John Caird. She admits “I was always a bit intimidated to direct Shakespeare,” and talks about how she “cracked open that world…of dense text.”
Matt Murray’s Myth of the Ostrich
directed By Heidi Malazdrewich at The Royal MTC Warehouse.
Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
Directed by Martha Henry at The Stratford Festival