Interview by Ryan Quinn
I had the good fortune to speak with Paige Lansky, associate producer of Common Descent’s production of A Misfortune, an original musical based on a story by Anton Chekhov.
Without revealing too much, the plot follows two people after going for a walk in the woods who have to reevaluate the nature of their relationship to each other. “This is about a pivotal time in the lives of these characters”. The show stars Trish Lindström, Jordan Till, Réjean Cournoyer, Kaylee Harwood, and Adam Brazier. It was written by the team of Scott Christian, Wade Bogert-O’Brien and Kevin Michael Shea, and directed by Evan Tsitsias.
“It has a really unique, beautiful musical voice,” Paige told me, ““It’s incredibly poignant and thoughtful. So much is exciting me about this show.” She told me that the strength of the voice in this show, and how confident it is in its characters and message has been nothing short of amazing to see in process.
Paige is a student of Drama Studies and Cinema Studies at University of Toronto, and it’s no exaggeration to say that she jumped into associate producing headfirst: “I sort of knew what it was about, but I had never done anything like this before. Producing is pretty much a 24-hour job, which maybe I didn’t realize.” Paige’s main job was to create and manage the KickStarter, which involved coordinating with a videographer, creating perks, and making very frequent changes to the page as new needs and ideas arose.
Though, after all the hard work, Paige is thankful for the Next Stage Festival for giving her this opportunity to work on a skill she had never put herself to before: “If it wasn’t for the Next Stage Festival, I would never have gotten this opportunity. These festivals are a great way to integrate young artists into the community. It’s fast-paced and accelerated, but when it’s over, you have this whole new toolbox of skills you can use. I think that in Toronto, it’s important to diversify your skills. I’ve never met anyone who just does one thing.”
Presented by Common Descent
Where: Factory Studio Theatre
When: The 2014 Next Stage Theatre Festival schedule
can be found at www.fringetoronto.com/next-stage-festival.