Category Archives: Last of the Dragons

The Dragon has arrived!

The Last of the Dragons opened this weekend! We’ve got songs, sword fights, a talking parrot and — of course — a DRAGON! Oh yes, we totally have a dragon. The story calls for a 70-foot beast and Lifeline only has a 26 foot stage, but that did not deter our dragon-maker, Joanna Iwanicka, because she is brilliant as well as intrepid. Our dragon is gorgeous, ginormous and nimble: he fights, too.

Joanna Melville (yes, another Joanna — we had two amazing Joannas on the team) also had a challenging path. As always with Lifeline shows, we have several people playing multiple parts, making quick changes with very specific costume demands. David Fink plays three different characters (two of them animals) and Anne Sears mus

t be elegantly attired as a princess on her wedding day — and then run, leap, dive, roll and wield a broadsword. Yes, a broadsword! Do you know how much those weigh? We’re all very impressed with Anne, who is a heck of a fighter. But — the dress! It is one powerful, flexible and stain-resistant yet gorgeous gown that Joanna M. has crafted for our princess with the mad fight skillz!

I’m also super geeked about the music in the show. Mikhail Fiksel has composed a really catchy score and the CDs are flying off the concession stand. You can check out a video clip of the Fight the Dragon song here.

All three shows were packed this weekend, plus we had a special event. Between shows on opening day, there was a sword-fighting demonstration upstairs led by fight choreographer (and adaptor) for the show, David Gregory Bareford. That was something no one wanted to miss. Every single person from the sold-out 1am show went straight upstairs to watch. David and fight partner Matthew Bartels kindly did the demo twice so that we could accommodate the incoming 1pm crowd as well.

Like most of our KidSeries shows, this one is appealing to adults as well. And it’s under an hour! I hope you will come and visit us.

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director

Mrs. Caliban Sneak Peek

We had a really fun subscriber/donor event on Sunday.  The theater was swept completely bare and everyone who walked in said, “Whoa! I’ve never seen the space empty before.”   It was a fleeting state, so don’t rush over to see.  Monday morning began the load-in for The Last of the Dragons.  The season marches on!

As usual, we had wine and cheese and other yummies.  We had 30 subscriber/donors attend and we got an unusually intimate peek at the rehearsal process of Mrs. Caliban Ann had the cast performing physical improvisations in pairs, based on three words they’d chosen that characterize their stage relationships.  This was totally fascinating and great fun.  The audience got to guess the relationship words the actors had chosen and the guesses were dead on, which tickled all involved.  Then we heard some scenes read and a lengthy discussion followed.  Many thanks to cast members Peter, Brenda, Jenifer, Dan and Monica, as well as Frances, Ann and Stephanie for allowing us to look inside their process.

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director


Lifeline artists make splashes all over town! (All over the continent, actually…)

This months’ splashy outside doings include:

Toy sound designed Souvenir, playing at Northlight Theatre thru Dec 20.

Rob‘s performing in Mojo Mickybo with Seanachai Theatre Co. thru Dec. 6. This two-man show is a tour de force for two great actors and it’s gotten RAVE reviews. (And it’s only an hour long! What’s not to love?)

Alan just returned from supervising the remount of A Dicken’s Christmas Carol at Silver Dollar City in Branson (opened Nov 7 and plays to Dec.31).  He’s currently in production for The Wind in the Willows for City Lit.  (opens Dec 1).  He’s in design mode  for Les Liaisons Dangereuses for Remy Bumppo–opening in March. And as strange as it seems, he is also currently designing for 2011 Christmas productions of a new adaptation of Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer at Dollywood (a stage version of the 60’s stop action animation TV special) and a new adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life at Silver Dollar City in Branson.

Frances‘s adaptation of Strong Poison is currently playing at the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg. And they had Frances up there a week before opening to do a press junket! (Other Lifeliners who made the trip to see the Winnipeg production were Peter and Jenifer, our own Lord Peter and Harriet Vane.) There’s been cross-traffic as well. Greg Ellwand, who plays Lord Peter in the Winnipeg production, was one of the Canadian team that visited Lifeline recently to see Busman’s Honeymoon.

Next up at Lifeline: There be dragons! (at least one!)

We’re about to start rehearsal for The Last of the Dragons. Yes! We’re totally going to have a dragon! And sword fights! And songs! We’re also excited to have David Fink (Duck for President), Scott Allen Luke (Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle) and Mike Ooi (The Mark of Zorro) back at Lifeline for this show, plus exciting newbies Mallory Nees and Anne Sears. Lifeline’s tech director, Ian Zywica will do his first scenic design for Lifeline (though he has done many wonderful designs elsewhere in town). David Bareford is the adapter. Does his name sound familiar? That’s cuz he’s a LIfeline regular wearing a new hat. This is his first adaptation for Lifeline but he and his fight partner Richard Gilbert have choreographed fights for many Lifeline shows (The Island of Dr. Moreau recently, Dragons right now and Neverwhere coming soon). Fun fact: David is married to Lifeline’s former managing director, Melissa Bareford. Music will be by Mikhail Fiksel, who has designed sound for LIfeline before but this will be his first musical with us as composer. Sarah Hughey (Mariette in Ecstasy) designs lights. We also have two Joannas on the team: Joanna Melville (Busman & Piggle-Wiggle) returns to design costumes and Joanna Iwanicka (scenery for The True Story of the 3 LIttle Pigs! and puppets for Dooby Dooby Moo) is our dragon maker! Jennifer Aparicio (Snowflake Tim) returns as stage manager and we’re very glad to have Andy Junk and Sara Gorsky understudying the whole team.

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director