Edward Willett

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Paul Alexander Nolan: From small-town Saskatchewan to Broadway’s bright lights

  This article just appeared in Refined Lifestyles Regina. I've known Paul since he was a kid--I performed with him several times back then, and have even had the chance to be in a professional show with him once, when he played the Beast in Persephone Theatre's production of Beauty and the Beast in Saskatoon in 2007 (I was Monsieur D'arque and several other things). It was great to chat with him for this article, the second time I've interviewed him. For Rouleau native Paul Nolan, the moment it really struck home he was performing on Broadway came in March, 2012, in the first performance in Broadway’s Paul Simon Theatre ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 18:39, May 2nd, 2017 under Blog, Music | Comment now »

Saturday…er, Monday…Special from the Vaults: An interview with Persephone Theatre artistic director Del Surjik

I know, I know, I call these things "Saturday Specials" and here it is Monday. But I have a good excuse: I spent the weekend in Saskatoon at Dance Power, the dance competition in which my daughter and her studiomates from Class Act Performing Arts Studio were competing (they did extremely well!). The competition was at the Remai Arts Centre, home to Persephone Theatre, a theatre I have fond memories of because I was in the very first production to grace its stage, Beauty and the Beast, in 2007, just before it officially opened (and before it was quite finished, actually, but that's another story). While ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:17, May 21st, 2012 under Blog, The Vaults | Comment now »

Covers of the last two Willett-edited Fine Lifestyles magazines

The fall issues of Fine Lifestyles Regina and Fine Lifestyles Saskatoon, the last edited by me, are now out. Here are the covers. (Similar, but not identical!) They should both be online sometime in the next little while. Fine Lifestyles Regina includes a feature about me, written by Mark Claxton, and although I'm not exactly shy about promoting myself, I do feel I should emphasize it wasn't my idea: publisher Randy Liberet suggested it, and who was I to argue? Once everything's online, I'll link to that and the other articles I wrote for ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 14:26, October 22nd, 2010 under Blog | Comment now »

Theatre on the Web

Last week's CBC Web column...***The gala opening of the new Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon last week had Saskatchewan people thinking about live theatre.Of course, I think about live theatre all the time, since I’m often involved in one production or another as an actor or director, so this week I compiled a collection of links to sites on the Internet you can go to when you, too, want to know more about theatre.I started right here in Saskatchewan with our two premiere professional companies, Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon and Globe Theatre in Regina.At both sites, as you would expect, you can read about current and upcoming productions, buy ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 19:35, January 28th, 2008 under Blog | Comment now »

The first sentence I wrote today…

I've been a bit slack on these entries, but I have a good excuse: this is opening week for Persephone Theatre's Beauty and the Beast, so my focus has been pretty much entirely on the show. We had our first show in front of an audience Tuesday (an invited dress rehearsal), then previews Wednesday and last night, plus a school matinee yesterday afternoon (a lot of fun with a show like this; the kids loved it).Tonight is opening night, which means this afternoon we had our final rehearsal. Which also means that starting tomorrow I'll have a lot more time free during the day, which is good, because I have writing that needs doing: both ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 22:33, December 14th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

The first sentence I wrote today…

I've been a bit slack on these entries, but I have a good excuse: this is opening week for Persephone Theatre's Beauty and the Beast, so my focus has been pretty much entirely on the show. We had our first show in front of an audience Tuesday (an invited dress rehearsal), then previews Wednesday and last night, plus a school matinee yesterday afternoon (a lot of fun with a show like this; the kids loved it).Tonight is opening night, which means this afternoon we had our final rehearsal. Which also means that starting tomorrow I'll have a lot more time free during the day, which is good, because I have writing that needs doing: both ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:33, December 14th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

Photo of the (Yester)day: Beauty and the Beast kickline

From Darla Biccum (one of our cast member)'s Facebook page, here we are rehearsing Beauty and the Beast yesterday. This is the end of Be Our Guest. I'm the tall fellow on the right who has bravely taken off his dust mask to sing.Today we did cue-to-cue of Act I, and this show being what it is, with the number of set changes, costume changes and lighting changes it has, it took us all day.The dust wasn't quite as bad today since fewer people were working on site. My biggest problem: I hurt my back in the wolf scene. ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 6:00, December 9th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

Photo of the Day: The New Persephone Theatre

We moved into the new Persephone Theatre today. It was certainly an interesting experience, since construction continued unabated while we checked spacing for Beauty and the Beast on stage. Dust hung so thick in the air that, as you can see in the second photo below, many of us were wearing dust masks most of the day. Various power tools, mixed with hammering, made portions of songs and dialogue completely inaudible at times. The power went out to the piano a couple of times. But we carried on regardless, and noticeable progress was made on construction while we were there. Here's the theatre as it looked at 2 p.m. today (well, yesterday, actually, since it's almost 1 a.m. ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 6:49, December 8th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

The first sentence I wrote today

Richard Hansen looked at the man who had appeared on the vidscreen in response to his request to speak to The Avatar.Words today, plus a few from Sunday I didn't blog: 2,139Total thus far: 15,630Percentage completed: 13So here I am back in Saskatoon for the last week of rehearsals for Beauty and the Beast before previews next week (yes, my name is misspelled "Willet" on the Web site--I really, really hope it's not in the program), leading up to opening night next Friday. My "day off" in Monday involved a two-hour meeting, writing a web column for CBC (which I failed to post before I left and don't have with me, so it ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 4:38, December 6th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

The first sentence I wrote…

...Sunday.See, when you're working on a professional theatrical production (I'm in Saskatoon working on Beauty and the Beast at Persephone Theatre, if you're joining this blog already in in progress), Monday is your day off. So after I worked on Terra Insegura at Starbucks on Sunday morning, I rehearsed until 3 p.m., when I headed home.We'd normally rehearse until 6 p.m., but we knocked off early, after running the first act, because the Saskatchewan Roughriders were playing in the Grey Cup game in Toronto that afternoon. I made it home before the end of the first quarter--yay!--watched the Riders win--double yay!--and then spent yesterday doing my science column and an entertainment feature for the Regina ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 3:23, November 28th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »