Blog / Tag / "myth"

Risky Business: Inside Look at how Performing Arts directors choose what you see

Risky Business: Inside Look at how Performing Arts directors choose what you see

If you've ever wanted to know the kind of vision that goes into developing a festival or a performing arts season--now is the time for you to find out?  How DO these few people decide WHICH shows will sell in the Yukon?  What helps make their decisions?  Do they hand out surveys asking YOU questions?  Or do they have an insight to Whitehorse patrons that we don't know?  Is it a Crystal Ball?  Or is it a lot of planning and  designing that goes into making these decisions?

When putting together a major festival like Frostbite, or ALFF, or Pivot---is it just a combination of artist availability and price? 

How would you decide which music acts might be popular in the Yukon? 

Is Taste shared?

Can one person KNOW what YOU might like? 

Well, someone has to make those choices in organizations.  You have to have someone(s) in every performing arts organization that makes the kind of fortune-telling guesses that create a successful season.  How do they do it?  What are they thinking about when they decide?  Are they trying to mold your preferences, or are they molded BY your preferences? 

Get inside the minds of four Artistic Directors from Nakai, Yukon Arts Centre, Frostbite, Yukon Film Society and Gwaandak Theatre (yes, four people, five organizations).  Find out how they make choices. Remember, all five are non-profit organizations that exist on grants as well as on ticket sales, aiming to please granting agencies, boards as well as patrons. 

Maybe you'd like to be an Artistic Director someday.  Maybe you just want to know who's to credit for bringing in a show you LOVED (or why they brought one you HATED).  Maybe you just want to know WHAT THEY'RE THINKING.

The Mind of the Artistic Director.  It is a fascinating place.  Starring Eric Epstein, David Skelton, Patti Flather and Andy Connors--moderated by Miche Genest.

For this panel discussion, the Artistic Directors may reveal their tips, their tricks, their thoughts, their fears, their best and worst moments, and how complicated it all is choosing what comes to the Yukon.

Come join us!  Bring questions!  Find out HOW IT ALL WORKS (or doesn't).... WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 5:30pm, OLD FIRE HALL.

Damned If You Do: Faust and Others Who Made Deals with the Devil

Damned If You Do: Faust and Others Who Made Deals with the Devil

Western Culture is littered with works that have as their core a deal with the Devil, or the Devil's Contract--a folk motif that pops up in everything from popular music to film to great works of literature.  Started within Christian tradition, the Devil's Contract is a staple among the folktales of European nations, and the US turned it into a cultural tradition--not the pact, but talking about the pact.  You know the drill:  Someone trades their immortal soul for power, wealth, knowledge, love, sex--and in the tragic versions, of course, the Devil gives nearly anything for that soul... and in comic tradition, the main character finds a way to cheat the Devil out of the contract.

You've probably seen more versions of this deal than you remember.   Damn Yankees, the Devil's Advocate, Crossroads, Stephen King's Christine, The Devil and Daniel Webster, The Master and Margerita, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, even Bedazzled where Satan is played by Elizabeth Hurley.

Sometimes the deal with the devil can be a metaphor--not the actual devil, but a very bad deal that you can't get out of--a deal you make with unscrupulous characters. Think Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street; think Tom Cruise in The Firm; think Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in Star Wars.  Not to mention A LOT of music--from classical and opera to heavy metal and pop (Franz Lizst, meet Sting). 

Sometimes it can be a legend--think Robert Johnson, famous blues musician at the Crossroads, signing away his soul for the ability to play great blues music.  (I'm sure other jealous musicians thought that one up).

You can thank Faust for all these diabolical tales.  Two famous adaptations of his story, from Goethe and Marlowe in particular, have been helpful: a scholar sells his soul to the devil because study can't seem to satisfy him, and the answers to the universe are not in books.  So he throws it all away on mysticism and sorcery.  Goethe has Faust rescued and Marlowe has him condemned.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

How many more versions of the "Deal with the Devil" can you think of?  Do these Fausts win or lose against the Devil?

Gounod's Faust, the Opera on Sunday, is now set in an Atomic Bomb Factory and Faust is a middle-aged scientist trying to create the bomb first.  We got a whole new context for our deal with the Devil. 

Come hear Gounod's fabulous score and hear Jonas Kaufmann as Faust and Rene Pape as the Devil! 

If you come on Sunday, you get to enter into a draw for TWO FREE TICKETS to the Opera of your choice. 

Hey, it's Faust.  We had to make a deal with you, eh?


"Somebody's knockin'.  Should I let him in?  Lord, it's the devil, would you look at him!  I've heard about him, but I never dreamed.  He'd have blue eyes and blue jeans..."

from "Somebody's Knockin'" by Ed Penney and Jerry Gillespie, as sung by Terri Gibbs (1980)

What MythConceptions about the North have you heard?

What MythConceptions about the North have you heard?

Seems every day we hear something startling about "our" way of life and "our" north.  We've all heard the one about a tourist asking, "When do you turn on the Northern Lights?"  Dogmushing to work, living in igloos, ---eek--the myths about the north still abound.  For me, it's the "Polar Bears living with Penguins" myth of the north that just makes me wanna scream.  (If polar bears and penguins lived together, penguins would be gobbled up in an afternoon). 

To celebrate the new gallery showing, "Untrue North," we'd love to collect some of these Untrue ideas of the north. 

Give us your comment below:  share with us the Untrue things YOU'VE heard about the North.  We'll collect 'em!  Keep coming back to see what other people have said--cause I can tell you now---this is gonna get weird and funny. 

And if you're up here at YAC's Art Gallery between Jan 12 and March 10 come see this great collection of art, curated by Earl Miller, that challenges what is True and Untrue about the North. 


(image presented above is NOT IN the showing--just an example of the kind of question we're asking)