Monday, 24 October 2011

Remembering Michelle Dias

Michelle was well-known professionally as a skilled painter and props
builder, having worked at the Citadel Theatre for over 15 years as the
Head of Scenic Art, and several years at the Banff Centre as the Head of

But Michelle also spent much of her time outside of her creative work
with paint and props as a writer.  Her one act Theatre for Young Audiences play “The Young Lion of Vinci” received an Honorable Mention at the Alberta Playwriting Competition in the Spring of 2008.

Working with Michelle on a workshop of the play that Fall allowed me to
see Michelle’s creativity shine. Her concept for the play was to have
screens on stage on which moving sketches of works of Leonardo Da
Vinci provided the backdrop for each location and situation in the piece.
She imagined a charcoal line magically drawing the pictures on the
screens, bringing to life the incredible imagination of young Nardo. After
knowing her previously as a visual artist and talented and knowledgeable
scenic artist at the Citadel, the Nardo play to me was a wonderful
merging of Michelle’s creative endeavours.

Despite her relatively new foray into writing, she was not only working on
a novel for young adult readers, about a young girl from a theatre family
who discovers she can travel through time, but also had her professional
stage debut as a playwright this month, as part of “Far From Crazy”:
eight new works by north American playwrights on the theme of mental
illness.  All the while, she worked full-time, volunteered as a Big Sister,
and wrote colourful biographies for the many kittens that she fostered
over the years for the Edmonton Humane Society.

                  Michelle was an incredibly talented theatre artist and a wonderfully thoughtful friend and colleague with a great sense of humour.
She is greatly missed by her extensive theatre family in Edmonton, Banff
and throughout the province.

Tracy Carroll
APN Edmonton Liaison

The following is an example of Michelle’s wit in a little piece that she
wrote while working in Banff:

Rehearsal Notes: Chair

Day 1
May we please have a stool ?

Day 2
Thanks for the stool.  May we please have a taller stool?

Day 3
Thanks for the taller stool.  The director has requested a bench instead.

Day 4
Regarding the bench, would it be possible to put arms and a back on it?

Day 5
Thanks for the sofa.  Although the designer would prefer it, the director feels strongly about having the bench back, and altered as requested.

Day 6
After meeting last night with the designer, the director has reconsidered the altered bench and would like to see the sofa again.  We appreciate the overtime you put into the bench and apologize for the change.

Day 7
Can we please see all the chaise lounges you have in stock?

Day 8
Thanks for bringing up the chaises.  The director has decided to stay with the sofa.  Would it be possible to shorten it?  To about loveseat size?

Day 9
The director doesn’t care for the style of the loveseat you brought in.  We will ask him to discuss it with the designer.  Meanwhile, can we pursue our request to have the sofa shortened?

Day 10
Thanks for shortening the sofa.  Unfortunately we’ve now found the arms are too low on this one and would like to see all the other sofas and loveseats you have in stock.

Day 11
Can we please have all the sofas and loveseats removed from the rehearsal hall before 10am?   The director and designer have met and have decided to try an armchair.

Day 12
Thanks for the armchair.  Do you have one with a taller back?

Day 13
Although very nice, the wingback is too tall.  Is there an armchair in stock with a back that’s shorter than the wingback but taller than the first armchair?

Day 14
Thanks for the Barcalounger.   Wrong style unfortunately, but fun.  May we keep it in the Stage Management office?   Can we please try again with another armchair?

Day 15
The director loves the new armchair.   Thank you.

Day 16
Regarding your note about the designer requesting new fabric for the armchair:  we can free up the chair after rehearsal today.  It would be great to have it back tomorrow.   Is one night enough time for the re-upholstery?

Day 17
After rehearsing with a dining room chair today, the director feels he would like to use that instead of the armchair.  Sorry!  Hope you didn’t stay too late last night!

Day 18
Do you have another dining room chair that closely matches the one we have, but without arms and with a different fabric?  And perhaps a slightly taller back? 

Day 19
Thanks for the selection of dining room chairs.  If we wanted to use a full set of six, would it be possible to recover the seats before tomorrow’s dry run?

Day 20
We have some news that will make you laugh.  The director has decided that one of the plain black orchestra chairs will be perfect.  We had one in the rehearsal hall.  Thanks and have a great day. 

Day 21
Re: the table…

1 comment:

  1. Oh I love looking for a couch myself, I have considered this type of couch. They look so cozy, the babe and I can comfortably extend our legs either way for movie night. The blue/gray velvet is perfection.
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