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arts & culture ■ 21 


gateway ■ WWW.tHEGtIiWMONtlN£.C« « Volume 10?t, Issue 19 


New Works Festival spotlights student-run theatre 


THEATRE PREVIEW 


New Works 
Festival 


WHEN Tuesday, Feb. 5 - Sunday, 
Feb. 10 

WHERE Timms Centre for the Arts 
(87 Avenue and 112 Street) 
HOW MUCH S10 at the door 

Kate Black 

ARTS S CULTURE STAFF -s'BLAHBLAHBLACK 

Stepping out of your comfort zone — 
and working hard while you do it — 
characterizes the development of the 
U of A Department of Drama's New 
Works Festival. Throw this in with 
balancing a full course load and you 
may end up with an experience that 
artistic director and fourth-year Dra¬ 
ma major Bevin Dooley describes as 
filled with "tots of drinking and lots of 
tears" — something most university 
students can relate to. 

Entering its 13th season of opera¬ 
tion, the New Works festival contin¬ 
ues to keep things fresh by exclusively 
featuring six original, unproduced 
works. The completely student-run 
festival captures the essence of uni¬ 
versity life by pushing both bound¬ 
aries and time schedules — and as 
GRA Consultant Mia van Leeuwen ex¬ 
plains, it’s all in the spirit of fostering 
artistic growth. 

"Our main goal is to facilitate the 
development of work by emerging 
playwrights, so we try to provide 
development opportunities to new 
emerging writers who might not be 
able to get them through a different 
company. We consider ourselves, a tot 


of the time, to be a stepping stone to 
other projects or festivals," van Leeu¬ 
wen says. 

Dooley explains these development 
opportunities couldn't be done with¬ 
out an arsenal of collective volunteer 
work done out of "a labour of love." 

"Sometimes we have friends, sib¬ 
lings or significant others that well 
■volun-telT to do things, but for the 
most part, everyone on the executive 
and all of the writers, directors, dra¬ 
maturges, actors and designers pitch 
in some way other than in the scope of 
their field," says Dooley. 

Til be painting," adds van 
Leeuwen. 

"And 1 showed up for a lighting 
hang today!" Dooley laughs. 

“Our main goal 
is to facilitate the 
development of 
work by emerging 
playwrights, so we try 
to provide development 
opportunities to new 
emerging writers who 
might not be able to get 
them through a different 
company.” 

MIA VAN LEEUWEN 


In addition to a volunteer force of U 
of A students, the festival also incor¬ 
porates a mentorship aspect Artistic 
director and dramaturge at Theatre 
Yes Heather Inglis, U of A Playwright 
in Residence Greg MacArthur and 


local director Trevor Schmidt — a 
triad Dooley describes as The Holy 
Trinity" — worked with and mentored 
the festival's participants throughout 
theirpreparation. 

However, as MFA Directing candi¬ 
date and festival participant Simon 
Bloom explains , the most lea ru¬ 
ing and perso nal growth comes 
from stepping outside your field of 
practice. 

“It’s completely student-run, so it’s 
a learning experience for a lot of peo¬ 
ple. So that's something that we al¬ 
ways have to keep in mind. It might be 
someone's first time hanging lights," 
says Bloom, who directs festival play 
The Tragedy of the Manic Pixie Dream 
GirL 

Bloom's play offers a feminist re¬ 
sponse to the character trope of the 
“Manic Pixie Dream Girl" found in 
films such as 500 Days of Summer and 
Garden State, where the spontaneous, 
impulsive female lead brings the male 
out of the monotony of his own life. 
Written, directed and performed by 
a crew of 20-somethings. Bloom ex¬ 
plains that this play, along with the 
other shows in the festival, are geared 
towards the university crowd. 

Although Bloom admits it's some¬ 
times difficult to work on a smaller- 
scale set with a more intimate group 
of people, he's confident that the chal¬ 
le ng e is rewar ding and ul tima tely 

contributes to the learning experi¬ 
ence of student-run theatre. As a 15- 
year veteran of theatre, van Leeuwen 
says that in the end, it’s all part of the 
game. 

”1 think wi thin theatre there's this 


— not that I'm advocating for how 
that should always be or anything ... 
but it's all part of the process." 


V new works 
\ festival '13 


brews 


Porter 

Brewery: Mikkeller 

Available at Sherbrooke Liquor Store (11819 
St. Albert Trail) 

Like many beer enthusiasts out there, I have my 
favourite breweries I always return to when I find 
myself plagued with indecision in the aisles of the 
liquor store. One of those standbys is Mikkeller, an 
unconventional brewery that consistently cranks 
out some of the best beers in the world. This week, 
1 checked if my inner fanboy was 
justified by trying out Mikkeller CE| 

Porter. 

The beer pours a syrupy dark 
brown with about a finger and a 
half of rich brown head, which 
lingered for a significant time. 

On the nose, there's a syrupy 

liquorice and bitter chocolate | 

aroma that fades into roasted 

nut and coffee notes. Porter is 'til** 6 - l6: 

pleasant, but it’s a bit more sub- ___ 

dued than I would've expected 
— even at room temperature. |— 

Flavour-wise, the beer doesn't p _ ^ 
hold back, opening up with a - 
strong roasted bitter malt and 
somewhat herbal hop flavours. 

As those fade, interesting liquorice and dark fruit 
notes come up with a faintly acidic, espresso-like 
background, which leaves a lingering bitterness. The 
mouth feel is a bit thin, but the low carbonation helps 
it feel substantial. 

Mikkeller Porter plays with some interesting 
flavours for the style, which is pretty much what I 
expected. Luckily, it also pulls it off well and makes 
for a good beer. I give itan 8.5/10 and recommend this 
to anyone who loves dark beers. 


WRITTEN B v Adrian Lahola-Chomiak 
and Ben Bourne 


Plaid Dragon 

Brewery: Alley Kat 

Available at: Sherbrooke Liquor store 

(11819 St. Albert Trail), Alley Kat Brewery (9929 60 

Ave.) and Keg n Cork (3845 99 SL) 

Having just released the next instalment in their 
Dragon series of Imperial IPAs, Alley Kat continues 
to bring new offers to the table on a monthly basis. 
The aptly-named Plaid Dragon makes use of multiple 
hop varietals — which have all been usedin past edi¬ 
tions of the Dragon series — but 
have been blended together this 
time, instead of being used on their 
own in a single hop beer. 

The beer pours a pale golden- 
orange colour with not much head 
or lacing — a standard trait of the 
Dragon series. 

The smell immediately leaps 
out of the glass with a barrage 
of cantaloupe, tropical fruits, 
orange/tangerine and general 
hoppy goodness. There's also 
some malt sweetness to comple¬ 
ment a light piney character on 

thp finish . 

Unfortunately, the taste is 
much less impressive than the 
nose. While there’s a decent amount of bitterness up 
front, it's nothing special. This is followed by some 
spicy notes and a barely noticeable melon fruitiness 
that doesn't add much to the beer, and the finish has 
a long, lingering spicy bitterness to it. 

Plaid Dragon is another case of a Dragon beer 
whose bite doesn't live up to its bark. The nose set the 
stage beautifully, but the taste falls flat in the end. 
While this isn't a bad beer, it doesn't fulfill its great 
potential, so it only earns a 7/10. 


& 


finer 

things a 

I COMPILED BY Alana Willerton M 



•vf 

▼ 

1 ^ 


Emily Owens, M.D. 


■H 

M 


For TV junkies, there's nothing worse than discovering a new show 
and falling in love with the characters, only to have it cancelled after 
a few short weeks — as is the case with Emily Owens, M.D., a medical 
drama sadly coming to an end after just 13 episodes. The show — which 
will inevitably draw comparisons to programs like Grey's Anatomy — 
was cancelled after only six episodes, though the network thankfully 
decided to let the rest of the season air. 

The show revolves around Emily Owens, a young intern who gets a 
job at the same hospital as both her high school nemesis and her uni¬ 
versity crush, who also happens to be her best friend. While it’s ad mit- 
tedly true that the show doesn't have the most creative concept, what 
it lacks in originality it makes up for in heart. This is mostly thanks 
to lead actor Mamie Glimmer, playing the quirky, slightly nerdy main 
character who has a special touch with her patients. 

Watching the show, it’s no surprise that Gummer comes from good 
stock. As Meryl Streep's daughter, it’s obvious Gummer has picked up 
a few cues from her mother's career. She especially shines when she 
shares the screen with actor Michael Rady, who plays a doctor with a 
crush of his own on Emily. The pair's evolution from friends to almost- 
lovers has been adorable to watch over the series, and the world of TV is 
going to be alittle bleaker without them. 

While it’s a crime to take it off the air, Emily Owens, M.D. deserves 
to be classified as one of the finer things in pop culture before it's ban¬ 
ished from our screens. 

The Finer Things is a semi-regular feature in which Gateway pop 
culture pundits point to a particularly relevant or pretentious exam¬ 
ple of art celebrating it for all of its subjective merit