Artistic Director’s Note: Vincent in Brixton

Feb 04, 2004

James DeFelice has performed many duties for Theatre Network over the years, and we are very honoured to have him now make his directing debut with us. James has brought together an excellent cast and crew for this production, many who are making their debuts as well. It is a blessing to have the talents that we have in this production.
In fact, it is blessing that we are able to present the Canadian Premiere of VINCENT IN BRIXTON at all. James and I were having lunch at Conrad’s Sugarbowl Café, discussing an entirely different play for him to direct this season, when the fax came through. The performance rights for VINCENT IN BRIXTON had just become available. James and I sat silent for a moment, looked at each other, and both said, “This is a sign”.
Months earlier, James had slipped me a copy of the script. I loved the play and knew instantly that if we did produce it, James should direct it. That afternoon in late June was an extraordinary and fated one.
This is why I love working for Theatre Network – we are a company that can react immediately to new ideas. Just when we think we are doing one thing, we are able to identify new possibilities and better choices midstream, and help them to occur.
Speaking of allowing things to occur… We are in the midst of big changes here at Theatre Network. We are saying good-bye to a close friend of mine, Gina Puntil, our Production Manager and Lady-of-Creation, whom we at Theatre Network will sadly miss. I’ve created nine shows here with Gina, and have had the pleasure of building this company with her – thank you, Gina. Thank you for taking our productions to another level, and thank you for being such a great friend and comrade. And thanks for being here.
Theatre Network is also saying hello, to a new friend. David Cheoros, our new General Manager, comes to us via the Edmonton Fringe, the Comedy Arts Festival and FAVA. David is a great addition to our company, who brings a wealth of creativity and knowledge. I look forward to what our partnership will create.
So, it is fitting that we present to you the beginning of Vincent Van Gogh’s life in 1873, as Theatre Network embarks on a new beginning in 2004.