A&E » Arts

Children's theatre

Local students play The Tortoise Versus the Hare



Give a kid a script, a costume and five days and you'll be surprised to see what happens, according to the Missoula Children's Theatre.

The touring company stopped in Whistler this week where they cast 37 local students from kindergarten to grade seven as furry critters, reptiles and even a two-legged camera crew as part of their production of The Tortoise Versus the Hare: The Greatest Race, a twist on the fable where slow and steady wins the race.

"It surprises me how much kids can grow," says Andrew Coopman, one half of the actor/director pair that is producing the show. "When you tell a kid, 'Hey, you have to have a script memorized by Tuesday,' the kids are like, 'Yeah, ok.' It's cool to see the show come together so quickly. I'm continually amazed by the skills they achieve throughout the week."

Casting took place on Monday and by Tuesday the group was in rehearsals. The show will be performed at Millennium Place on Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. and again at 5:30 p.m. "Their determination always amazes me," says Amanda Tatum, the other director/actor.

The production imagines the tortoise and the hare story 40 years after the tortoise's epic win with the hare reclaiming victory every year since the initial race. A news crew follows the pair as they prepare for the annual challenge.

"What's unique about Missoula is there are other messages. Our story is about equality and treating others nicely," Coopman adds. "Basically, we're teaching kids life skills through theatre."

Architect announced

Vancouver architecture firm Patkau Architects has been chosen to design the Audain Museum, slated to be built in Whistler Village.

The Audain Art Museum board made the announcement that John and Patricia Patkau, both members of the Order of Canada, landed the major project last week. "We are delighted that John and Pat have agreed to undertake this commission," says board member Jim Moodie. "It will, no doubt, result in an exciting building which will add to the diversity of things to enjoy in Whistler."

Boasting 13 Governor General awards for their projects, the pair also had their work featured in the Venice Biennale for Architecture in the Five North American Architects exhibit earlier this year.

Despite their Lower Mainland location, they have never worked on a cultural project in B.C. Samples of the firm's projects on its website range from clusters of wooden skate shelters in Winnipeg to the glass-encased Beaty Biodiversity Centre at the University of British Columbia and a series of cottages built into the rolling hills of Bear Run, Pennsylvania.

Last month, art collector Michael Audain announced he'd chosen Whistler as the permanent home for his extensive private collection of First Nations and contemporary B.C. art. He plans to fund the construction of the 2,500-square-metre building between parking day lots three and four.

New art space

Nita Lake Lodge is partnering with the White Dog Studio Gallery to create a new art program.

The hotel will display seven pieces by local artists, with plans to expand the collection. Local landscape artists Jennifer Zizman, Karna Bonwick and Brian Buckrell will be the first to have their work displayed in the space.

"The design and architecture of the lodge fit perfectly into the setting and the Whistler landscape of forests, lakes and mountains," says Penny Elder, owner of the White Dog Studio Gallery, which represents the artists.