Coal Mine Theatre - Working with the Best

It's been two years since my journey with Coal Mine Theatre, Toronto's hottest rising east-end theatre company (in my humble opinion).



... Actually STAGE DOOR, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, and NOW MAGAZINE (NNNN) agree with my opinion too!

Chief Engineers Diana Bentley and Ted Dykstra have been SO open, patient, and kind and I feel very blessed to be a part of such an inspiring team.

PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE

PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE

You know how they (who is they?) say to place yourself around successful people who are doing innovative things? Well that is how I feel each and every day I get to work alongside the entire creative and artistic team.

DIANA BENTLEY, SHAUN BENSON, TED DYKSTRA, and CHRIS HAYES on set 

DIANA BENTLEY, SHAUN BENSON, TED DYKSTRA, and CHRIS HAYES on set 

After completing the website, Diana and I bonded over SM discussions and coffee! We began working on Twitter and Facebook, and saw a 73% increase over a year and a half!

PHOTO BY SHAUN BENSON | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE

PHOTO BY SHAUN BENSON | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE

We even ventured into producing video content this year and it was a pleasure to put together short vignettes about the BREATHING CORPSES cast.

We tried our very first holiday themed show and it was a blast. Louise Pitre and Kenneth Welsh on stage. Sweet melodious music mixed with a live reading of "A Child's Christmas in Wales."

PHOTO BY SHAUN BENSON | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE

PHOTO BY SHAUN BENSON | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE

PHOTO BY SHAUN BENSON | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE

PHOTO BY SHAUN BENSON | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE

PHOTO BY SHAUN BENSON | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE

PHOTO BY SHAUN BENSON | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE

We are half way through Season Three, and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of the team that is putting on the Canadian premiere of SUPERIOR DONUTS. Tracy Letts, the wondrously talented writer (August: Osage County, and KILLER JOE)

PHOTO BY ATSHUTTERSPEED

PHOTO BY ATSHUTTERSPEED

We close this season with what Diana likes to call, "our dark horse." - ORPHANS. We were at Evergreen Brickworks this past weekend shooting out on the train tracks. Actually let me rephrase. I was safely on firm ground while the cast and photographer, Shaun, were out on the train tracks.

PHOTO BY ATSHUTTERSPEED | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE | ORPHANS

PHOTO BY ATSHUTTERSPEED | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE | ORPHANS

PHOTO BY ATSHUTTERSPEED | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE | ORPHANS

PHOTO BY ATSHUTTERSPEED | PROPERTY OF COAL MINE THEATRE | ORPHANS

Tickets are selling fast for the final two shows! If you like innovative, challenging, modern, and enticing art, Coal Mine is for you. If you like sheer entertainment - you have come to the right place!

Nominated for DORA awards three years running, I very much look forward to moving up and beyond in our next season of work!

- Jenn

Women in Film and Television: My First WIFT-T Meeting in Toronto

I attended an AGM event this past Monday with WIFT. Hosted downtown Toronto at Goodman LP, I found myself immersed in a group of talented and career driven women.

| What WIFT-T excels at is creating a supportive community where women can meet, network, voice our concerns, face common challenges, and celebrate our triumphs. No other organization does this for women filmmakers - Stephanie Law, WIFT website.

What an organization like this does for women is provide a platform for women to discuss challenges, issues, and everyday career obstacles together in a non-judgmental atmosphere. From entry level industry members to members with 30+ years of experience, WIFT-T excitedly invites anyone and everyone who is interested.

Membership Flexibility

Membership is flexible and based on your industry experience. This is important because some of their networking events and professional development courses are catered to level of expertise in the industry.

The thing I am looking forward to the most as a new member with WIFT is the educational opportunities and course modules they organize and host. These intuitive courses are catered directly to industry professionals and offered for a fraction of the price of other development courses. 

Media Business: Marketing and Distribution

The landscape for our industry is changing. Digital media is going to take over TV distribution sooner or later. We have to stay at the forefront and be a part of the box that pushes the boundaries for content creation. WIFT provides incubator programs for emerging talent that go through the entire production and business end of media creation. They offer a Digital Media Bootcamp course:

| Content creators will learn about the technical environments available to them to tell their stories and distribute their work – plus manage projects on deadline and on budget. Participants will leave confident with the understanding of what it takes to get their original or digital extension project executed. This program was formerly called the Convergent Media Program - WIFT website.

Other exciting events to look forward to: a short film festival championing member work, a TIFF reception party, and networking opportunities.

At the AGM I met the Chair, Joanna Webb. She approached me with a smile and personally welcomed me to the event. I felt instantly warm and at home. I also got to talk to a new board member, Andra Sheffer, who has such an inspiring career tract: from working at festivals to being the CEO of the Independent Production Fund and other Canadian film industry companies. This was enough for me. I felt included, excited, and on board with their mission statement.

If you are interested in joining, visit their website and check out all the flexible membership options.

- Jenn

*Stay tuned for our blog tomorrow: In Conversation with Andrea Ziedenberg, Far From the Madding Crowd.