Dive into John McGie's twisted mind with the return of the Chair Series 

Arts News: 10 Screenwriters to Watch; WFF seeking volunteers

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - CHAIR UP THERE Siobhan McCarthy performs at The Point last April as part of the Chair Series.
  • Photo submitted
  • CHAIR UP THERE Siobhan McCarthy performs at The Point last April as part of the Chair Series.

One chair, one actor and one seriously twisted mind. These are the ingredients that make up the Chair Series, a run of black-box performances that feature a collection of actors from Whistler, Squamish and Vancouver bringing playwright John McGie's quirky imaginings to life.

(Editor's Note: The author is a Chair Series performer.)

Returning to The Point Artist-Run Centre for the third time, this edition features the largest Whistler contingent of performers yet, each of whom have a monologue written specifically for them by the North Vancouver writer based on a single-word prompt the actors gave to him.

There are no props, no costumes, and few of the theatrical flourishes you might expect to find onstage.

"It's something a bit different, and refreshing with the simplicity of having one chair (as the only) prop. I find that really captivating. You're really focused on the story," said Stephen Vogler, The Point's artistic director.

Whistler actors Tara Bowland, Kate Byrne, Hailey Guille, Sara Marrocco and Louise Robinson will perform at The Point on Saturday, Nov. 25. Lions Bay singer-songwriter Cayla Brooks will perform from her debut album, Plush Red Chair, to open the evening, which will include Chinese cuisine for purchase by Whistler's own Spring Roll Lady, Michele Bush.

Doors and cash bar from 6 p.m. Tickets are $20, available at Armchair Books or at thepointartists.com.

McGie's paperback, The Chair Series Monologues Vol. 1, is now available on amazon.com.

Keep your eyes peeled for WFF's Screenwriters to Watch

This week, the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) revealed the lineup for Variety's 10 Screenwriters to Watch event, which has, for years, served as a barometer of Hollywood's promising writers' pool.

This year's honoured screenwriters will share their stories of what it's like to be an up-and-coming scribe in the ever-evolving movie industry of today.

"With Variety showcasing the brightest and most promising writers of the year, the chance to meet and hear their stories first-hand makes this a must-attend discussion for both casual fans and aspiring filmmakers," said festival director Shauna Hardy Mishaw in a release.

Hosted by Variety VP and executive editor Steven Gaydos, the sit-down at the Maury Young Arts Centre will shine a light on the following emerging writers: Liz Hannah (The Post); Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan, who co-wrote Chappaquiddick; Hallie Meyers-Shyer (Home Again); Maggie Betts (Novitiate); Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip); Daniel Stiepleman (On the Basis of Sex); Dorothy Blyskal (The 15:17 to Paris); Sarah Ruhl (My Life on the Road); Samuel V. Franco and Evan Kilgore, who co-wrote Keeper of the Diary; and John Whittington (The LEGO Batman Movie).

Variety's 10 to Watch program began 20 years ago, annually recognizing breakthrough actors, screenwriters, directors, cinematographers, and comics. Its screenwriting program has been held at WFF for the past six years.

Among those who have appeared on the Screenwriters to Watch list in years past include Oscar winners Jennifer Lee (Frozen), Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park); along with Emmy winners Lena Dunham (Girls); Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen (This is the End); and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek).

The event is scheduled for Dec. 2 from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Maury Young Arts Centre. Tickets are $25, available at whistlerfilmfestival.com.

WFF still seeking volunteers

With its 17th edition just days away, the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) is in need of a few extra helping hands.

Running Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, WFF is looking for volunteers to help welcome the 14,000 anticipated attendees to Whistler for over 80 films, live music concerts and industry events. Volunteer manager Paul White said about 20 people are needed for a variety of roles, including box office, front of house, VIP guest chaperones, technical crew, and more.

Volunteers receive free festival tickets for each shift worked, and will also be compensated with free merchandise, free lunches, and an invitation to the festival's wrap party. Organizers typically ask for a minimum eight-hour commitment, but welcome those who would like to work more.

To sign up, visit whistlerfilmfestival.com/support/volunteer or contact White at volunteer@whistlerfilmfestival.com.

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