Members of the local business community stepped into the spotlight and got a chance to experience the stage through a performer’s eyes during Business & Arts NL’s second Scene First event.
Scene First is a series of events, offered exclusively to Business & Arts NL business members and their employees, that aims to increase interaction and engagement between the local business and arts communities. The program brings members deeper into the arts by offering opportunities to see the nuts and bolts of how various artworks are created, giving them a better understanding of the complex systems behind theatres, orchestras and more. Through these up-close and personal encounters, the business community also gains a better sense of what they can learn from the creative sector.
The latest event took place on June 6 at the historic LSPU Hall in downtown St. John’s. Guests enjoyed cocktails and conversation before learning more about the intersection between business and arts from Dr. Ian Sutherland, Business & Arts NL board member and Dean of Memorial University’s School of Music.
Nicole Rousseau, RCA Theatre Company’s Artistic Animateur, also provided a history lesson on the Hall and some of the talent that has been nurtured there over the years. Before setting off on a behind-the-scenes theatre tour, pens and notebooks were distributed and guests were encouraged to become intrepid explorers of the arts, jotting down questions and comments as they came to mind.
After being led through the backstage area, members of the business community emerged onto the brightly-lit stage to gain a better perspective on what the performers see when they look out into the audience, giving them the chance to slip into the artist’s shoes.
Guests were then treated to a private rehearsal of “If A Place Could Be Made” from The Daly Family Collective, consisting of singer-songwriter Diana Daly, dancer-actor Louise Moyes and director-collaborator Anne Troake.
The touching and funny production, which runs until June 18 at the LSPU Hall, embraces the spirit of love and inclusivity as it tells the tale of Kitty and Daniel Daly of Riverhead, St. Mary’s Bay and their 12 children – six of whom were very tall and six of whom were persons of short stature (formerly known as dwarfism). Through stories, song, dance, images and snippets of audio interviews, the family’s story captured a rapt audience.
The rehearsal was followed by a Q&A session in which Daly, Moyes and Troake discussed everything from their artistic inspiration and their upcoming performance at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, to the business of making a living as an artist. Troake addressed the “different kind of wealth” that comes with being involved with the arts – something which resonated strongly with the audience.
It is immersive experiences such as this that help individuals better understand the artistic process, thereby growing and strengthening the connection between the business and arts communities.
The next Scene First event is scheduled to take place in September.