Reservations Observations

For a journalism assignment I was required to go see Reservations, a play produced by Theatre Projects Manitoba and write about my experience.

I enjoy Theatre Projects Manitoba productions.  Their production of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit stands as one of the most powerful theatre experiences of my life. I appreciate their experimental theatre vibe, but experiments are hit and miss. They can either be resounding success, or miss their mark.

My experience with Reservations was the later. The show is two plays run back to back and explores indigenous issues, restitution, and CFS.

I loved the show’s lighting and projection design. Hugh Conacher did an amazing job creating a visually interesting lightscape for the stage. There was a a billowing wheat field projection that was physically billowing. It was amazing.

There was some clunky dialogue, awkward blocking, and cliche acting that pulled away from the beauty of the set.

Overall the performances were believable and moving. I found Tracey Nepinak’s performances as Esther and Denise particularly enjoyable.

The play’s opening involved dramatic lighting and possible symbolism that I missed entirely. I’m not a big fan of plays that open with tableaus, and Reservations did not change my mind on the matter.

I’ll admit that I’ve never seen a show that focussed on indigenous issues like Reservations did. I appreciated how the difficult content was approached and relaid to the audience. I wasn’t lost once, quite a feat when a large portion of the play revolves around Heidegger.

During the last half of the second play, however, I felt like the playwright (who also starred) was being to blunt in his writing. Instead of subtle teasing out themes in his characters and dialogue, he used  a gimmick to have one of his characters outright explain the main themes behind the plays (as well recite a number of Heidegger quotes.)

This play sparked a lot of interesting conversation with my classmates and instructors. Discussions about whether the play was entertainment or not were heated. Some people enjoyed the play’s “on-the-nose” approach, while others found it preachy.

Although I found it “on-the-nose” (using dialogue to directly communicate themes) I didn’t feel like I was being preached to. Maybe the many Fringe plays I’ve watched have numbed me to so called “preachy” scripts. Sometimes, playwrights write plays with agendas, to educate the audience, to make them think, and I don’t mind watching theatre with an agenda. I appreciate it as both an art form and an educational tool.

I appreciated that even though the script was written by a non-indigenous man, he approach the subject with respect and reverence.

The talkback session did not add to my experience. I don’t like talkback session where the show’s writer is present as the talkback usually degenerates into people trying to get the author to confirm their personal theories about the play and reveal his deepest intentions and meanings. I couldn’t hear many of the speakers and got lost about halfway through the talkback as to what was being asked or discussed as it seemed to be a single question being thrown back and forth.


Hair-Raising Competition

The proud Festival du Voyageur tradition of pitting facial hair against facial hair continued for the 36th time in 2016. The venue was packed full of excited people decked out in sashes and fur hats bellowing “Heho!” at every opportunity. Scattered throughout the room were men (and women!) with jaw-dropping facial hair of every colour, texture, and length imaginable.

Although the night was full of carefree jigging, wild moustaches, and an overall feeling of light-hearted fun, the competition was for a greater cause. Participants in the Clean Shaven Competition, who had their faces freshly shaved in mid-December and were judged on their two-months worth of growth, gathered donations from family and friends for their cause. This year, the competitors raised over $2,000 worth of donations for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.


Participants in the beard competitions often use not only their facial hair, but also extravagant costumes to wow the judges./GEHMAN
The competition’s MC, Gabriel Gosselin, speaks with a participate who claims to have been at the last 30 years of Festival—and has the pins to prove it./GEHMAN
The dance floor showcased a variety of dance styles during one of the musical breaks in the competition including waltzing, jigging, and swaying to the funky Celtic rhythms of the Dust Rhinos./GEHMAN
Not all beard are home-grown: the Open Category of the competition encourages both male and female participants to create their own beards out of whatever they want, even bees./GEHMAN
Gosselin gets beard growing tips from Mike Toogood (#19) who won first place in the Clean Shaven Catergory./GEHMAN

Knights of the Old Rebulic


This week I finally bought Knights of the Old Republic. It’s been on my Steam wish list for over a year now, but it was on sale for like $3 and I couldn’t resist.

After some hardcore internal debate about whether to get the first game or the second one, I decided to just start at the beginning.

I’m hoping to be able to review the game by the time reading week is over, so look for an actually interesting blog post next week of the week after.

But if anyone has any tips, hints, or tricks for a first time play through, I’d appreciate it. (no spoilers though)

Women of Marvel

My family is discussing possible group costume options for this year’s Comic Con. One of the suggestions we were throwing around was Marvel characters.

We were having troubles brainstorming some possibilities for the girls in my family, so I decided to find a list of Marvel women to jog my memory.

The first hit for “female marvel heroes” is from the official Marvel site. It claims to be a list of the “Women of Marvel.”

Do you want to know what the page is?

It’s this:

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 10.27.13 AM.png

That’s it, folks. All seven of the “Women of Marvel.” We can all go home now.

Can You Feel Their Presents?

I have a lot of geeks in my life and not a lot of money. I thought I’d share some of the Christmas preparation research I’ve done. So without further ado, here’s some cheap ideas to get you thinking about what to buy the adorable geeks in your life.

Star Wars Lego Mini-figure Keychains – $5.49

Star Wars Lipsticks – $6.99

Game of Thrones POP Keychains – $6.99

Pokeball Bathbomb (With a Pokemon inside!) – $9.61

Floppy Disc Notebook  – $8.93




Pants Rant and First Peek at My Costume

Han Solo Pants and Shirt


With only 11 days left til Comic Con, this may not look much like everyone’s favourite scruffy nerf herder, but it’s a solid start.

Thrift shopping for base clothing that can be modified is one of my favourite parts about the cosplay process, except when it comes to pants.
Not just cosplay pants, all pants.

Why do clothing stores (thrift shops and commercial stores alike) make it so hard to buy women’s pants?
Women’s sizing makes no sense. I should be able to walk into a store knowing my hip, waist, and inseam measurements and buy a pair of pants.
But instead I have to go into a store and try on several different sizes to find not the one that fits the best, but the one that fits the least poorly. Once I find my size, however, that’s not the end of it. Because different store’s have different sizes. A size 4 in one store can be the same as a size 6 in another.

So the process of buying simple, blue dress pants turns into a dressing room nightmare. I ended up trying on endless pairs of pants and choosing pairs that may not have fit perfectly but had the most easily fixed problems.

So my pants aren’t perfect, but they were bought with blood, sweat, and tears, just like every other pair of pants I own.

Han Solo would not approve.