Pandemic Projects

Miscellaneous Productions presents

PLAGUE

An International and Indigenous Fairy Tale and Folklore Project

An authentic reading of the original fairy tales compiled in 1812 by the celebrated “Brothers Grimm” were grim indeed. Though they later sanitized their own stories, and subsequent retellings were further prettified for nursery storytelling and Disneyfied for child-friendly movies, the original Germanic and other European folkloric tales they compiled as Grimms’ Fairy Tales, including “Snow White”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and “Little Red Riding Hood”, were essentially horror stories, rife with violence, bloodshed, and brutality. For example, the original “Frog Prince” was a story of the rape, defiance, and revenge of the Princess.

MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ next community-engaged and youth-centred theatre work will explore issues that have arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic, exploring the plague through fairy tales, myths, and animal wonder tales from Indigenous and international cultures.

In preparation, our director, Elaine Carol and other staff have been working with Jack Zipes, a leading expert in folklore and fairy tales. Once the creation process begins, participating youth, in collaboration with professional artists, will subvert/decolonize the original Grimm story of plague, “The Pied Piper”, from an intersectional, anti-racist, anti-oppression, queer feminist perspective. Indigenous and international folklore and fairy tales will be featured in this exploration of dis/ease, child abuse and, the powerful, tragic consequences of broken promises in a time of plague, anxiety and uncertainty.

Zipes, a professor emeritus of German, cultural studies, critical theory, and comparative literature is the translator of two major editions of the tales of the Brothers Grimm. His work focusses on the evolution of fairy tales and their social and political role in the civilizing process. With arguments based on the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, and more recently theories of cultural evolution, he maintains that fairy tales “serve a meaningful social function, not just for compensation but for revelation: the worlds projected by the best of our fairy tales reveal the gaps between truth and falsehood in our immediate society”.

The creation of Plague will be informed by a series of “Distance Hats” costume and visual art creation workshops held via Zoom with youth from throughout BC, and a virtual performance-lecture by Zipes filmed in Minneapolis by MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ professionals. Central to the process will be the idea of working with youth to explore the fairy tales, folktales, and myths from their own Indigenous and international cultures, learning to meaningfully integrate those tales with stories from their own lives.

In addition to his deep knowledge of fairy tales and folklore, Zipes will bring to the project his own experiences as a co-creator of Neighbourhood Bridges, an internationally-recognized, community-engaged theatre program that uses storytelling and theatre to help children develop their critical and storytelling skills.

Once a vaccine is developed and distributed, MISCELLANEOUS Productions will work in a long-term, community-engaged collaboration with culturally and socially representative youth to create a new, professionally-produced hip hop music theatre work to be presented at The Dance Centre in 2022.

As with other MISCELLANEOUS Productions works, a documentary film will be created that will incorporate elements of the final stage production, workshops, and the virtual performance-lecture by Zipes.

RESURRECTING DEAD FAIRY TALES

A Jack Zipes Lecture

With the goal of, as he describes it “unburying and reinvigorating dead fairy tales and their creators”, internationally recognized expert on folklore and fairy tales Jack Zipes will discuss his recent work exploring important tales from the first half of the twentieth century, and his founding of his own publishing house, Little Mole and Honey Bear to bring back in print works from the 1940s that have been neglected in favour of flashier commercial products, breathing life into older fairy tales that deliver message important to our times.

For example, in Yussuf the Ostrich well-known political caricaturist Emery Kelen tells the tale of a young ostrich who helps defeat the Nazis in northern Africa during World War II. In Keedle, the Great, first published in 1940, Deirdre and William Conselman Jr. sought to give Americans hope that the world can overcome fascist dictatorships. To the authors, the title character Keedle represented more than Hitler, but all dictators then and now.

In discussing these works Zipes hopes to introduce children and youth to what they might be missing by not being taught about certain periods of history, such as the early rise of fascism at the beginning of the twentieth century.

As Zipes states on his publishing firm’s website: “History is doomed to repeat itself. We must preserve the things that make us human, and stand up to forces that would tear our society apart”.

The lecture, filmed at the sumptuous Victorian Upson Room at the Walter Library at the University of Minneapolis in late October of 2020, directed by Elaine Carol in collaboration with a professional crew, will be launched in the New Year as a Facebook Watch event, with an opportunity for a live Q&A. The date for this very special event is February 17, 2021. Please check our social media for updates and times.

DISTANCE HATS

A Celebratory Workshop for Youth in a Time of Isolation and Quarantine

Distance Hats is another series of fun-filled *free* workshops conducted as part of the creation of MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ 2021 theatre work Plague. The project begins with the distribution of 200 art kits to representative youth groups in British Columbia. Participating youth will engage via Zoom with professional costume designers, a woodworking master and stilt walker, a theatre and film director, and a visual artist specializing in using recycled objects. The artistic team will collaborate with youth participants to create a collection of imaginative big hats, each relating to the youths’ interpretations of fairy tales and folklore from their own cultures, and from their imaginations.

With an emphasis on process rather than product, the workshops are based on a project coming out of schools in South China and will be focussed on serving the particular needs of artistic youth during this complex time of plague and uncertainty.

After the hats are created, and through a series of theatrical improvisations, youth participants will be encouraged to create fantastical characters from their respective cultural backgrounds and/or their imaginations with which to explore movement and sound within the confines of the “Zoom Box”.

PLEASE NOTE: This workshop of Distance Hats will be filmed for the purposes of documentation for our website, social media platforms, as well as in grants and other promotional material. All participants will be required to sign an image release waiver to join. Our outreach team will follow-up with registrants to have this form filled out and signed. Please note that minors will need to have the form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Distance Hats – Workshop 1

Monday, March 8, 2021 at 4pm

Distance Hats – Workshop 2

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 4pm

**Only participants that have filled out and returned the form will be admitted to the workshop.

Let us know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the release waiver.

Distance Hats – Workshop 3

Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 4pm

Distance Hats – Workshop 4

Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 1pm

NO SUPERMAN

A Motion-Graphics Dance-Based Video

“No Superman” the central hip hop musical number from MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ original 2019 work AWAY with HOME will be given a new look in a dance-based video created through the medium of motion graphics, a technique that combines sound, motion, text, and graphic design.

Streetdance choreographer Natasha Gorrie and director Elaine Carol will work with a cast of representative professional dancers from across British Columbia’s hip hop scene to explore young people’s struggles with mental health, connection, disconnection, and fluctuating feelings of powerlessness, confinement, and hope for young people struggling in a time of plague and uncertainty.

The video will be developed in collaboration with the professional media group Magnafire Media. Production began with filming in November of 2020, and the new three-minute dance video will be ready for release in April 2021.

MUSIC 101

Music 101 is a series of “Music Industry 101” workshops for youth and young people interested in becoming professionals in the music industry.

This focused series is for youth in under-served British Columbia communities. We hope to share knowledge and resources, and foster connections between musicians, composers and other music industry professionals and marginalized youth who do not otherwise have access to professional arts programming or training, because they live in communities that are chronically under-served in this regard. Our chosen panelists all have varied career trajectories, but all are successful working musicians, composers, producers and educators all also have previous experience working in community-engaged projects with at-risk youth.

Tonye Aganaba

Singing Coach

A multidisciplinary artist, musician, and performer whose style is fluid (or at the very least non-binary) - and weaves playful threads of Soulful Neo-Folk, Funk, Hip Hop and R&B. They are a steadfast fixture in their local arts community - and a passionate and political being!

Jaya Story

Composer

A performer (piano and percussion), educator and composer whose works have been performed by numerous ensembles and artists, including Standing Wave, Ecstatic Waves, and the Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. Story has performed in drumlines at Canucks games, percussed and key'ed in various theatre productions, and runs masterclasses and adjudicates at band clinics.

Robin Layne

Percussionist

Robin is trained in jazz, Latin and pop percussion and has studied rhythm around the globe (Cuba, Guinea, Mali, Mexico and more). He is a fixture on the B.C. festival circuit, collaborating with a wide spectrum of folk and world artists. Recent highlights include working with Juno Award winning artists Quique Escamilla, The Paperboys, Donne Roberts (African Guitar Summit), Alpha Yaya Diallo, Celso Machado and Silk Road Music.

Equally at home on a festival stage or in a classroom, Robin strongly believes that the gift of music should be accessible to everyone. He is the senior percussion instructor at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music and the Artistic Director of the World Rhythms for Youth Society. He will be the Guest Artist / Musician for MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ next performance with youth incorporating Indigenous and International folk and fairy tales.

Music 101

Event dates, details, and registration:

We encourage all youth and emerging professionals to attend!
All four FREE sessions will be facilitated by three Vancouver professional composer/musician/performer/teachers: Tonya Aganaba, Jaya Story and Robin Layne.
Panelists will present their own histories, training options and tools that might help emerging professionals. This pragmatic approach to the realities of the music industry for young musicians, singers will include Q&A portions in each session.

Music 101 – Workshop 1

Friday, March 12, 2021 at 4pm

Description: Welcome and Introduction of MISCELLANEOUS Productions and our Music 101 Workshop series. Personal stories of the Guest artist’s journey into the music industry.

Music 101 – Workshop 2

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 4pm

Description: How to access grants, scholarships and bursaries for aspiring musicians and music industry professions wanting to go on the post-secondary track.

Music 101 – Workshop 3

Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 4pm

Description: Learn about Electronic Press Kit (EPK), Distribution, Promotion, and Politics of the Music Industry.

Music 101 – Workshop 4

Friday, April 9, 2021 at 4pm

Description:
Please note that this workshop deals with mature subject matter that some participants may find upsetting.

Topics include harm reduction; substance misuse, sexual harassment, and mental health in the music industry; #MeToo and #TimesUp movements; digital hygiene; privacy; cyber bullying.

We encourage participants to be aware of their own comfort levels and potential triggers.

FILM WORKSHOP

with Ann Marie Fleming

We will work to share knowledge and resources, and foster connections with marginalized youth who want to work in the film and television industries but do not otherwise have access to professional film/TV programming or training. Youth we serve in this project will include lower income youth who live in communities that are chronically underserved /underrepresented in the access to training and educational opportunities in film.

We will present the internationally renowned filmmaker, Ann Marie Fleming and clips of her work in a free 2-hour online workshop geared to culturally and socially representative at-risk and experiential youth.

Ann Marie will talk about her impressive body of work, how to work with adapted material, biographical material, how she works with her DOP and editor, and how she collaborates with other professionals when she makes a film. 

She will also provide some information as to where young people who want to become filmmakers can apply to reputable film schools, grants and bursaries for them, community art projects where they can get their first professional experiences, if they want to volunteer on a professional project to gain experience, etc.

Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 4pm

This FREE workshop will provide youth, emerging artists and professionals interested in the film and television industry a chance to learn from Ann Marie Flemming, an internationally renowned filmmaker. Youth and emerging professionals will be provided information on educational and training avenues, what it is like to work in as a professional filmmaker, and learn how they can gain professional experience.

20.5 - MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ 20th Anniversary

Facebook Watch Party

In the final installment of the online celebration of our 20th Anniversary, MISCELLANEOUS Productions will present the World Premiere of AWAY with HOME, a professionally produced 57-minute video of the live community-engaged, co-creation performance at The Dance Centre in October 2019.

We will present this Watch Party in March, 2021. Exact date to be determined.

For a full year, Director Elaine Carol worked with youth who drew from their own personal experiences. With MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ professional team of artists, community support workers and technicians, we have created an entirely new work that explores issues of immigration, racism, mental health, bullying, maturation, family, victimization, identity and belonging.

AWAY with HOME is a transdisciplinary performance work that features five youth from the community ranging in age from 14-21. AWAY with HOME combines contemporary and Streetdance, neo-soul and hip hop music, Taiko drumming, image theatre and performance poetry together to examine the thematic questions.

After the online screening, we will have a live Q&A with the cast of AWAY with HOME moderated by Elaine Carol and a surprise guest.

Facebook Watch Party

Date: Friday, Febraury 26, 2021 at 7pm

Funders

Individual Donors and Small Businesses

And many generous individuals.

Media Sponsors

Community Partners