Posted by: ednasarchive | October 11, 2009

A Reflection from Sonia Laposi

Edna WeddingSonia Laposi is a student at the University of Waterloo and also a witness to our work with Edna’s Archive during our run at IMPACT09. She has sent us a sensitive and responsive piece on her response to the work. We are deeply thankful to her.

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“I remember looking at the audience near the end of the show, and I felt a sense of wonder, as I saw two particular women look at the pictures of Enda and at the production taking place, because I wasn’t looking at them defensively or competitively, and they weren’t focused on that either, but on Edna, and they had empathy and kindness on their faces.

“The process put me in a position of awe, it was a way of concentrating my mind on the pictures, and putting a desire in me to really absorb them as much as possible. I remember feeling near the end, something inspiring. The production was able to simulate some moment of Edna and represent Edna in a way that every person wants to feel: fierce, passionate, and alive.
 
“But because this was someone’s real, <<unfiltered>> life that you were using, I felt it was important to keep a distance, not to ask personal questions and to quantify, because someone like me would get lost in that; but to focus on the immaterial, and that is what lead to the reaction I had, and saw others having, after the show. It is deeply personal to examine someone the way “Edna” examines Edna, and as an audience member, to expose yourself to such heavy, fragile, human stuff, that it was necessary and re-affirming to really express how I felt. I saw myself as an Edna, I saw myself expressed in years, and in this overview, this body of time, I wondered how my <<spirit>> was beating. I guess I was able to see my life not as a moment, but as having a beginning and an end, also as a work of art from that aspect, and that made me summon this energy to really want to capture what it was that my life was. And so I felt inspired.”

~Sonia Laposi

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Posted by: ednasarchive | October 3, 2009

The Photographer/Archivist’s Journey

A singerA moment, after entering through the lens and committed to a medium (film, paper or the digital realm), exists beyond memory. It becomes part of the reality of every person who views it. And unless destroyed (physical photographs) it cannot not be recommitted solely to past of the one who’s moment it originally was. A fair warning for those posting on Facebook!
 
Anyone who has been with the archive long enough begins to create their own relationship with those who are captured in the photos. Voyeurism? A desire to feel like a “part” of the lives of those depicted because we feel so disconnected to our own moment by moment existence (an ordinary day indeed!)? Edna’s act of maintaining this record and our ultimate acceptance of these found moments into our lives raises many questions.
 
How different is our relationship to Edna from the relationships to the “friends of friends of friends” on facebook who we have never met? I know nothing about Edna as a person, and yet when audience members who were part of her life attend the show, I feel a strange urge to “re-connect” with lost family.
 
Was Becka’s grandfather’s reaction a response to a still raw moment in his life, or was it a desire as patriarch to protect his family from eyes that may not be as charitable to them as they should be?

~Mark Walton

Posted by: ednasarchive | September 30, 2009

A Story from Becka

An old album - she also has a huge number of slides

An old album - she, like Becka's grandfather, also has a large number of slides

After last night’s performance, we encountered a charming young woman who shared with us a story that we thought was most intriguing, and encouraged her to send it to us. And she did so immediately. Thank you very much.

“Hi, I saw the play last night and, not only did I enjoy it, but it left somewhat of an impact on me. I don’t have any stories about Edna, but I was invited to share something about my family that I mentioned to one of the performers.

“My grandfather left a large collection of slides at our house so that my family and I could scan them for him. Well, one of my parents wanted to share these photos with the family on Facebook and did so. When my grandfather found out he was furious! Even though he allowed us to scan the slides, he still wanted total control on who saw them. I think the main issue was that there’s a large chunk of family history that was captured in the photos and I think he prefers to forget about it. Everyone else though, who had experienced that painful time, preferred to share and talk about that time period.

“Anyway, good luck everyone with the performance for the rest of the remaining week!”

 

~Becka Kinzie

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It is such a wonder to hear how someone else treats their memories. Even a greater wonder how he has so many slides of a time he wants to forget, but has yet to get rid of them. A memory that still exists, even though he may want to forget. Or perhaps he does not want to forget, he only wants to hide it. It may still have some value to him, but does not want anyone else to know. Did Edna hide anything?

I wonder if Edna has slides that she got rid of. There were so…so many in her box. We do know that she cut a photo of her at the Esquire Café in half, eliminating the man in the photo. I wonder how much else did she eliminate? Did she only leave good moments? Edna’s Archive is, as we have likely said before, is our exploration in performing memory, and performing forgetting. What if it isn’t about necessarily forgetting though? What if it’s just hiding, filing away? We all have memories like that. When does it stop being that black and white? When do we start moving in the gray?

~Miroki

Posted by: ednasarchive | September 28, 2009

A Story from Luanne Walton

Ednas' Archive

Young Edna at Dance

“Hi,

“I had lunch today with my godmother, Florence, who lives in Richmond Hill.  She is 83 and knew Edna when they danced together in Kitchener, and also they both lived in Montreal at the same time in the 70’s.  She has two other friends who are still alive (and saw the newspaper article) and also knew Edna.  Let me know if you’d like to contact her for more info.

“Sounds like quite an interesting project!  I just heard about it through Florence today (Sept. 27) so I’m not sure I’ll be able to see it, but best of luck with the run!”

~Luanne Walton

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Thank you very, very much Luanne. We are extremely honoured by your story and help with our project.

Last night was our smallest house (8 people) during our run. It was a very different experience performing with more space. We have a full house again today, and we thank our audience for their continued support.

Living Dance Studio from China honoured us by coming last night. We were thrilled by their presence and were very happy when they said they enjoyed the performance.

 

~Miroki

Posted by: ednasarchive | September 25, 2009

Edna’s Archive Officially Have Opened

heather3elysiachaiAs of last night, Edna’s Archive opened with IMPACT09. We had a nearly full house of over 20 audience members (our capacity is 30). The soundwalk was a success and we were excited to share the journey through Kitchener with us. So far, the responses from the audience have been positive and we deeply deeply thank everyone for their support and love. Right now, our second run is underway and we have 8 more performances left and rapidly filling up. We hope that we shared something valuable with our audiences over these last nights and we hope that we inspired you to investigate your memories, and question the ones that you had to let go.

Thank you Edna…

~Miroki Tong

rachelmeghanamy

Posted by: ednasarchive | September 21, 2009

Friends and Family of Edna – Please Contact Us!

Like I said yesterday, since our press release of Edna’s Archive (thank you Colin Hunter!) over 10 people have contacted us with stories of Edna Bear. If you have been aware of us, please contact us with your stories!

Go to: www.ednasarchive.ca

Click on: Witness – and then Share Your Story

We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted by: ednasarchive | September 21, 2009

A Full Day of Edna

It was an 11 hour day. 12 hours for some of us.

Today was the day when the process was to reach completion. All the kinks were worked out and finalized, technical aspects were tested and now for the next two rehearsals we will run like mad until the show starts.

This truly has been a journey. Even when I thought Edna’s Archive could change no more, the slightest change in lighting instruments, sound levels and music once again polishes the piece into one strong production. One of the screens looked like it was in its last haul today, the wood broken from snapping up and falling many times, and the mechanics beginning to fail…but the technical crew was fast to fix it.

Our web presence is getting stronger. The website grows larger and more detailed everday. We now have a Twitter account at http://twitter.com/ednasarchive. For Facebook members, we have an event set up at Facebook Edna’s Archive Event. Please do check us out!

Lisa, our playwright and Co-Creator/Producer spent hours tirelessly today decorating the bank’s vault with various items from the archive, from photos to cards to letters.  Outside from the amazing visuals of the archive now being displayed in massive amounts everywhere, because the archive is now open and scattered, the vault is filled with a scent of attic treasures, of book dust and memory. I don’t know if the world suddenly turned “orange and brown”, as Heather says in the production, but the sepia tones of the photographs and the smell of age certainly faded the world into those colours of sepia-toned memory. To see all those memories brings back thoughts of my own memories…where have all my Christmas cards gone? How many did I receive over the years? What happened to my old friends? Edna causes more than just self-reflection, she causes us to also remember our own lives.

Posted by: ednasarchive | September 19, 2009

Edna is in The KW Record!

Aaaaaannnnnnd we have press! We are so proud of this project and so thankful to The Record for giving us that much support and coverage! Thank you very much!

Already many people who have had connections to Edna have contacted us with their stories to share. Remember, if you have a story, go to http://www.ednasarchive.ca/yourstory and submit your story to us! It will go up on the blog if you wish and all stories help with the development of our production!

Once again, thank you very much for your support!

Edna's Archive has made it into the press!

Edna's Archive has made it into the press!

Posted by: ednasarchive | September 16, 2009

One of Our First Full Run Throughs…

As festival week looms closer (Next week! My goodness!) our full runs begin. It is a very different experience once lighting is implemented, and sound (without all the interference from the streets).

Now that I am experiencing the performance as a whole, I am beginning to see the connections made between all the shards/sections. Because Edna’s Archive is full of shards of memory, the piece was created to reflect this disintegration. The worry for me, of course, was whether this would create a disorienting experience for the audience. We as the artists understand the process and meanings, but will a first time audience?

However, I am more reassured now when I see one shard make a connection to another later in the piece..or when there is repetition of a shard in reprieves. Another aspect is the music. As a become more comfortable with my cues, I’m beginning to recognize familliar sounds that help unify the piece. Because we must remember, even if pieces of the archive itself is in shards, it still came as a whole entity. And if our production is to reflect the shards, we have to reflect its unified form as the box found by the dumpster as well.

~Miroki

Posted by: ednasarchive | September 13, 2009

The Neverending Changes in Our Site

PUC building inside before changes

PUC building inside before changes

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