All posts by Edward Staskus

Edward Staskus is a freelance writer from Sudbury, Ontario, and lives in Lakewood, Ohio.

Dancing Up a Storm

We are gearing up at Harbourfront Theater for tomorrow night’s highly anticipated performance of Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s Anne of Green Gables The Ballet™!

Are you looking for the perfect night out in Summerside with your family or friend group?

After you finish up your supper, and you’ve got everyone all dressed up for the ballet, why not hit up Holman’s Ice Cream Parlour for a treat before the show? That’s what Anne would do! ❤️🍦⭐️

See you tomorrow night!

#AnneofGreenGables#HarbourfrontTheatre#AnnewithanE#CanadasBalletJörgen#BalletCanada#ExploreSummerside#CultureSummerside#ExplorePEI#WelcomePEI#CityByTheSea#TheatrebytheSea

Theatre PEI

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Me and the Sky

Here’s a great show to help kick off Pride week in July!! This unique and empowering one-woman show brings together classic drag performance, with contemporary musical theatre flair! It follows the story of a wide-eyed young woman looking for love and her place in the world, ultimately finding all the purpose and validation she needs within herself. Flyin’ Solo is set to Broadway hits from shows like Legally Blonde, Shrek, and The Addams Family, and features interactive comedy, live vocals, and colourful costumes! Audiences have called it an “absolutely phenomenal show” and said, “I had goosebumps at the first song!”

Tickets available now at the Guild box office on 111 Queen Street, over the phone at (902) 620-3333 or online at theguildpei.com

Theatre PEI

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Rogers on Tap

Confederation Centre of the Arts announces 2022 Symons Medallist

– The Symons Medal Lecture will be held on Thursday, October 13 –

One of Canada’s most esteemed broadcast-journalists will be awarded the 2022 Symons Medal in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island this fall.

Confederation Centre of the Arts announced that Shelagh Rogers, OC will be the twenty-second recipient of the prestigious honour. The Symons Medal recognizes an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life. Held annually, the medal ceremony and its associated lecture offer a national platform for an eminent Canadian to discuss the nation’s current state, shared histories, and prospects using themes related to their professional pursuits.

Shelagh Rogers is a veteran broadcast-journalist at CBC, most recently as the host and producer of The Next Chapter, an award-winning program devoted to writing in Canada. Over her illustrious career, she has hosted other national radio programs such as This MorningThe Arts Tonight, and Sounds Like Canada.

Rogers is a vocal advocate for mental healthcare, adult literacy, and for a reckoning with the truth of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. In 2011, she was inducted as an Honorary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a life-changing honour. In the same year, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for elevating the cause of adult literacy, fighting against the stigma of mental illness by sharing the story of her own depression, and for promoting Canadian culture. In 2016, she received the inaugural Margaret Trudeau Award for Mental Health Advocacy.

She co-edited three books in the Aboriginal Healing Foundation’s Speaking My Truth series and, in 2019, was named an inaugural Library and Archives Canada Scholar in recognition of her dedication to the promotion of the country’s literary and historical heritage. She holds eight honorary doctorates from Canadian universities and is Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Victoria. Rogers is a member of the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria.

“The selection committee enthusiastically chose to award Shelagh Rogers with the Symons Medal this year,” says Robert Sear, chair of the board of Confederation Centre of the Arts, and co-chair of the Symons Medal Committee. “She is one of the nation’s most beloved storytellers, and her advocacy work has had a monumental impact on our country.”

The Symons Medal Lecture is named after Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, the founding president of Trent University and a long-time board member and supporter of Confederation Centre of the Arts. Since 2004, the Centre has honoured 21 distinguished medallists, including the Honourable Louise Arbour, Dr. David Suzuki, the Honourable Bob Rae, and Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon.

The Symons Medal Lecture will take place at Confederation Centre of the Arts on Thursday, October 13 and will also be livestreamed. A limited number of tickets for the in-person event have been released; additional seats may become available closer to the event. Confederation Centre Members can book now, and the general public can book starting Thursday, May 19. To become a member and take advantage of priority ticket booking, visit confederationcentre.com/membership. Seats can be booked online or through the box office at 1-800-565-0278. There is no cost to attend the ceremony but donations can be made to the Symons Trust Endowment Fund of the Confederation Centre of the Arts Foundation.

Theatre PEI

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Opening the Drawer

Cast and Creative Team Announced for The Drawer Boy

Watermark is thrilled to announce the cast and creative team working on The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey playing at the theatre in North Rustico from August 9th to September 3rd, 2022. The production will be directed by Mary Vingoe and the actors will be Rahul Gandhi, Wally MacKinnon, and Paul Rainville. The designers for the production are Wes Babcock (set), Rebecca Miller (lights), Julia Kim (costumes), and Pat Caron (sound).

The Drawer Boy, one of the most successful plays in Canadian theatre history, depicts the story of a young actor from the big city who moves in with two farmers to gather stories about rural life. The farmers’ lives are irrevocably altered when art attempts to imitate life and the line between truth and fiction is crossed. Hilarious, surprising, and infinitely moving. Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award.

Mary Vingoe has directed at theatres across the country including Canada’s National Arts Centre, Tarragon Theatre, The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Alberta Theatre Projects and Neptune Theatre. Mary is the founding Artistic Director of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival at Canada’s National Arts Centre in Ottawa, co-founder and past Artistic Director of Toronto’s Nightwood Theatre, co-founder and past co-Artistic Director of Ship’s Co. Theatre in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia and co-founder and past Artistic Director of The Eastern Front Theatre in Halifax. In 2011, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for her contribution to Canadian theatre.

Rahul Gandhi is a bilingual actor, director, creator, and producer from Montreal. Though his heart lies on stage, he wears a variety of hats in and around theatre, film, television, and arts administration. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (with honors), and a Graduates Diploma in Communication studies, both from Concordia University. Notable theatre credits include: Romeo in HPC’s Romeo and Juliet, and alumni of the Black Theatre Workshop AMP ensemble. Rahul recently appeared at the Watermark in Kitbag Theatre’s production of Lungs.

Wally MacKinnon is an award-winning actor who has been performing for audiences for over 30 years, appearing in numerous theatre, film and television productions. Wally’s credits include: Village Wooing, The Importance of Being Ernest (Montgomery Theatre) Anne & Gilbert (Jubilee Theatre), The Birds & The Bees, The Drawer Boy (Victoria Playhouse) KAMP (ETF/Neptune) Flying on Her Own (Neptune), and numerous plays with Festival Antigonish, Theatre New Brunswick, Ship’s Company Theatre and The Stephenville Festival.

Paul Rainville has worked in theatres across the country. He played  King Lear at Shakespeare By The Sea; The December Man, Twelfth Night, and Adventures of a Black Girl In Search of God [National Arts Centre]; No Great Mischief, The Secret Mask, Heroes, Plan B, Pauline and Turgenev (GCTC); The Children’s Republic [Belfry Theatre]; Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile [MTC, NAC]; an adaptation of Timothy Findley’s novel Not Wanted On the Voyage [MTC, Can Stage]; Cyrano [Theatre Calgary, MTC, NAC]; Wajdi Maouwad’s Scorched [MTC, Citadel Th.]; Morris Panych’s Vigil [Prairie Theatre Exchange]; and The Price [Saidye Bronfman / Sudbury Theatre Centre].

Ticket prices range from $15 to $32 and can be purchased at ticketwizard.ca or by calling the box office at 902-963-3963.

Watermark Theatre’s Mandate
Located in North Rustico, PEI, on land that is the traditional unceded territory of the Mi’Kmaq, the Watermark Theatre is a professional theatre company that produces time-honoured plays, as well as contemporary plays that resonate with our times.
As a company we are led by the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility and commit to incorporating these core values in everything we do.
We prioritize environmental stewardship and sustainability.
The Watermark Theatre is dedicated to the development of the next generation of theatre artists and arts administrators through mentorship and professional training.
In all of our programming we strive for artistic excellence while endeavouring to inform, affect, and engage our audience and our community.

For more information please contact Lara Dias at 902-963-3963 or admin@watermarktheatre.com

Watermark Theatre
57 Church Hill Ave                
North Rustico, PE                
C0A 1X0           
(902) 963-3963
http://www.watermarktheatre.com

Theatre PEI

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A Case of You

🎫🎫REMINDER! To get your Laila Biali tickets this week! 🎫🎫

She will be performing with her trio at Harbourfront Theatre on Thursday May 19th!

Laila is an incredible songwriter in her own right, but she also does a truly phenomenal cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”. There are just no words for how beautiful it is.

Theatre PEI

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Lord of the Fishes

By Ed Staskus

The  North Rustico beach slivers itself at the mouth of the harbor of the town, on Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province. The crescent shaped island is tucked into the shoulders of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, across the Northumberland Strait. On the far side of the Gulf of St. Lawrence is Newfoundland. Europe is the farther landfall across the Atlantic Ocean.

North Rustico is on the north-central coast, on Route 6, between Cavendish and Rusticoville. Some of it can be seen from the deck of Pedro’s Eatery, where Route 6 dips and curves through the middle of town, the market and gas station, the bakery and the credit union, the lobster restaurant and the post office. The rest of it is within a few minutes, down the harbor road and up some side roads.

It’s all within easy sight of the flocks of seagulls who fly up and down the coast.

Frank and Vera Glass, staying at the Coastline Cottages just outside of town, drove the mile-or-so from their cottage along the parkway, past Rollings Pond to the parking lot at the back of the beach, where a creek empties, up the dirt road to the other lot, parked in front of a sign saying the beach was unattended by life guards, walked up and then down the path to the beach, and made fast at a nice spot on the sand not far from the shoreline.

It was sunny and fair, the sun behind them, as they unfolded their low-slung blue canvas chairs, plopping into them, pulling books from their Pedro, a yellow and black re-purposed bicycle messenger bag.

Vera was reading an autobiography of Agnes de Mille.

Frank was reading “The Durrels of Corfu.” He interrupted Vera every few minutes with something funny he had just read. Vera thought, you’re slowing me down, dude, even though she was a slow reader, anyway.

“Did you see that sign?” she asked Frank.

“No, what sign?”

“The sign beside the lifeguard cabana, the one that said, ‘Caution! Attention!’”

“There are no lifeguards, not until next week,” said Frank. “I saw that sign when we parked.”

“It’s the North Rustico Beach welcome sign, the big red and white sign when you walk onto the beach, the one that says rip currents, strong offshore winds, beware of large surf, and don’t use inflatables.”

Frank looked out at the flat quiet water, the spaghetti surf, and the wide sky dotted with puffy clouds standing still.

“No, I didn’t see that sign,” he said. “Anyway, it seems beside the point today.”

“It does, doesn’t it,” said Vera, smiling at her husband.

They read their books, watched couples walking by barefoot, children running, and a head down in a cell phone shuffling past. A family set up camp nearby, Vera took a nap, and Frank rolled out of his canvas chair and practiced a half-hour of yoga on the warm sand. He didn’t have a mat, but it didn’t matter. He turned and pulled and released and twisted one way and the other.

When he was done he rolled back into his low-slung chair.

“That felt good,” he said.

“I’m glad, honey,” said Vera. “What was that last thing you did, the twisty thing? I haven’t seen you do that before.”

“It’s called Lord of the Fishes,” he said. “It’s supposed to be good for your lower back.”

Vera didn’t do yoga in any of its forms, although she was glad Frank did. He had a bum back and the exercises kept him on his feet. The thinking behind the practice – Frank liked to call it that – also seemed to be good for him, keeping him on the tried and true straight and narrow.

“Do you remember the last time we had dinner with Barron at Herb’s Tavern, and he spent coffee and dessert railing about how steady as it goes has gone big top high wire?” Frank asked Vera.

“Yes, I do,” said Vera, remembering the carrot cake she had not been able to fully enjoy.

Barron Cannon owned and operated and taught at a small yoga studio near where Frank and Vera lived in Lakewood, Ohio, an inner ring suburb on the shores of Lake Erie, west of Cleveland. He was between young and middle-aged, married but divorced – what woman could stand living with him, Vera wondered – a post-modern sensibility with a PhD in philosophy, but a yoga traditionalist. He taught the exercise poses, but always in the context of the other arms of yoga, which he considered the essential parts of the practice.

Whenever he was in high dudgeon he complained about the 21st century western emphasis on the physical aspects of yoga.

“Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, it’s asana on the mat, in a hot room, an hour of hard work and it’s back to whatever else you are up to. When did yoga become work hard, no pain, no gain? When did it become just another something on the checklist, getting fit, staying ahead? When did it become competitive, a race to the finish, another rat bastard in the rat race?”

Barron was Frank’s friend. Vera tolerated him for her husband’s sake. She didn’t dislike Barron, but she disliked it when he said things like, “Nobody worth their salt is nice.”

“I was going to tell Barron about Eric Young, mention his ideas, but I didn’t,” said Frank. “We would never have gotten out of Herb’s, at least not until after closing time, if then.”

“Who’s Eric Young?” asked Vera.

“A Baltimore guy, a lot like Barron in some respects, teaches some yoga, aerial style, a big fan of the Baltimore Orioles, which is too bad,” said Frank.

“Why were you going to bring him up to Barron?” asked Vera.

“Because he’s on the other side of the teeter totter,” said Frank.

“What’s too bad about the Orioles?”

“You don’t want to know.”

“Competitive yoga started in India, not the west, but that’s a minor detail,” said Eric. “I am curious, though, at the idea of the physical becoming the more dominant focus, and so many people feel the need to tell other people that’s not yoga when there is no agreed upon definition. If we are all properly practicing an inward journey, shouldn’t that remove the need to be concerned what others do and what they call or label the activity in which they are doing it?”

“That makes sense to me,” said Vera.

“There’s more,” said Frank.

“Setting aside the definitions of yoke and some of the more deeper translations and interpretations of yoga from the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and setting aside the atman and seer ideas, for the average practitioner they will have no understanding, or care to,” said Eric.

“In my yoga teacher training class, I would say half had no idea there was anything beyond the physical. To many, yoga is a down dog, a bird of paradise, with a glass of wine after, and for some, a puppy or a baby goat wandering by. I say more power to them, for at least two reasons. First, if they are truly in the present, they are doing a lot of the work, even if not labeled as such, and if they do it enough, the work will pay off one way or another. Second, if I am doing my yoga, in whatever form that means to me, then I should not be bothered one way or another. As no one owns the term and there are so many different facets, it’s arrogant for me to say you’re wrong.”

“I’m not sure Barron would be good with that,” said Vera.

“You know how Barron is. He would have plenty to say,” said Frank.

“I will concede if your business is teaching, and I set up shop next door spouting I know as much and am as good a teacher, which I don’t and am not, you have every right to be bothered by this, but that’s business, not yoga,” said Eric. “I don’t think the gurus of yore were bothered by what another one did on the other side of the country. But for those who say because it’s not four thousand years old, only two hundred years, and it’s not authentic, I call that bullshit.”

“He speaks his mind,” said Vera.

“There is wisdom and there is gray hair,” said Eric.

“I wouldn’t put Eric and Barron in the same room,” said Vera.

“I don’t know about that,” said Frank. “They’re both on the same yoga planet.”

“What planet are you on?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, don’t put them in the same room, for God’s sake. They may be on the same planet, but they’re not coming from the same place. That would be a head-on collision.”

Vera and Frank heard a sudden loud squarking from the shoreline, and when they looked towards the sound, they saw a herring gull dragging a rock crab out of the surf. The crab latched onto the bird with large claw, swinging side-to-side as the seagull flapped up. The bird shook the crab off, dropping it into the surf, and going after it again, pecking and pecking. When the seagull dragged the crab out of the water it began to slash at it, killing it, if the crustacean wasn’t already dead, pulling it landwards whenever the surf rolled it back towards the ocean.

“I thought their shells protected them from birds,” said Frank.

“Maybe the shell was cracked already,” said Vera.

“One of the guys at the harbor told me that gulls will pick up shellfish, fly them up in the air, and drop them on rocks so their shells crack when they land.”

“I didn’t know seagulls had it in their pea brains to be able to think that out,” said Vera.

“It’s a dog eat dog world,” said Frank. “Seagulls are intelligent. They can unlock trash bins. They’re omnivores and they’ll eat anything. I read about a black-backed gull down on Cape Cod that snatched up a miniature chihuahua, right off the beach, and the dog has not been seen since.”

They watched the seagull rip legs off and pull goopy innards out of the crab, until there wasn’t anymore left to be had. The big white and gray bird arched its neck, cawed several times, and flew away. The remains of the crab slowly but surely rolled back into the ocean.

“What time does Doiron’s close?” asked Vera.

“Six,” said Frank.

“What time is it now?”

Frank looked at his iPhone.

“Quarter of six,” he said.

“Drive me over me there” said Vera. “You can drop me of and I’ll walk back to the cottage.”

“All right, maybe I’ll drive up the parkway, go for a walk around Orby Head, and we can meet back at the cottage,” said Frank.

He dropped his wife off at the fish market.

Doiron Fisheries is on the wharf on Harbourview Drive. It’s been there since the 1950s.  It’s a small storefront with a big sign over the door, a long shallow front room chock full of haddock, hake, halibut, salmon, mackerel, oysters, mussels, scallops, and cooked crab.

Frank drove up Church Hill Road, past the Stella Maris church and the graveyard, and down to the National Park kiosk. They had a seasonal pass attached to the stem of the rear view mirror of their Hyundai Tucson, and when the attendant in the kiosk glanced up and waved him through, Frank swung the car to the left up the hill into the seashore park.

He had once stopped and asked the teenager in a National Parks shirt behind the drive-through window, “What do you call this building?”

“We call it the gate,” she said.

“The gate?”

“That’s it, yup, the gate.”

Frank drove past Doyle’s Cove and the Coastline Cottages. The cottages are in the Prince Edward Island National Park, but aren’t a part of the park. The Doyle’s kept their land, in the family for a dog’s age, not selling it to Canada when the park was established. There are a handful of their houses, one nearly a hundred years old, another one newly built last year, within sight. They are the only homes in sight.

He drove the two miles-or-so up the Gulf Shore Way, pulled off the road at Orby Head, and went for a walk along the red sandstone cliff. He lay down face forward on the other side of the rope fence and looked down at the waves churning and breaking on the narrow rocky landing far below.

A group of cormorants in a v formation flew past, nearly at eye level. He closed his eyes and breathed evenly for a few minutes. He heard a car pull in, its tires crunching on the gravel. He opened his eyes, got up, and walked back to his car.

When he stepped into the cottage the lowering sun was lighting up the kitchen window, and Vera was at the stove.

“What are you making for dinner?” he asked.

“Crab cakes,” she said.

Ed Staskus posts stories on 147 Stanley Street http://www.147stanleystreet.com and Cleveland Ohio Daybook http://www.clevelandohiodaybook.com. To get the site’s monthly feature in your in-box click on “Follow.”

By Ed Staskus

The  North Rustico beach slivers itself at the mouth of the harbor of the town, on Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province. The crescent shaped island is tucked into the shoulders of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, across the Northumberland Strait. On the far side of the Gulf of St. Lawrence is Newfoundland. Europe is the farther landfall across the Atlantic Ocean.

North Rustico is on the north-central coast, on Route 6, between Cavendish and Rusticoville. Some of it can be seen from the deck of Pedro’s Eatery, where Route 6 dips and curves through the middle of town, the market and gas station, the bakery and the credit union, the lobster restaurant and the post office. The rest of it is within a few minutes, down the harbor road and up some side roads.

It’s all within easy sight of the flocks of seagulls who fly up and down the coast.

Frank and Vera Glass, staying at the Coastline Cottages just outside of town, drove the mile-or-so from their cottage along the parkway, past Rollings Pond to the parking lot at the back of the beach, where a creek empties, up the dirt road to the other lot, parked in front of a sign saying the beach was unattended by life guards, walked up and then down the path to the beach, and made fast at a nice spot on the sand not far from the shoreline.

It was sunny and fair, the sun behind them, as they unfolded their low-slung blue canvas chairs, plopping into them, pulling books from their Pedro, a yellow and black re-purposed bicycle messenger bag.

Vera was reading an autobiography of Agnes de Mille.

Frank was reading “The Durrels of Corfu.” He interrupted Vera every few minutes with something funny he had just read. Vera thought, you’re slowing me down, dude, even though she was a slow reader, anyway.

“Did you see that sign?” she asked Frank.

“No, what sign?”

“The sign beside the lifeguard cabana, the one that said, ‘Caution! Attention!’”

“There are no lifeguards, not until next week,” said Frank. “I saw that sign when we parked.”

“It’s the North Rustico Beach welcome sign, the big red and white sign when you walk onto the beach, the one that says rip currents, strong offshore winds, beware of large surf, and don’t use inflatables.”

Frank looked out at the flat quiet water, the spaghetti surf, and the wide sky dotted with puffy clouds standing still.

“No, I didn’t see that sign,” he said. “Anyway, it seems beside the point today.”

“It does, doesn’t it,” said Vera, smiling at her husband.

They read their books, watched couples walking by barefoot, children running, and a head down in a cell phone shuffling past. A family set up camp nearby, Vera took a nap, and Frank rolled out of his canvas chair and practiced a half-hour of yoga on the warm sand. He didn’t have a mat, but it didn’t matter. He turned and pulled and released and twisted one way and the other.

When he was done he rolled back into his low-slung chair.

“That felt good,” he said.

“I’m glad, honey,” said Vera. “What was that last thing you did, the twisty thing? I haven’t seen you do that before.”

“It’s called Lord of the Fishes,” he said. “It’s supposed to be good for your lower back.”

Vera didn’t do yoga in any of its forms, although she was glad Frank did. He had a bum back and the exercises kept him on his feet. The thinking behind the practice – Frank liked to call it that – also seemed to be good for him, keeping him on the tried and true straight and narrow.

“Do you remember the last time we had dinner with Barron at Herb’s Tavern, and he spent coffee and dessert railing about how steady as it goes has gone big top high wire?” Frank asked Vera.

“Yes, I do,” said Vera, remembering the carrot cake she had not been able to fully enjoy.

Barron Cannon owned and operated and taught at a small yoga studio near where Frank and Vera lived in Lakewood, Ohio, an inner ring suburb on the shores of Lake Erie, west of Cleveland. He was between young and middle-aged, married but divorced – what woman could stand living with him, Vera wondered – a post-modern sensibility with a PhD in philosophy, but a yoga traditionalist. He taught the exercise poses, but always in the context of the other arms of yoga, which he considered the essential parts of the practice.

Whenever he was in high dudgeon he complained about the 21st century western emphasis on the physical aspects of yoga.

“Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, it’s asana on the mat, in a hot room, an hour of hard work and it’s back to whatever else you are up to. When did yoga become work hard, no pain, no gain? When did it become just another something on the checklist, getting fit, staying ahead? When did it become competitive, a race to the finish, another rat bastard in the rat race?”

Barron was Frank’s friend. Vera tolerated him for her husband’s sake. She didn’t dislike Barron, but she disliked it when he said things like, “Nobody worth their salt is nice.”

“I was going to tell Barron about Eric Young, mention his ideas, but I didn’t,” said Frank. “We would never have gotten out of Herb’s, at least not until after closing time, if then.”

“Who’s Eric Young?” asked Vera.

“A Baltimore guy, a lot like Barron in some respects, teaches some yoga, aerial style, a big fan of the Baltimore Orioles, which is too bad,” said Frank.

“Why were you going to bring him up to Barron?” asked Vera.

“Because he’s on the other side of the teeter totter,” said Frank.

“What’s too bad about the Orioles?”

“You don’t want to know.”

“Competitive yoga started in India, not the west, but that’s a minor detail,” said Eric. “I am curious, though, at the idea of the physical becoming the more dominant focus, and so many people feel the need to tell other people that’s not yoga when there is no agreed upon definition. If we are all properly practicing an inward journey, shouldn’t that remove the need to be concerned what others do and what they call or label the activity in which they are doing it?”

“That makes sense to me,” said Vera.

“There’s more,” said Frank.

“Setting aside the definitions of yoke and some of the more deeper translations and interpretations of yoga from the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and setting aside the atman and seer ideas, for the average practitioner they will have no understanding, or care to,” said Eric.

“In my yoga teacher training class, I would say half had no idea there was anything beyond the physical. To many, yoga is a down dog, a bird of paradise, with a glass of wine after, and for some, a puppy or a baby goat wandering by. I say more power to them, for at least two reasons. First, if they are truly in the present, they are doing a lot of the work, even if not labeled as such, and if they do it enough, the work will pay off one way or another. Second, if I am doing my yoga, in whatever form that means to me, then I should not be bothered one way or another. As no one owns the term and there are so many different facets, it’s arrogant for me to say you’re wrong.”

“I’m not sure Barron would be good with that,” said Vera.

“You know how Barron is. He would have plenty to say,” said Frank.

“I will concede if your business is teaching, and I set up shop next door spouting I know as much and am as good a teacher, which I don’t and am not, you have every right to be bothered by this, but that’s business, not yoga,” said Eric. “I don’t think the gurus of yore were bothered by what another one did on the other side of the country. But for those who say because it’s not four thousand years old, only two hundred years, and it’s not authentic, I call that bullshit.”

“He speaks his mind,” said Vera.

“There is wisdom and there is gray hair,” said Eric.

“I wouldn’t put Eric and Barron in the same room,” said Vera.

“I don’t know about that,” said Frank. “They’re both on the same yoga planet.”

“What planet are you on?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, don’t put them in the same room, for God’s sake. They may be on the same planet, but they’re not coming from the same place. That would be a head-on collision.”

Vera and Frank heard a sudden loud squarking from the shoreline, and when they looked towards the sound, they saw a herring gull dragging a rock crab out of the surf. The crab latched onto the bird with large claw, swinging side-to-side as the seagull flapped up. The bird shook the crab off, dropping it into the surf, and going after it again, pecking and pecking. When the seagull dragged the crab out of the water it began to slash at it, killing it, if the crustacean wasn’t already dead, pulling it landwards whenever the surf rolled it back towards the ocean.

“I thought their shells protected them from birds,” said Frank.

“Maybe the shell was cracked already,” said Vera.

“One of the guys at the harbor told me that gulls will pick up shellfish, fly them up in the air, and drop them on rocks so their shells crack when they land.”

“I didn’t know seagulls had it in their pea brains to be able to think that out,” said Vera.

“It’s a dog eat dog world,” said Frank. “Seagulls are intelligent. They can unlock trash bins. They’re omnivores and they’ll eat anything. I read about a black-backed gull down on Cape Cod that snatched up a miniature chihuahua, right off the beach, and the dog has not been seen since.”

They watched the seagull rip legs off and pull goopy innards out of the crab, until there wasn’t anymore left to be had. The big white and gray bird arched its neck, cawed several times, and flew away. The remains of the crab slowly but surely rolled back into the ocean.

“What time does Doiron’s close?” asked Vera.

“Six,” said Frank.

“What time is it now?”

Frank looked at his iPhone.

“Quarter of six,” he said.

“Drive me over me there” said Vera. “You can drop me of and I’ll walk back to the cottage.”

“All right, maybe I’ll drive up the parkway, go for a walk around Orby Head, and we can meet back at the cottage,” said Frank.

He dropped his wife off at the fish market.

Doiron Fisheries is on the wharf on Harbourview Drive. It’s been there since the 1950s.  It’s a small storefront with a big sign over the door, a long shallow front room chock full of haddock, hake, halibut, salmon, mackerel, oysters, mussels, scallops, and cooked crab.

Frank drove up Church Hill Road, past the Stella Maris church and the graveyard, and down to the National Park kiosk. They had a seasonal pass attached to the stem of the rear view mirror of their Hyundai Tucson, and when the attendant in the kiosk glanced up and waved him through, Frank swung the car to the left up the hill into the seashore park.

He had once stopped and asked the teenager in a National Parks shirt behind the drive-through window, “What do you call this building?”

“We call it the gate,” she said.

“The gate?”

“That’s it, yup, the gate.”

Frank drove past Doyle’s Cove and the Coastline Cottages. The cottages are in the Prince Edward Island National Park, but aren’t a part of the park. The Doyle’s kept their land, in the family for a dog’s age, not selling it to Canada when the park was established. There are a handful of their houses, one nearly a hundred years old, another one newly built last year, within sight. They are the only homes in sight.

He drove the two miles-or-so up the Gulf Shore Way, pulled off the road at Orby Head, and went for a walk along the red sandstone cliff. He lay down face forward on the other side of the rope fence and looked down at the waves churning and breaking on the narrow rocky landing far below.

A group of cormorants in a v formation flew past, nearly at eye level. He closed his eyes and breathed evenly for a few minutes. He heard a car pull in, its tires crunching on the gravel. He opened his eyes, got up, and walked back to his car.

When he stepped into the cottage the lowering sun was lighting up the kitchen window, and Vera was at the stove.

“What are you making for dinner?” he asked.

“Crab cakes,” she said.

Ed Staskus edits Theatre PEI. He posts stories on 147 Stanley Street http://www.147stanleystreet.com and Cleveland Ohio Daybook http://www.clevelandohiodaybook.com.

Theatre PEI

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Lobster Lady Songs

Island singer-songwriter Ashley Condon shares her mother’s story in Betty’s Song

The funny and heartfelt show Betty’s Song is coming to Confederation Centre of the Arts this summer as part of The 2022 Charlottetown Festival.

Proudly sponsored by The Gray Group Real Estate & Development, The 2022 Charlottetown Festival includes seven productions across the Centre’s three venues – including Tell Tale HarbourAnne of Green Gables—The Musical™, and Hey Viola!

Sponsored by Key Murray Law, Betty’s Song is a new solo show created and performed by Island singer-songwriter Ashley Condon. The production is inspired by the story of her late mother, who was one of the first women to captain her own lobster boat in Eastern P.E.I. This quirky coming-of-age story, featuring a soundtrack of Condon’s original music, takes you through the perils of a tough lobster lady raising a saucy teenager in 1990s Murray Harbour North.

The idea for the show first came from a track (also titled Betty’s Song) on Condon’s 2013 album This Great Compromise. As she performed the song over the years, Condon started to share more about her mother’s life as a young widow working as a fisherwoman. “Each year the stories would expand, and it seemed like something everyone could relate to,” she says.

For the final credit for her theatre degree, Condon took a playwrighting course during which she developed the idea for the show. She then asked Adam Brazier, the Centre’s artistic director of performing arts, to read the script for feedback. The two went back-and-forth fine-tuning the piece, which led to it being a part of the Festival.

The show features several colorful characters, all performed by Condon, and a ‘90s-inspired set and wardrobe. “What started off as a sentimental piece has turned into something very funny and endearing,” she says. The timing of this show is especially poignant, as Condon became a new mother herself last year.

Betty’s Song runs at The Mack as part of The 2022 Charlottetown Festival from July 5 – 29.

Theatre PEI

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Pedal to the Metal

Watermark Music Series – The Gasoline Brothers – July 24th
 
The first concert in the Watermark Music Series will be The Gasoline Brothers – The Music of Tony Rice and David Grisman featuring Alan Jeffries & Ray Legere with special guest David Wigmore on stage July 24th at 7:30PM.
 
Tony Rice and David Grisman have been regarded as two of Bluegrass’s top musicians and innovators and have inspired generations of musicians. Rice was an influential acoustic guitar player in bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, newgrass and acoustic jazz.  He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2013. His flatpicking style set the gold standard for acoustic guitar playing.
 
Tony Rice and David Grisman called themselves the “Gasoline Brothers” — their way of referring to the kinetic connection they felt when playing music together, especially at “burning” tempos!
 
Grisman, born in New Jersey, first picked up the mandolin as a traditional bluegrass player but by the 70’s had started exploring jazz. He recorded with various artists including the Grateful Dead on the iconic American Beauty album in 1970. He recruited Rice in the mid/late 70’s to be part of the David Grisman Quintette. What followed was a series of groundbreaking albums including Hot Dawg in 1978. The all instrumental music was a combination of Django Reinhardt-era jazz, bluegrass, folk, Old World Mediterranean string band music, as well as modern jazz fusion that came to embody “Dawg” music.
 
Both Rice and Grisman have recorded on countless albums for other musicians and their own discography is impressive. Tony Rice passed away Christmas day 2020. Grisman is still performing and recording. 
 
Alan Jeffries and Ray Legere, both hailing form New Brunswick, will be interpreting the music of the Gasoline Brothers. This is a show not to miss for all acoustic music fans, two of the world’s best interpreted by two of Canada’s best.  
 
Our special guest for the evening is PEI acoustic guitar wizard David Wigmore. Dave, originally from Kensington, is one of the original pillars of the Bootlegger’s Ball and has been entertaining Island audiences for decades.
 
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at www.ticketwizard.ca or by calling the box office at 902-963-3963.
 
Watermark Theatre’s Mandate
Located in North Rustico, PEI, on land that is the traditional unceded territory of the Mi’Kmaq, the Watermark Theatre is a professional theatre company that produces time-honoured plays, as well as contemporary plays that resonate with our times.
As a company we are led by the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility and commit to incorporating these core values in everything we do.
We prioritize environmental stewardship and sustainability.
The Watermark Theatre is dedicated to the development of the next generation of theatre artists and arts administrators through mentorship and professional training.
In all of our programming we strive for artistic excellence while endeavouring to inform, affect, and engage our audience and our community.
 
For more information please contact Lara Dias at 902-963-3963 or admin@watermarktheatre.com
 
Watermark Theatre
57 Church Hill Ave                
North Rustico, PE                
C0A 1X0           
(902) 963-3963
http://www.watermarktheatre.com

Theatre PEI

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