Chicken Paprika Sundaes: Training Day Discussions

Paprika's last training day was in the cold of January12. We, the Advisory Board (or as I like to think of us, The Paprika Prom Committee), gathered the participants into groups and brought up questions such as "How can paprika improve?" How can we be not just "hot" but  "hotter". Not be only in Toronto, but spread across the nation and globe, across the boundaries of age groups and even professions.

After listening to the wisdom of a panel of professionals and their advice we sat down together to pitch to each other ideas that could help Paprika become the spice of choice in the theatre community.

Our more creative answers came when we asked about the age group above 25 to which we heard the suggestion of "Senior Theatre", where the seniors of the community would come together and act, under mentorship, and create their own plays, cookies, and scarves. The closing night could possibly be accompanied by a Bingo session. If this is to be put into place, then personally I can see a lot of seniors signing up to join, and a lot of us waiting to become seniors in order to be admitted to the closing night festivities.  The only thing stopping this idea is that it doesn't really make any sense or have much to do with what Paprika is really about: young people and their excellent work.  But it's great to think about, isn't it?

In our discussion groups there was a great deal of interest in incorporating visual arts into the program by having a program for graphic designers who would create original posters for each play. The possibility of having a "Designers in Residence" program was discussed, where the aspects of art and production in theatre (such as lighting, set, and costume design) would be practiced. These designers would later be assigned to each Paprika production and aid them in their technical endeavours.

Another interesting idea was the use of short films to advertise the programing and stream them live onto the internet. We chatted about incorporating film into our program by having a "Film Director in Residence" who would make short movies about the Festival's productions. This would also give the playwrights, theatre directors and performers an idea of the differences that exist between the media of theatre and film, and an idea of the freedoms that each offer. On a career front for actors, it would be pretty good for demo reels as well.

There is also a need for many groups to find rehearsal spaces.  We spent some of our time in the group talking about the difficulty of finding space in the city, and how we'd love to have something like what the FRINGEfest has in its programming here:

Lastly in our discussion groups we heard a suggestion to have Chicken Paprika Sundaes on our sunday meetings. Sounds delicious. Or... Petit-Paprika-Pizza-Pockets... or....Chicken Paprika soup.  When finally someone asked "how can parents be involved in the Festival?" I had the perfect idea: they should make the food.

You're welcome for the genius suggestions Paprika.