The Gush Newsletter 4 – A long winter, but now it’s Spring, isn’t it?

Greetings all.

Although long and deep the winter brought many developments at the farm this year. We began with a stunning first fundraising event/Indigogo campaign. It was a huge success and we surpassed the goal of $5,000 by over $1,000. Congratulations and a multitude of thanks to all of you that supported the MCCP and its scholarship/bursary program. Thank you for spreading the word, for the emotional support, and the donations.

I began writing this newsletter from the Painter House studio at the fantastic Banff Centre. As our home became unavailable for accommodation (due to the fire) during the building of the new Mump & Smoot show. We were very fortunate to land there to build it in preparation for opening in Edmonton in April. The new show, Mump & Smoot in Anything was a great success and we are looking forward to the next run in Calgary in January.

And now Spring is here… isn't it?!?! I took my second swing at this letter in April but couldn't really use this statement so I thought I'd wait until it seemed somewhat more certain.

We are preparing for a big summer, the first one in the new studio. We were supposed to be in it last year but there was some slowdown on the build. But we'll be there this summer. We are already hooked up for water and electricity and Jed has masterfully painted the floor.

This summer is the first summer we've been able to have a full roster of teachers and classes. We're starting with Movement and Improv with Fiona Griffiths. It's a great class especially as a warm up for The Mask and Clown Intensive (Baby Clown) which follows it. It is not a prerequisite but was the work that first primed me to this "school of thought" some 27 years ago… oh my god, was it that long? Fiona is also teaching Body Wilderness, a fabulous exploration of the self and character from the perspective of the body (what else is there?). It is also designed to be a great transitional workshop from Baby Clown and Boot Camp 1 to the more advanced classes that follow.

The brilliant Karen Hines is returning to teach two classes with me, Advanced Boot Camp and Actor/Clown. Those will be a blast. And of course she will also teach the fantastic, provocative, and demanding Neo Bouffon.

Last summer Mike (Mump, need I say more) and I taught Joey and Auguste. I was just intending to come and go as needed, to give the Auguste perspective now and then, but it was so much fun and so informing that once in the door I couldn't miss a minute. This class is unparalleled for anyone wishing to work with more than one person in creation and/or on stage in any genre.

So that's the program this summer and it begins in less than 6 weeks now and classes are filling so be sure to get your applications in as soon as you can.

If, by chance you have applied or expressed interest and haven't heard back yet, please just give me a reminder. It has been a crazy winter and my administration duties may have suffered a little. So please give me a kick and I'll get back to you soon. We're much more settled now that we're back on the island.

And finally I would like to thank all the folks that have done so much to help us with the fallout from the fire. The fundraising in Burpee Mills, Edmonton and Toronto has done more than anyone can know and has reconfirmed the fact that humans are compassionate and generous beings regardless of what we see in the news. And I just heard this morning that there is a last minute deal offered for the Toronto fund raiser happening on Saturday "Home, Smoot, Home". Here's the link to find out details.

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/660464

yours always,
John

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