The Debriefing

Twitter comment, @CaseFile319After six sold out shows at the 2013 Ottawa Fringe Festival, Bob Shirley got what he was always destined to and the Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy packed itself up and moved out of Studio Leonard-Beaulne a mere two weeks after it moved in.

This post, really, is simply me saying how grateful I am for having won the chance to put The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy together.

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Director’s Note:

It all started with the title.

The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy :: Press the ButtonWhen I put in for the Fringe lottery, there were a half-dozen show possibilities I had in mind. When I actually won, I realized I wasn’t really into any of them. Some I just didn’t feel passionately enough about and others I knew I wasn’t ready to tackle yet.

Then while out one day, The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy popped into my head. I’d heard it previously as a line on a television program, sarcastically referencing a department investigating the paranormal things, and I noted it for later use. Apparently now was later.

That title merged itself immediately with something else I’d always wanted to do which was some form of Canada’s answer to Doctor Who. Those two thoughts gave birth to the challenge of bringing the character of a television program like Doctor Who to the stage.  A high-energy, borderline absurd, madcap adventure with a lot of heart

Now here we are six months later with a fast-paced show you wouldn’t be wrong to call ambitious. Sixteen costume changes and seven set changes for six different sets across four universes, all in an hour, and the show never slows down or stops. The only reason it all came together was thanks to the hard work of a main cast of five, an ensemble of eight beyond that, and crew enough to bring the total number of people who’ve worked on this show to more than twenty.

It’s thanks entirely to the effort and dedication of every one of them that The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy has become everything I envisioned it to be when I first started writing. If you thought from anything you’ve heard about the show that you’d enjoy it, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. They’ve ensured that. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

2 Minutes with Laura Hall

Laura Hall plays Alexia Ashford in The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy. Here, in this short video interview, you can learn a bit about both of them.

Trouble watching the video? Watch directly on YouTube instead.

Behind the Scenes: My Starring Role

This week was chock full of very special rehearsals – and not just because we started doing full run-throughs. It was also special because I got to unleash my acting chops in a very important role.

As the days pass, we’re assembling more and more of our sets and props. Performers are running around frantically between scenes, hurrying to change their costumes as our assistant stage manager, Caitlin, thrusts jackets onto their waiting arms and ties their shoes to accelerate the process. But we’re still missing the panels that will form our backdrop. Which means that anything that needs to be hung on those panels must be held by hand for now.

Remember that kid in your elementary school who was cast as the tree in that one school play? Yeah, that was me. Only I got to be more interesting than just a silly tree – I was a human white board.

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Behind the Scenes: Now With Less Pants!

Things here at the The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy are always a little bit…well, bat shit crazy. Last Sunday was our first pants-free rehearsal. Seriously, what Fringe performance would be complete without a little pantlessness?

Yes, every performer gets their own special pants-free moment and this was the first time we actually did the scenes as they were intended: sans pants! Everyone was very brave and I think this rehearsal was a success; I sure know I couldn’t have done it.

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2 Minutes with Chris Cottrell

Chris Cottrell plays Sean Hart in The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy. Here, in this short video interview, you can learn a bit about both of them.

Trouble watching the video? Watch directly on YouTube instead.

2 Minutes with Meghan Murphy

Meghan Murphy plays Ashley Sheridan in The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy. Here, in this short video interview, you can learn a bit about both of them.

Trouble watching the video? Watch directly on YouTube instead.

Behind the Scenes of the BBSC: Getting Excited!

Yet another week of rehearsals down! It’s crazy to think that June has already arrived. In the blink of an eye, it’ll be Fringe time!

The themes of rehearsal this week have been violence and love. Don’t worry, the violence is staged. But the love is real (awww).

It was finally time to choreograph our fight sequence. First of all, Meghan (Ashley) and Ron (Bob Shirley) proved to be quite acrobatic with a lift that wouldn’t be out of place on an ice skating rink (if ice skating involved more screaming and punching, that is.). I must admit, I felt a little anxiety due to our rehearsal space’s low ceilings, Ron’s height and Meghan’s accident-prone nature. Luckily, everyone survived.

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Special Features Wednesday: Our John Sheridan

The world of The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy is like our own, but with one major difference: the government. There, a new Prime Minister has just recently been elected. His name is John Sheridan, and the Rt. Hon. Mr. Sheridan loves being the PM and isn’t afraid to show it! He’s even on Facebook, because he just loves being relatable to all those young people across Canada!

Lawrence Aronovitch as Prime Minister John Sheridan

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Behind the Scenes of The BBSC: An Observer’s Diary

What a month it’s been! May has been chock full of video shoots, promotional planning, fake Facebook fan pages, Twitter account tie-ins and, of course, rehearsal after rehearsal.

The crazy countdown to the Ottawa Fringe starts now, with almost exactly a month to go to the opening night of The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy – and yet, it’s a miracle if we can get the whole cast and crew to attend a rehearsal at the same time. So far, people have been sidelined by illness, unexpected concussions and trips to England. We like to joke that we’re cursed. Although personally I’m hoping that we’ll at least be able to have the entire cast present for the performances themselves!

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A quick hello from the cast of BBSC.

From now until the end of June (and end of Fringe), we will be updating the case files of the BBSC fairly regularly. We’ll be bringing you videos with the cast, more photos, reports from rehearsals, and a few great surprises (including some “Ask the Cast” videos – don’t tell them we told you). Keep checking back with us on our way to Ottawa fringe this June. You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter (@CaseFile319).

To start us off, here’s a quick hello from our cast.

Trouble with the video? Watch directly on YouTube?