Hello everyone!

It’s been a little over a year since our last update on The Departure Train and it’s been quite a ride – for all of us!  We hope that you and your families have been able to move through these challenging times with ease and with perhaps a few new creative projects to keep you inspired.

Over the past year, The Departure Train has been continuing to progress from “station to station”.  We’ve completed script development, we’ve had a staging workshop, and now we are working towards our first performance which will be an audio play!

Our year in review:  In January 2020, we conducted a two-day workshop at The Citadel in Toronto with five of our dedicated actors – Pamela Barker, Judith Fiore, Dan Giverin, Erica May and Naomi Peltz.  We explored several of the more complex scenes involving moving in and out of Audrey’s memories as well as her descent into the Underworld.  We played extensively with staging the play with a unique audience configuration that embeds the audience in the action of the play by enveloping them in the sound and movement of Audrey’s afterlife.  We discovered to our delight that the actors could have a continued presence within Audrey’s world as spirits ready to be of service to Audrey’s afterlife experience.  Some rich script revisions resulted from these explorations which was followed by an online reading in May 2020.  Cast members for the online reading included:  Liz Best, Chris Coculuzzi, Judith Fiore, Erica May, Jorge Molina, Naomi Peltz, Liz Pounsett, and Colleen Simm.

Since Covid hit in March 2020, we have been brainstorming ways to offer The Departure Train in a different medium other than a stage play. We had already created an elaborately immersive sound script so it wasn’t a huge leap to consider creating a full audio play. During the Fall of 2020, we underwent a search for a Sound Designer and have hired Phil Strong to create the music and sounds of Audrey’s afterlife journey. You can peruse some of Phil’s fascinating projects by visiting his website:  http://www.phil-strong.com   We are excited to embark on this next phase of the project which we hope to launch in October 2021.

Of course, we still have our sights on ultimately staging the play, which will be wonderfully enriched by our work with sound and music. We will definitely keep you all posted on developments as we move this process forward.  In the meantime, we are sending you our best wishes for a healthy and creative 2021.

Nicole Arends (Director)
Michelle Tocher (Playwright)