We are forever brushing up against an invisible world of secrets, an intangible universe of mysteries.
– The Mystery Plays by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
In December 2016, Little Mountain Lion Productions embarked on an ambitious production of The Mystery Plays, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. In The Filmmaker’s Mystery, tells the story of a young horror film director who survives a terrible train wreck and is thrust into a high stakes investigation. In Ghost Children, a young woman travels home to make peace with the man who brutally murdered her family. Like the original medieval mystery plays, the plays wrestle with the most profound of human ideas: death, the afterlife, religion, faith and forgiveness.
Keara Barnes, Matt Clarke, Pam Kearns, Derick Neumeier, Gregory Radzimowski and Liam Sasky
Directed by Madelyn Osborne with projection design by CJ McGillivray, lighting design by Keegan Elrik, sound design by Graham Dawson, makeup and effects by Michelle Warner and stage management by Diana Bartosh.
Here is a sample of the projection design by CJ McGillivray, underscoring a climactic moment in The Filmmaker’s Mystery:
Set in post war Berlin, Frankenstein 1945 explores the world of Victor Frankenstein, a young doctor who has recently severed ties to the Nazi medical experiments. His lover, Elizabeth, is a young Jewish engineer returning home to Germany at last. In trying to make peace with the horrors they have witnessed, the pair try to develop a way to bring back the dead. The noir thriller explores the monsters created by us and within us… and what happens when we let them loose.
Madelyn Osborne, Gregory Radzimowski, Natalie Davidson, Munish Sharma, Jessica Quartel, Pedro Chamale, Anais West, Zach Wolfman, Brennan Campbell and Ryan Scramstad
Directed by Mily Mumford with sound design and projections by CJ McGillivray, set design by Jared Raschke, interior set design and props by Meaghan Cate, lighting design by Daniel Tessy, costume design by Shelby Wyminga, stage management and production management by Diana Bartosh.
Set in a future Japan where sea levels have risen and drowned the coastal cities, Umizoko explores survival, culture and the tension of displacement and belonging in the face of disaster. The installation is an interactive puzzle of sights, sounds, and smells from a dystopian though entirely realistic world. Each technological artifact reveals a story of the struggle to love in a society desperate to survive. Part installation art and part live theatre, Umizoko was presented at the 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival as part of the Generation Hot Series produced by The Only Animal.
Within the world of Umizoko, the audience was welcomed into an open warehouse space with various stations included a projected film, a live performance, a prerecorded dialogue, a texting exchange and an online video conversation between the audience and a performer in Japan. As the audio and visual designer, CJ McGillivray recorded the voice over dialogue, shot and edited the installation video and designed the general sound design for the space. She facilitated the technical execution of each element with the production manager and also ran sound and projections for the performance.
Carolyn Nakagawa, Naoko Shiratori, Mariko Zamani and Ken Endo with voice actors Anais West and Mahara Sinclaire
Directed by Julia Siedlanowska; written, produced and stage managed by Kanon Hewitt with videography, projections and sound design by CJ McGillivray; and costume coordination by Joanna Kopplinger
AUDIO AND VISUAL DESIGN
The following trailer is an excerpt of Umizoko featuring cinematography, sound design and editing by CJ McGillivray with performance footage shot by Sophia Dagher:
Are we writing for art? Is art a springboard for fame? Will fame get us a pay check but will a pay check mean that we’re sellouts?
– Two Nobodies in New York from [title of show] written by Hunter Bell and Jeff Brown
Frequently hilarious, occasionally heartbreaking, and thoroughly inspiring, [title of show] is a love story celebrating individuality and creativity, written by Hunter Bell with music and lyrics by Jeff Brown. Two nobody musical theatre nerds make a pact to write an original musical in three weeks. They follow the old adage to write what you know and set off on the unique musical adventure of writing a musical about writing a musical. Deadlines loom, insecurities creep into the creative process and jealousies flare. This intelligent, playful musical offers an inside look at the tough work of being an artist.
In August 2016, Play on Words Productions presented [title of show] at Studio 16 in Vancouver, British Columbia. CJ McGillivray was honoured to come on board as the production designer for the show, facilitating the look and feel of the performance from start to finish. Her role encompassed sound design and creating extensive projections in addition to sourcing props, costumes and even a minimalist set.
Theo Budd, Ryan Nuñez, Sabrielle McCurdy-Foreman and Stefania Wheelhouse
Collaborative direction by Jenny Anderson, musical direction by Kate MacColl, movement direction by Erika Babins, production design by CJ McGillivray and lighting design by Brad Trenaman; stage management by Chloe Rowat with media and communications coordination by Cassady Ranford
Slow dancing and wild abandon are the essence of Last Night by Shaelyn Johnston. In the premiere staged production directed by CJ McGillivray, memories become delicate and rough around the edges. Reality fades in and out of focus when a college freshmen finds herself stumbling into open arms and unfamiliar territory.
Photos by Diego Arias Montoya
CJ McGillivray’s directorial vision for Last Night is defined by a gentle, acoustic soundscape and visually dramatic multimedia projections to complement and illuminate the story as it unfolds on stage. The production was featured among a selection of short plays as part of the Sacred Space Festival at Capilano University in April 2014.
Lara Emily Foley, Gavin Langelo and Anita Topeka with projections featuring Sarah Gusten, Ben Pilger, Michael Dean Henderson and Sarah Jane Fogel.
Directed by CJ McGillivray with photography by Diego Arias Montoya used for projection designs, production managed by Alexa Houle and stage managed by Luke Wawzonek with Jocelan Jansen as set decorator.
The following still images were staged by CJ McGillivray and photographed by Diego Arias Montoya for use as ongoing projections throughout Last Night:
Photos by Diego Arias Montoya
The lighthearted, romanticized tone of the memories created an intentional and jarring contrast to the action on stage. The juxtaposition, though radical, effectively humanized an unforgivable scenario, forcing the audience the look beyond the binary of a victim and a perpetrator and to examine their own unsettling feelings in response to the narrative.
Photos by Diego Arias Montoya
The cast and crew of Last Night thanks Blake Mattson, Sunny Mohajer, Max Morrow, Shanique Kelly and Jillian Zavazal for their generous contributions to the production.