Friday, March 11, 2016

Hitting the road

Guest blogger -  Kathy Storring

In a parking lot behind a Kitchener apartment building, a hockey game has broken out. 

There is nothing fancy about the space. The players have ignored a pleasant stretch of nearby grass in favour of a section of pavement that sprawls between parked cars and a set of composters. 

A net has been dragged into place, not far from the tool shed. 

But clearly the setting is of no consequence when there’s a game to be played.

Joe Paul, 18, is in the net, putting his real hockey skills to the test while two teams gang up on him — his dad Lincoln, 49, and his brother Jesse, 16, plus their neighbours, the Phillips brothers, Adam, 14,  and Paul, 16. Later Mitch Paul, 14, returns from volleyball and joins the fray.

The game is at times intense, the steady scratch of sticks on pavement punctuating the autumn air as the players bunch, weave and shoot the orange ball at the net. There are other sound-effects, too, the whoop of goal scorers and the “Ohhhh” of defeat when the ball snakes past Joe’s net-minding skills. 

But most of the time it is easy to forget who is on which team. The mood is respectful and it is all about the fun. 

Now, one could ask — oh, and thanks for doing so — what this writer is doing at the game. Well, I’m here on the sidelines with Kathleen Sheehy, artistic director of Lost & Found Theatre,  and we are watching media artist Dwight Storring chase the hockey players with his camera, a sport all of its own.

Sometimes the players do the work for him, strapping on a GoPro camera to truly catch the action. Later Dwight pulls players aside and conducts interviews. It’s all part of the video stories he is collecting to celebrate road hockey in all of its glory. 

The project was inspired by the April premiere of Pocket Rocket, an engaging new play by acclaimed playwrights Lea Daniel of Kitchener and Gary Kirkham of Cambridge. Dwight’s collection of video stories about street hockey will be shown each night before the play, getting the audience in the mood.  (The video shown here will give you a taste.)

So, get your tickets! Pocket Rocket is not to be missed, whether you are a hockey player, an avid bystander or, most importantly, someone who loves great theatre. Lost and Found Theatre presents Pocket Rocket April 20-30, 2016, at the The Registry Theatre, 122 Frederick St., Kitchener. 

Next blog: April 1: My interview with playwrights Gary Kirkham and Lea Daniel explores Pocket Rocket’s journey from clever idea  to the stage.

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