The Cowichan Performing Arts Centre is forging ahead, in spite of the curtailment of their usual business by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, Sept. 29 the centre is launching a streaming short film called Standing By.
“Filmed at the Cowichan Peforming Arts Centre, the movie explores the many mixed feelings of artists during COVID-19,” a press release about the film states.
Standing By has been created and performed by Cowichan-raised actor Nicole Ratjen.
“The film, clocking in at just under five minutes, uses the incredible dimensions of the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre to explore the feelings of anger, sadness, rage, confusion, and hope that the onset of the pandemic provoked in artists like Ratjen,” the release says.
“I am usually onstage 10 times a week in Berlin,” says Ratjen. “But the pandemic stopped me in my traps and I found myself back home for seven months, sheltering in place on my parent’s property; I wanted to create something that expressed all of the feelings that were inside of me, and having grown up performing on the stage at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, I wanted to explore this beautiful space that found itself unexpectedly dark and empty. I wanted to climb the walls, touch the curtains, and connect with the space.”
After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University in Toronto specialising in Devised Theatre and Theatrical Design, Ratjen furthered her training in Europe. She attended L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris and alongside the cours professional she participated in the Laboratory Study of Movement (LEM), the press release said.
As an actor and director, Ratjen has worked on production throughout Canada, across Europe and around Australia. She continues to develop and create new works for the screen and stage.
Find the stream on the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre’s Facebook page: facebook.com/cowichanpac