Roseneath Theatre makes Canadian History

What do you get when you take an award-winning play for young people, some determined political activists and a lot of luck? You get Roseneath Theatre's production of 'Danny, King of the Basement' on Parliament Hill.

Roseneath Theatre (www.roseneath.ca) is one of Canada's oldest and most respected 'theatre for young audiences companies'. Established in 1983 to create and produce original Canadian theatre for young people and their families, Roseneath tours 4-5 productions (and about 250 performances) annually across the globe.



Left to right: Ryan Cunningham as Danny, Adrian Churchill as Angelo and Andrea Scott as Penelope. With thanks to CAEA.

Arriving at the loading dock of the parliament buildings

'Danny, King of the Basement' is one of their flagship productions. Written by Artistic Director, David S. Craig, it is a multi Award-winning production about a young boy and his mother, Louise, who have been moving in and out of the shelter system for most of his life. When Louise finds a job and rents a basement apartment, they think their "moving days are finally over", but its just the beginning of a new adventure for the lovable Danny, who makes friends in a handshake and best friends in a day.

But although the play was written as a comedy, it hits home with a strong political message on child poverty and homelessness. Inspired by the Golden Report (which says that 25% of the homeless in Toronto are young people under the age of 12) playwright David S. Craig wanted to offer them a hero from their ranks. The result has been a play that has travelled for over 500 performances in Canada and the US over the last 3 years, been translated into 3 languages and garnered the adoration of press, parents and children from Anchorage to West Palm Beach.

And when Roseneath went into the Parliament buildings, so did SFX.

Roseneath began using the SFX software 2 seasons ago with their first tour of 'Danny' to help them improve on the quality of their touring soundscapes. Working with top Canadian sound designer Rick Sacks meant that large multiple source systems had to tour with the company, in order to realize the busy urban streets where the play takes place, which was both expensive and sometimes difficult to maintain.

Managing Director, Tim Jennings, began to wonder if there was an alternative. "I spoke with an old employee of mine, Tom Andrews at the River Run Centre in Guelph, Ontario. Tom is one of the finest audio technicians in Canada and I knew if anyone could find a solution, he could. He immediately suggested SFX".

Roseneath began touring with SFX using the software on laptops and using the Echo Laya as an interface. Tim and Rick were delighted. "Rick could send the stage manager new cues or changes by emailing them .wav files, and the company reduced a variety of playback systems to a 'carry on' bag.

"We now tour the show on a Soundstation DAW. The theatre's we tour into are always impressed by how simple it is to get the show up and running, and the effectiveness of our 'lunch box computer'. We just plug into the house board, modify the master for levels and away we go. I took it with us to Edinburgh this summer with another show we had running there at the Festival (Dib and Dob and the Journey Home) and once again, it ran with flying colours - and the laptop adapter solved all of our power conversion issues. It was a dream. Next year we have already booked 17 weeks in the US with Danny, and the other 3 productions we will be touring will all be done on SFX."

It goes to prove once again that whether it's a school gymnasium, or Capital Hill, SFX can do it all.