1988. East City was a live, improvised soap opera, performed on a weekly basis in Peterborough, Ontario. It was conceived and directed by Robert Winslow in the late 1980's, and first performed at Artspace, a multidisciplinary art centre located in Peterborough's Market Hall. That's where these video clips, taken from the first 25 episodes, were recorded. East City: The Soap later moved to the Union Theatre in Peterborough.
The core performers were a mix of actors, artists and musicians from the Peterborough theatre and art scene. In the first season - when these recordings were made - the cast was supplemented by visiting artists from the wider world of Canadian theatre and dance, including - seen here - Theresa Tova and Michael Rawley who had recurring characters, Peter Chin and Katherine Duncanson (performing a duet at 3:17), Joe Macerollo on accordion, and Peter Tiefenbach on piano.
In this reel the performers introduced by Winslow at the beginning are, in order: Dennis Tourbin, Serge Bertrand, Kelly Nadal, Steven Seabrook, David Ramsden, Joe Stable, Tiefenbach, and David Bateman. Of these, only Tiefenbach was not a Peterborough resident. He, like all but one of the other visiting artists seen here, was in the city to perform in R. Murray Schafer’s The Greatest Show. The exception was Michael Rawley who was in town to act in The Secret Prince (also in this Video Vault). Other Peterborough-based performers seen in these excerpts include Ken Ramsden (check out his wild dance - at 4:33 - that was concluded only when his brother David’s dog came on stage and bit him on the ankle), Michael Meredith, Bob Widdowson, Phil Black, Cynthia Lord, Caron Garside, and of course Davis Mirza in a thong.
All this original East City video was shot by Stephen Rose of Powerhouse Digital Video.