I had the great fortune of sitting down with Shane Bingham and Morgan David Jones, founders of a fresh new theater company in Vancouver called Landmark Productions. They are responsible for bringing to life the super popular, sexy drama, Blowing Whistles, for its Canadian premiere.
Tell us about Landmark Productions … Who are you guys?
“We are an exciting new production company providing Vancouver with modern productions that enrich the LGBT community. LPV was founded by the both of us. We have worked in theater production in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, Australia, as well as in Vancouver, Seoul, Korea, Washington, D.C., and New York. Our team is a well established union ready to embark on empowering the LGBT community.”
Morgan recently worked with Academy Award Winner Cate Blanchett on the international tour of A Streetcar Named Desire and was nominated for the prestigious Helen Hayes Acting Award. Since moving to Vancouver in 2010 he has appeared in the TV shows Supernatural and Stargate Universe, with his directorial debut being Blowing Whistles. Shane is a graduate of the Australian Academy of Dramatic Art, and has worked extensively in Sydney and Vancouver since — most recently in Show Math, a ‘Theatre for Young Audience” production that toured 49 locations across British Columbia.
“At Landmark Productions Vancouver we believe it’s also important to give back to the community. As such, we are donating 100 percent of the proceeds from two performances to local charities’ YouthCO and the Vancouver Men’s Chorus. This is a production company that encourages the community to stand by their own.”
What is Blowing Whistles all about and how did you decide to produce it here?
“Blowing Whistles is a searing, topical drama about love, sex, and identity that transcends sexuality to resonate with anyone who has ever tried to maintain a longterm relationship. It is a wickedly funny drama that sheds light on an unconventional relationship. We decided to produce Blowing Whistles by Matthew Todd because we felt the message needed to be heard. It is a play that challenges preconceived ideas about relationships. We also were deeply affected by the productions we saw in London and Sydney and felt that a Canadian audience would love to be challenged in the same way. It is a great privilege to be presenting the Canadian Premiere of this extremely successful play.
“It’s a sexy, funny, and at times heartbreaking, story. It shows a gay couple on the eve of their ten-year anniversary inviting a young man from online into their relationship. Their relationship will never be the same. We believe this is an important story to tell because throughout the gay community, ‘open’ relationships are very common. We wanted to shed light on these. Not to say they are bad or good, but to challenge people’s thinking. We also are artists and our prime objective is to entertain. Audience members will be laughing, crying, and, hopefully challenged, into a different way of thinking.”
How do you think dating APPS and websites have affected our community?
“They literally make it easier for people to connect. In Blowing Whistles the character of Mark says ‘Online is easier. It is, what I want, when I want it.’ Whether people are connecting for sex or relationships, it helps the community reach out to people that they may never have had the chance to meet.”
What are the show/event details?
“Blowing Whistles runs from July 26 to August 4 [8 p.m.], with our Saturday and Sunday performances starting at 6 p.m. for people to enjoy the Fireworks afterwards. July 31 is the YouthCO fundraising event and August 1 is the Vancouver Men’s Chorus fundraising event. Tickets are selling fast, so log on to www.lpvancouver.com to reserve your tickets. The lobby has a great lounge/bar and we hope the audience will make an entire evening out of it!”