March 18th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 11
Crowsnest native finds success
online and on stage
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald Contributor photo
Keith Kollee recently starred in the latest installment of a popular Calgary theatre franchise and has written and produced a web series.
Pass Herald Reporter
It’s been a long and winding road for Keith Kollee.
The Crowsnest native recently starred in the latest installment of a popular Calgary theatre franchise and has written and produced a web series.
One of the founding members of a now defunct high school drama club, Kollee graduated from Crowsnest Consolidated High School in 1993 and went on to study theatre at Mount Royal College – now a university – and at the University of Lethbridge.
After a few rough experiences Kollee almost quit the biz.
“I decided maybe theatre wasn’t for me anymore and I walked away from it for a really long time,” said Kollee. “But when my son was born I decided it would be impossible for me to tell him that he could do anything he wanted in life if he followed his dreams, if I had given up on mine.”
But now he’s thankful to have taken another kick at the can.
He’s one of the executive producers of Writers’ Circle: the Series. Writer’s Circle is a web series chronicling the exploits of playwright Phil, novelist Becky, screenwriter Jeff and web writer Zoe.
The foursome creates a hilariously maladaptive ad hoc support group and try to control their bad behaviours but unfortunately, they enable each other to continue their wicked ways.
The series is based on a play written by another executive producer, Dan Gibbins. There are 13 episodes; a new one is released every Thursday and each is under ten minutes long.
Kollee said they are in discussions with the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo about screening Writers’ Circle in their big screen facility.
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The cast and crew are already working on a sequel.
Kollee also recently starred in Cry Havoc 3, which sliced through Pumphouse Theatre audiences in Calgary last month using an inventive 2.5-hour collection of short vignettes that coalesce around the theme of violence.
The writers went big for the third installment of the popular play, which combines short, clever narratives and stage fighting.
“We tried to make the fights bigger, the scenes funnier and more dramatic,” he said.
Kollee said Cry Havoc owes its success to a rushed bit of ingenuity when the Scorpio theatre team was on the waiting list to get into the Pumphouse Theatre.
They were given very short notice to use the facility in 2008 so the team decided to slap together a series of short scenes centering on stage fighting. Audiences loved it and a successful franchise was born.
Kollee played several roles in Cry Havoc 3 including a Celt that gets into a big fight wielding his trusty battle-ax.
“It weighed 30 or 40 pounds, like it was heavy,” said Kollee. “When we started the rehearsal process I thought there’s no way I’m going to be able to deal with this but we figured it out over time.”
Learning through practice without giving it the ax is how Kollee battled his way into the Calgary art scene.
March 18th ~ Vol. 85 No. 11
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