King Kirby & Contemporary Creators

We present a post-show talkback that connects the new and old. Following our production of the story of Jack Kirby, famous comic book artist who helped birth Marvel Comics with Stan Lee, we will hear from comic book artists and writers working professionally in the medium today, and find out how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same.TalkBack_Proof02sm

The talkback is free to attend with a purchase of a ticket to King Kirby.

Facilitated by Artistic Director Jason Mehmel, The talkback panel will include:

  • Fiona Staples – Artist and co-creator of the comics sensation Saga, recently contributed to Archie Comics
  • Riley Rossmo – acclaimed artist on many titles, from his creator-owned Cowboy Ninja Viking and Rasputin to Hellblazer
  • Ben Rankel – Writer-Artist of the upcoming graphic novel Frank, from Renegade publications,
  • Nick Johnson – comics creator of many titles and artist on Wolf Hands, also an animation art director at New Machine Studios
  • Tyler Jenkins – artist on the popular book Peter Panzerfaust, a WWII retelling of the Peter Pan story, recently optioned by the BBC. (Also, the illustrator for the King Kirby poster!)
  • Ryan Ferrier – writer of creator-owned books such as D4VE and Kennel Block Blues, also a writer on the Hell On Wheels comic

For ticket purchase and information call 403-264-7243 or visit sagetheatre.com

 

King Kirby – Get Complicated

I enjoy complicated stories. Stories about things that are hard to talk about, things that can’t be reduced simply.

The story of Jack Kirby is one of those stories. Kirby is the spark at the core of a superhero explosion, a billion-dollar cinematic empire. Yet many don’t even know his name. They don’t go back and look at the spark.
Jack_Kirby_1980s_by_Marc_Hempel
It’s not like Kirby is unknown. Fans have known for years about Kirby’s creative genius. Other creators are still extrapolating on his ideas today, or paying homage to his dynamic style. But somehow, he still sits behind his own creations. At one point in our play, Kirby’s wife Roz says, “-everywhere I look it’s you, Jack. And you’re not even there.”

Kirby exists in that complicated space that makes easy hero worship slide away from him. Later in life, he justifiably felt upset about his lack of recognition for laying the foundation for Marvel Comics. On the other hand, he didn’t fight nearly as hard for that recognition at the time, in fact often giving up long-term rights for short-term gains.

He had his reasons. He was taking care of his family and looking for security. He had fought in the war and came home simply wanting to work. And most of all, he had no idea that comics and Marvel would turn into what it is today. None of them knew, back then.

We’ve been working through Kirby and his life in our rehearsals. We’re not answering these questions, but we’re exploring them. It’s been fascinating. You should join us. C’mon. Get complicated.

~Jason Mehmel

Kirby’s Valentines

Set up your date night with King Kirby tickets!

Score some extra points in during Valentine’s Day by setting up a date months in advance! King Kirby opens April 15, so that gives you plenty of time to prepare!

Get your tickets here!

King Kirby is the story of Jack Kirby, the man who created the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, Captain America, and more… and it’s the story of why most don’t know his name.king kirby poster with text-small

Kirby pours his quintessentially Twentieth Century life into his comics, only to make the fateful mistake that sends him into obscurity while his creations become known to every person on Earth.

 

 

 

Hi everybody!

As Valentine’s Day approaches it has me thinking of some of the famous romantic couples and comics that Jack Kirby has put out into the world.

Sue Storm & Reed Richardssue-and-reed-kiss-j

Arguably, the most famous romance in comics. These two were a couple from the beginning, and not long after the book started, they had a wedding issue in which Jack Kirby and Stan Lee were guests, along with the rest of the Marvel Universe.

The early years for this couple weren’t always easy, as they dealt with new powers and strange villains, but Sue and Reed made it work, and provided the core of the family that the Fantastic Four became. In all of the adaptations and reboots, this relationship stays the same every time!

 

 

Big Barda & Mister Miraclemr_miracle_big_barda_by_marvinsafro-d38f473

When Jack went to creating his own characters, he also created this pair. A superhero escape artist and a otherworldly warrior woman, they were a passionate and considerate couple. The rumour is that he based his dialogue for these two on the conversations he would have with his wife, Roz!

It also shows that Kirby was focused on creating capable, powerful women, who were ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the super-men surrounding them.

 

 

Young RomanceYoung_Romance_Issue_1

After creating Captain America, Kirby and Joe Simon created Young Romance, a series of romance comics. This was before superheroes dominated the comics business. The idea was to tell stories that would appeal to demographics beyond the superhero fan base. Selling five million copies at the time, it’s interesting to think what comics might have been like if these stories took over the field instead of superheroes.

Have a Kirby Kristmas!

Merry Christmas from myself and the board of Sage Theatre!

I was happy to see you at Shakespeare’s Will. You made that show a success by sharing Anne’s journey with us night after night.

I want to show my appreciation for that, and maybe even make your last-minute Christmas shopping a little easier. A perfect gift for a comic book fan, a theatre fan, or both! (It describes me well enough…)

Tickets for our next show, King Kirby, are now on sale! king kirby poster with text-small

King Kirby is the story of the man who created the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, Captain America, and more… and it’s the story of why most don’t know his name.

Kirby pours his quintessentially Twentieth Century life into his comics, only to make the fateful mistake that sends him into obscurity while his creations become known to every person on Earth.

King Kirby is written by Fred Van Lente and Crystal Skillman, directed by Jason Mehmel, and stars Robert Klein as Jack ‘King’ Kirby, with David Lerigny as ‘Smilin’ Stan Lee. More casting news coming soon!

April 15 – 23, 2016, in the Victor Mitchell Theatre at the Pumphouse Theatres.

Thanks for your support. Have a Kirby Kristmas and we’ll see you in the New Year!

~Jason Mehmel
Artistic Director
SAGE THEATRE

cosmic holly
(I tried making a Christmas symbol cosmic with Kirby dots… google ‘Kirby crackle’ to get a sense of where it comes from!)

 

 

 

 

Investing in Inspiration #GivingTuesday

Hello!givingtuesday2015

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day that puts a positive spin on the season of sales. If Black Friday is about buying for yourself at a deal, then Giving Tuesday is about paying it forward.

By paying it forward into the arts, you’re helping to support not only the artists who are making the amazing work, you’re also supporting the culture and environment of your city and your home, making it a more interesting place to live. Lastly, you’re investing in the ideas and discoveries that will come through the ideas we explore on stage, or that others do on the canvas, the page, or the song.

You’re investing in inspiration.

Sage Theatre would love your support. If you are interested, visit our Canada Helps page to make a donation, and receive a tax receipt.

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/sage-theatre-society/

Even if you don’t give to us, consider supporting an arts organization today!

2016 IGNITE! Announces Festival Director!

Sage Theatre is proud to present the 2016 IGNITE! Festival of Emerging Artists, a multi-disciplinary arts festival serving emerging artists. This year’s festival will take place in June 2016 and will feature theatre, poetry, improvisation, music, film, visual art and more. Once again, Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre will provide mentorship for a site-specific theatre component and the Wildfire National Playwriting Competition will be organized by Major Matt Mason Collective.

We are excited to announce that Charles Netto has been appointed Festival Director! Netto is a producer, writer, and director of theatre, as well as the co-Artistic Director of Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre. In the last decade Charles has worked as both an artist and a mentor at the Ignite! Festival.

Charles NettoFrom Sage Theatre Artistic Director Jason Mehmel: “Charles has been a vigorous advocate for artists in Calgary exploring and experimenting with new work for the last 10 years. He is a passionate supporter of all artistic disciplines. Charles is a former IGNITE! artist and knows the value the festival provides for learning and opportunity. I am excited to have his vision direct the festival as we expand on what it can be!”

From Charles himself: “I have had such incredible experiences at the IGNITE! Festival, as both an artist and a mentor. I hope to build upon the festival that Adrienne Smook and Geoffrey Ewert founded with Kelly Reay at Sage Theatre.”

“We want to continue to provide emerging artists with professional resources and mentorship that allow them to practice their craft and take risks. We want to create a community where emerging artists can meet their peers and create bonds that will serve them in the future… and have some fun along the way!”

Applications for all disciplines will be accepted starting in January. Specific dates to be announced soon.

For more information please contact info@sagetheatre.com