Hamilton theatre maker Vicktoria Adam has always been drawn to stories ‘about people trying to find their place in the world.’ Fittingly then, she terms her upcoming production, There’s No Place Like Home, “a heart–warming night of stories and songs about my Wizard of Oz inspired journey to find my way home.” In fact, the show will run on two consecutive Tuesday evenings, December 10th and 17th at The Staircase Theatre.
“Growing up I was really connected to The Wizard of Oz, Annie, E.T., and Anne of Green Gables,” Adam explains. “All are about individuals looking for love and connection.” It’s a theme she plumbs as a more recent transplant to Hamilton, in a cabaret style show directed by partner Luke Brown and produced by Flat Earth Global, which also produced Adam’s 2018 Hamilton Fringe offering, Princess Penelope’s End of the World Magical Musical Super Happy Fun Time Show.
Vicktoria started writing There’s No Place Like Home the same year, as a participant in The Junction playwrights’ program at Theatre Aquarius. “I hadn’t been living in Hamilton very long, a year and a half, and Hamilton hadn’t yet felt like home,” she explains. “I moved around a lot in my life, both growing up and as an adult, and wanted to understand why some places feel like home and others don’t.”
The show’s timing and content certainly suit the season, as first Thanksgiving and then Christmas bombard us with emotionally heavy expectations about family, home, and belonging. It’s the candlelit season of joy and love, but also of the wistful refrain, ‘I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.’
Speaking of which, although it began as a more straightforward storytelling piece, the material in There’s No Place Like Home kept nudging Adam toward song. “My training is in musical theatre, and I’m often pulled toward the musical genre,” she says. Going with the flow felt best, with Vicktoria tethering her new show to both the musical inspiration of The Wizard of Oz and the cabaret framework.
Hailing from Bonnyville, Alberta, Vicktoria Adam was educated at the University of Alberta and Randolph College for the Performing Arts. She’s an actor as well as a playwright, with credits at the Next Stage Festival and Edmonton Fringe, and with companies like Make.Art.Theatre and No Strings Theatre. Having written a number of short plays and radio plays, she helped found the Actor’s Forge, a professional training group in Hamilton.
“Looking back, the only thing I wish I knew before pursuing a life as a professional theatre creator was to start creating my own work earlier,” Vicktoria shares. “It took me a long time to take the risk to begin writing for myself because I was afraid of creating bad theatre, or shows that no one would like.”
“At some point I heard someone say ‘write what you want to see on stage, and you’ll find other people will want to see it, too.’ That completely changed things for me.” And it’s a perspective on theatre making that bodes well for There’s No Place Like Home, opening next week.
“If this wasn’t my show, it would be the kind of show I would want to see as an audience member: funny, honest, heart–warming and fun, with lots of great songs to sing along to.”
“I think this show will resonate for anyone who appreciates musical theatre, and has ever felt misplaced, or missing home,” Adam says.
Once the curtain falls on There’s No Place Like Home, next up for Vicktoria Adam is a production of Ordinary Days, produced by Hamilton Theatre Project, running from the end of January into February 2020. V
There’s No Place Like Home
December 10 & 17, 8 PM
Staircase Cafe Theatre
27 Dundurn St. North, Hamilton
Bright Room; Tickets $20