You’ll be floored when you see the transformation

In this issue of Intermission Dishin':

See the transformation of a blank plywood canvas to an inspiring message for London!

We've made major progress in the Wardrobe area. Have a look below!

Let our talented team take care of your holiday shopping list.

And meet Judy and Ansel - our Finance Team!


A Blank Canvas

As we hit the next phase of RENO2020, the blank canvas of the external hording was too much for our creative team to bear .. so Richard Lawless (Head Scenic Artist) and Craig Guthrie (Senior Scenic Artist) went to work!

In Process

A few days of paint and varnish at our Scene Shop and we were ready to install thanks to Natalie Tsang (Props Buyer) and Doug Johnstone (Scenic Carpenter).

The Arts WILL Lift Us Up

We are so proud of this mural! The Arts Will Lift Us Up and the sky is the limit! #LondonProud

A Reminder of the BEFORE

RENO2020 will see transformations of many of our backstage / working spaces. The wardrobe area is undergoing a significant and necessary expansion. Above are 2 photos to remind you of the 'before' shots shared in previous newsletters.

Steel Beams in Place

Using the same vantage point as the BEFORE shots, you'll see the transformation take place - the left wall came down and the floor and working space is being expanded over the Prop Shop located immediately below.

Step 2: Before the Concrete is Poured

Flooring structure is laid and fearless Deb made sure everything was safe before the concrete was poured!

What the...?!

Question: How exactly do you bring in concrete to build a floor when you need to pour it fast and all you have is a small elevator?

Concrete is Poured Through the Wardrobe Window

Answer: You take the shortest route possible!


As quickly as the concrete flows through the window, it is smoothed out by the crew! This is called screeding the concrete!

End Scene!

It's all over but the drying! Later that same day, the crew was already walking on the newly poured floor to start work on ceiling.

Natalie Kearns Showing at Potters Market

Natalie Kearns our Head of Props is also a talented potter. Along with her London Clay Art Centre colleagues, she'll be at the Holiday Potters Market December 3-5! You can see more of Natalie's work on her Etsy page by clicking here.

Grand Theatre Artisans Hosting Outdoor Pop-Up Market December 5

Staff from across many departments are hosting an Outdoor Pop-Up Market on Saturday December 5th! Clothing, jewellery, soaps, scents, tie dye, preserves, corsets and more! Please show your support of these talented humans if you are in London. Please wear masks and practice social distancing. 10 AM to 4 PM in at 8 Elworthy Avenue in London. #supportlocal


Meet the team in Finance!

Ansel Tempral and Judy Risser

Ansel poses with his two children.Judy poses with her two grandchildren.

Ansel Tempral (Director of Finance), left, with his children Kyle and Deijha – both 11.  Judy Risser (Finance Associate), right, with her grandchildren – Bennett (3) and Josie (5).

How long have you been working at the Grand?

Judy Risser
I’ve been working at the Grand, since January 2019, so just about a two years. I started out part-time but have been full time since July 2019.
Ansel Tempral
5 months and 3 weeks (to be exact – as most finance folks tend to be).

What was the pathway that brought you to us?

Judy Risser
I came to the Grand as a favour to my friend Valerie who was the former Finance Director, as the Grand was shorthanded. I had a full time job but wanted to help out and worked about 20 hours week during evenings and weekends.

That 20 hours grew and grew and I was offered a fulltime position during ‘regular’ working hours!
Ansel Tempral
I responded to a job ad online as Director of Finance for the theatre the day after I bought donuts across the street at BoxCar. When I was choosing my donuts, I saw the big red sign of the Grand and thought “Hmmm… I wonder what they do in that theatre?”… and here I am! It was destiny by donuts!

We all think we know what a staff member of a finance team would typically do (invoicing, payroll, budgets, accounts payable, etc.). What is the most unique or different thing you have done in Finance at the Grand, that you know you’d never have come across in any other job?

Judy Risser
When I first started, noticed that we bought a lot of vodka... I figured that it must a be a popular beverage of the theatre crowd. But I soon discovered after to talking to Raz and Heather, that vodka is used to clean costumes. Who knew?
Ansel Tempral
The entire experience has been unique so far but that has more to do with the pandemic and the shifts we have all had to make in how we do our work. I suspect there will be many wow moments for me once we are allowed to safely re-open after the RENO.

What is your favourite things about being a member of the Grand Staff?

Judy Risser
My favorite thing about being a Grand staff member is that the team is filled with incredibly talented people. These people collectively produce fantastic shows that bring many folks a great deal of pleasure.
Ansel Tempral
I would have to say the strong support of leadership, the kindness and talent of staff, and being a part of a landmark institution with such a rich history.

What has been the biggest challenge working through this pandemic and time of Grand Intermission?

Judy Risser
At the outset, with cancelled shows, there was significant work to be done from an HR perspective – Records of Employment, etc.  Then after that, my biggest challenge has been learning about the new systems we are putting in place to get the finance department more streamlined and efficient. It's exciting work and I'm happy to be learning new things... I count myself lucky in that respect.
Ansel Tempral
Well, I was hired during the pandemic so coming in to a new position in an industry that has been turned on its head has been a challenge. I have not yet enjoyed meeting all the Grand folks directly so really the lack of personal contact from “zooming instead of rooming” has been tough as well as managing change and know full expectations when the theatre is back open again – though I do look forward to that time!

What has been your favourite production you’ve seen so far and why?

Judy Risser
It is so difficult to say which is my favourite, I enjoy all of the shows for different reasons. If I had to pick one, I would say Room. It was such a powerful play demonstrating a mothers unconditional love for her child. I am anxiously awaiting the debut of GROW as well.
Ansel Tempral
Well, besides the Un-Opening, I have not seen a show but... if the Un-Opening is a taste of what is to come I can’t wait!!

When you are not crunching numbers at the Grand, what fills your time?

Judy Risser
In my free time, I love spending time with my grandchildren. They are 3 & 5 years old and are truly a blessing in my life.
Ansel Tempral
Video-chatting with my wife who is currently living and working in the Cayman Islands, table tennis, cooking, and spending time with my kids.
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