Local Theatre Company Switches Things Up In Latest Production | windsoriteDOTca News

Anthony Sheardown Photography

For the first time in their history, a local theater company is changing roles during their latest play.

Currently performing at the Shadowbox Theater (located at 103b – 1501 Howard Avenue). post productions version of The Children by Lucy Kirkwood stands out. Unlike other shows by the company, the new performance has alternate interpretations. This means the audience gets two separate takes of the story with different actors depending on when they leave.

With Mary Grace Weir pre-cast as Rose, the plan grew out of a difficult decision.

“One exciting aspect of The Children for us is that it features three prime roles for actors in their late 50s to early 70s, which is not the case with most of the plays we produce,” said Post’s executive director and producer. Michael K Potter. “So when the top two contenders for the roles of Hazel and Robin presented us with very different interpretations of both the characters and the story, we faced a dilemma that we didn’t really have to face before.”

This meant narrowing down two groups of actors with unique interpretations to a duo.

Winner of the UK Writer’s Guild Award for Best Play, The Children is about retired nuclear scientists Hazel (Linda Collard, Cheri Scratch) and Robin (Mitch Snaden, Joey Ouellette). After a tsunami, the two now live outside an exclusion zone near a The uncontrolled meltdown of the nuclear power plant. After making their peace and trying to move on with life, both are soon confronted with former colleague Rose. Her arrival and her frightening request force her to confront moral and existential problems while asking uncomfortable questions.

ThinkWeir (Main role in Three Great Women back then) fitted well; They showed the actor the script. After expressing her interest, she was cast as the lead actress in the play. Weir read with actors to gauge the chemistry for the other two roles and also helped with audition choices: when it came to final interpretations, she suggested producing both.

Although Potter and Lynn had offered a solution, they were concerned at first.

“We were intrigued but ambivalent,” Potter said. “Yes, this could be an exciting experiment if things worked out and we would end up with two interesting and quite different versions of The Children, but it might not work like that. In both cases, the plan presented us with logistical challenges that we might not want to face anyway.”

Read  Manchester United transfer news LIVE takeover latest and Man Utd vs West Ham team news

In the face of greater uncertainty, the play’s setting was also up in the air. With the Shadowbox Theater lease ending in January, the company didn’t know if they would be producing anything after The Children. Because of this, however, Potter and director Fay Lynn were ultimately convinced to take a risk.

Nevertheless, challenges still arose. Both had to reassure the actors that their labor would not go to waste when the auditions began. This meant an obligation to everyone; even if a new venue or date would be required.

Additionally, two Robins and Hazels cut rehearsal time in half for both groups. Meanwhile, Weir stood by his side throughout the process. This increased the pressure on the actors to develop their roles independently. Shortly before Christmas, specific days were assigned to each line-up. This was done later because they could play through larger parts of the piece in a single rehearsal.

Nevertheless, this unconventional approach led to a unique process.

“Here’s something about our decision to do two cast versions of the play that we haven’t released yet,” Potter said. “We actually decided to split up the actors who offered similar interpretations and pair them with co-stars who gave us opposite interpretations when we auditioned. We wanted to see what effect these actors would have on each other during the rehearsal process. This was another risk because it could have resulted in homogeneity and thus two very similar versions of the piece, which would have been boring and pointless.”

Instead, both interpretations were quite different. Not knowing how alternate versions of characters were played, everyone trusted their instincts without worry. Lynn led both groups and offered similar advice, but the focus remained on her unique approach to the material.

Even Weir’s portrayal of Rose changed as she outplayed each group.

“I was always amazed at how different scenes played with the different casts and developed in different directions throughout the rehearsal process,” she said. “A particularly striking example (no spoilers) is the scene where Rose asks Robin a question, the answer to which will be a judgment about something she has done in the past. It became increasingly clear to me that while she expects a certain answer, she is both hoping for that answer and afraid of it because of her relationship with Robin and what she hopes to achieve. It wasn’t something I decided beforehand, but rather evolved out of selection [Ouellette] And [Snaden] made. She gets an answer she wasn’t expecting, and the two Roses I play have different responses, all with the same words.”

Read  TikTok banned latest: Complete app shutdown looms as company CEO set to testify at Congress

It creates a mood that is noticeably different within the first five minutes of the piece. While both versions have humor with recognizable relationships, they differ in tones: played warmly in one interpretation, they are colder, rough and sometimes brutal in the other.

According to Potter, it offers a sharp contrast.

“One version of the play gives you the impression that despite the embarrassment after not seeing each other for 40 years, Hazel and Rose eventually became really close friends,” the producer said. “On the other hand, right from the start you get the sense that there was always a rift between the two, which they both chose not to publicly admit. They had a rivalry that neither could admit was real. In one version, Robin is a man of genius who is used to settling disputes by distracting people with humor. It was only in the last few years that he realized that the things that used to define him were slipping away from him. On the other hand, you get the sense that Robin has long been aware that he’s not quite who he says he is, which gives a sharp edge to his attempts to use humor.”

Introduced through these relationships, the play also explores heavy themes. When the characters get to know each other again after years apart, it shows how past choices can haunt our future. This allows for questions about our decisions affecting those not directly involved.

At the heart of the play, these character dynamics allow the audience to connect with such themes.

“The value of individual human lives is also questioned in this play,” Potter said. “Especially as to the possibility of self-sacrifice and the morality of asking others to sacrifice themselves. Politically and ecologically, The Children seamlessly integrates into the story a number of issues that we are facing now and will likely face for the rest of our lives. If not ours, then our grandchildren. These include climate change, clean energy and the broader societal impact of political and economic decisions. [Kirkwood] did a brilliant job of weaving all of these themes, challenges, and forces into a sleek, provocative, and compelling story that never preaches.”

Read  The Importance of Staying Up-to-Date with the Latest BSC News for Crypto Investors

This elaborate story also allows for different perspectives on what is most interesting.

“I think a topic that interests me is the definition of heroism,” Weir said. “Specifically: is the grand gesture more heroic than the prosaic everyday business of baking birthday cakes, doing the laundry, packing cups and tea towels? They go largely unnoticed. Both have their merits, but in the end, Rose realizes that the latter is what really keeps the world going. The grand gesture may sometimes be necessary and perhaps the responsibility of those best qualified to do so, but it is not necessarily more important.”

The remaining performances of The Children will be held at the Shadowbox Theater on February 16th, 17th and 18th. Show times are 8pm, doors open at 7:30pm. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased on-line or at the door if still available. Collard and Snaden will play Hazel and Robin respectively on February 17th. Scratch and Ouellette will take over the roles on February 16th and 18th.

Combined with Waawiiyaatanong Feminist Theateraudiences can see both renditions at a discount: people who attend one version will receive a $10 discount at the box office to see the other.

In this way, the company makes it easier to share a special production with everyone.

“As we approached the premiere on February 3rd, [Lynn] and I was getting more and more confident about what each cast was doing,” Potter said. “Honestly, we were pretty excited about what the two versions revealed about what you can do with a single story. The week before the premiere [Lynn] and I watched both versions of The Children every night. Each night we felt drawn into the story, drawn to the characters, and reacted emotionally in all sorts of ways to what was happening on stage. By this point we should have been sick of both versions, but we weren’t. Every night we would talk about what we had just experienced and how exciting it was to see, hear and most importantly feel the authenticity in two very different interpretations of the same story.”

In addition, a more unique perspective can also be gained through these alternative shots.

“Both versions offer gripping stories full of emotion,” said Ouellette. “It’s very interesting how the same words can have different meanings. Maybe that’s the snack. If we choose what things mean, can’t we make better choices in our own lives?”


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button