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So Much Theatre: Communion

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Photo courtesy of freefotuk from flickrPhoto courtesy of freefotuk from flickr

One of Canada’s foremost contemporary playwrights, the prolific Daniel MacIvor, has written yet another complex play where what takes place on stage is second in importance to what takes place in the audience member’s head. In Communion a mother, Leda (Jenny Munday) tries to come to terms with her strained relationship with her adult daughter Annie (Stephanie MacDonald) through therapy, while Annie tries to come to terms with her own identity and her relationship with her mother first through extreme faith, and then by seeking to understand her mother’s relationship... | Continue reading article

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So Much Theatre: The GCTC’s 2012/2013 line up

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Screen shots from the GCTC websiteScreen shots from the GCTC website

On Wednesday afternoon, the Great Canadian Theatre Company announced the six productions that will make up its 2012–13 season—a season without a name, but that will be characterized by “heart and humour,” according to outgoing Artistic Director Lise Ann Johnson. The season will kick off this September with The Secret Mask, a semiautobiographical tragicomedy by Winnipeg playwright Rick Chafe about a son reunited with his estranged father who has suffered a stroke. The next production, at the end of October, will be the Canadian premiere of Irish dark comedy (is... | Continue reading article

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So Much Theatre: The Communication Cord

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Image courtesty of the thegladstone.caImage courtesty of the thegladstone.ca

The Communication Cord is light comedic fare that delivers plenty of laughs and will especially delight lovers of Irish—or, for that matter, British—comedy. The plot’s genesis is simple enough. Junior linguistics lecturer Tim Gallagher (David Whiteley) has a scheme to borrow the ancestral Donegal home of his lawyer friend Jack McNeilis (Tim Oberholzer) for an hour in an effort to impress Senator Doctor Donovan (Alain Chamsi), father of his sweetheart Susan (Kat Smiley).  The scheme goes horribly and hilariously awry when unexpected houseguest Claire Harkin (Michelle LeBlanc) refuses to play... | Continue reading article

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So Much Theatre: East of Berlin

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One doesn’t expect there to be so many opportunities for laughter at a tragedy about the personal legacy of the Holocaust, but that’s what makes Hannah Moscovitch an outstanding playwright, and East of Berlin a thought-provoking, entertaining play. East of Berlin is a memory play, told from the perspective of Rudolf (Rudi) Klausner (Simon Bradshaw), the son of an escaped Nazi doctor. Rudi grew up in an expatriate German community in Paraguay after the end of World War II, where time seemed to have been halted and the war never... | Continue reading article

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So Much Theatre: Penny Plain – Great puppets, wooden play

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Photo courtesy of nac-cna.caPhoto courtesy of nac-cna.ca

Penny Plain is all about the puppets. They’re exquisitely crafted, detailed, and lifelike. Their strings are in the skilled hands of Ronnie Burkett. It would be a tragedy to be unable to see them clearly. Well, I wish I’d brought a pair of opera glasses. Penny Plain, the blind proprietor of a boarding house, is content to wait out the imminent end of civilization with her heretofore faithful canine companion Geoffrey, listening to events unfold on the television. Geoffrey, however, has other ideas—so, too, do her boarders: Wesley Dollop, a... | Continue reading article

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