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Lawyers prepare a GCTC take-over

By Jennifer Cavanagh on April 17, 2014

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As surely as buds bloom so too at this time of year are Ottawa lawyers found limbering up to break some legs. Not those of disgruntled clients but of the theatrical nature as they come together for the annual “Lawyer Play”. This yearly fundraiser brings together legal eagles of all stripes: criminal, corporate, civil, family, labour and more treading the boards to raise money for the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) and a hand-selected charity partner.

The 15th anniversary performance this year pulls out all the stops: ambitiously tackling Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, introducing nightly guest-spot appearances including the Hon Sheila Copps and hosting a glamorous red-carpet atmosphere replete with fun events – such as a whisky tasting one night – at each of the 3 Gala Performances.

The annual fundraiser that benefits the GCTC and raises money for one lucky charity is partnering this year with the Sharing is Caring: Sharing in Students Success program. This program provides kids from financially disadvantaged families with back-to-school-gear. A meaningful pairing for an event organised by lawyers, it recognises the importance of fitting-in and feeling comfortable to enable academic achievement in schools.

Patrick Gauthier, Director of the Ottawa Fringe Festival & GCTC Undercurrents Festival, brings his experience and talented eye to the Director’s chair. Having selected the Bard’s most accessible multiple-love-triangled comedy, Gauthier’s years of involvement with this event give him the familiarity to harness these amateur thespians’ skills and elevate the production to a professional level.

Mitchell Charness, Intellectual Property lawyer playing the role of  Bottom, promises a night of sophisticated entertainment. “People expect amateur theatre but the Lawyers’ Play consistently exceeds expectations, delivering a polished professional performance within an amateur fundraising event.”

The play features a wide-swath of involvement from the legal community. Newcomer Amanda Montague-Reinholdt, lawyer by day and role of Helena by night, is excited by the networking possibilities. Hailing from Toronto, this extra-curricular activity connected her to a wide law network from interns, through veteran litigators to seasoned judges.

This fundraiser captures the imagination; a dedicated group of professionals shedding their work-day skin for a challenge that leaves them wholly exposed – has got to be as close as you can get to a guarantee of a good night out.

The increasingly important date in the city’s social calendar –preview night already sold-out – is a celebration of the growing prominence of theatre both at the GCTC itself and throughout Ottawa. So feel good about contributing to the arts, to a great charity and most importantly sit back and enjoy the show.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs from April 23 – 26 at 7:30 pm. Tickets for the Gala Performances are $100 ($50 tax receipt). To learn more and order tickets, click here. The Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) is located at 1233 Wellington Street West.

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