With the coming of fall, theatres in Ottawa are preparing to launch their 2014-15 season. Last week we previewed what audiences can expect at The Gladstone, while today we look at the upcoming shows at the Great Canadian Theatre Company.
For four decades, local theatre lovers have been able to see fantastic performances at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (1233 Wellington St. W.). From moving dramas to hilarious comedies to clever fringe shows, audiences have come to expect excellent acting from this local institution.
The 2014-15 season continues this proud tradition as the GCTC celebrates its 40th year in existence.
“When there is a significant anniversary it’s important to reflect the personality of the Theatre,” says GCTC artistic director Eric Coates, when asked why he picked the six Canadian plays that form the upcoming season.
The first play, which opens this coming Thursday, September 18, is the world premiere of The Boy in the Moon, an emotional story based on journalist Ian Brown’s moving memoir about raising his son who suffers from a rare genetic condition.
“From a purely humanistic levels it’s a very powerful piece. It’s about looking for light in the darkness,” says Coates.
The development and production of this debut play was made possible by the Charles Dalfen Tribute Fund, named after a former GCTC board member, which raises funds for the creation of new theatrical works.
The month of October, meanwhile, offers a double-bill with Fish Eyes and the world premier of Boys with Cars. Each story follows the life of a teenage girl from Canada, both of whom are classically trained Indian dancers. As they yearn for romance, the two protagonists must deal with family and cultural pressures.
“[The plays describe] the experience of teen girls, who at first glance seem to have a shallow view of the world,” says Coates. “But this shallow view is revealed to be based on some major trauma.”
Following the colourful rhythms of Indian dancing, the spotlight turns to a celebration of silliness, when the Company of Fools performs Pomme and Restes: Shipwrecked! in late-November and December.
The Fools, which are Ottawa’s longest running professional Shakespeare company, offer a comic tale about a group of clowns on a cruise ship that is grounded on a desert island.
Following the holiday season, the first play of 2015 is Moss Park, a dark comedy about a poor couple with a baby who desperately try to create a future for themselves.
“[Playwright] George [Walker] puts people at risk, puts them at the edge,” reflects Coates when asked about this work. “He then asks society what role they have to play.”
After contemplating the tragicomedy of a desperate family, we turn to the absurd-cum-bittersweet tale The Best Brothers about two brothers who lose their mother during a freak accident at a Gay Pride Parade. As they come to grips with the tragedy and absurdity of this loss, the brothers must deal with resentment, sibling rivalry and who will have custody of their hairy brother Enzo.
Finally, the season ends in June 2015 with The Public Servant, a play about a rookie civil servant who quickly learns about the crazy inner workings of the government.