Har­bour Grace threat­ens to pull plug on dump

Clas­si­cal the­atre alive and well

The Compass - - Front page - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Har­bour Grace town coun­cil mem­bers have been stew­ing over the state of East­ern Waste Man­age­ment’s lo­cal drop-off fa­cil­ity on Incin­er­a­tor Road. Mayor Terry Barnes re­cently told The Com­pass if things don’t change there soon, the town would pull the plug on the site. The town re­cently sent a let­ter to East­ern Waste Man­age­ment about the is­sue.

CUPIDS, NL —Per­chance The­atre is bring­ing the spirit of Wil­liam Shake­speare to Cupids.

Per­chance The­atre, which has been ac­tive for a lit­tle un­der a decade in­clud­ing its years as New World The­atre, is look­ing to de­light au­di­ences in Cupids with plays from the Shake­spearean era, as well as works ded­i­cated to New­found­land’s rich his­tory.

Per­chance The­atre is the only pro­fes­sional clas­si­cal the­atre in the prov­ince, and will be dis­play­ing their pas­sion for the genre over the next few days.

Start­ing on Fri­day night, July 21, and span­ning through­out the week­end, the the­atre and its ded­i­cated staff per­formed “Richard III”, “The Tam­ing of the Shrew” and “Our El­iza”.

On Wed­nes­day, July 26 and through to the fol­low­ing Sun­day, the the­atre will be host­ing af­ter­noon and even­ing shows for the same plays.

The award-win­ning Per­chance The­atre’s main stage work fo­cuses mainly on clas­si­cal Shake­speare; some­thing artis­tic di­rec­tor Danielle Irvine says has been a sur­pris­ing hit with au­di­ences over the years.

Irvine is the di­rec­tor for “Richard III”, while Andy Jones han­dles “The Tam­ing of the Shrew” and Megan Gail Coles di­rects her orig­i­nal play “Our El­iza”, which is part of the the­atre’s new series called 400 Years and Count­ing, which over­looks New­found­land’s his­tory and

cul­ture.

“A lot of peo­ple, when they think of Shake­speare, think of be­ing stuck in a Grade 8 class­room, lis­ten­ing to a teacher read a play from a book, but that’s not what Shake­speare is about,” said Irvine. “Shake­speare wrote plays, and he wrote them for peo­ple to en­joy. We get so many peo­ple that come to us af­ter the play and say, ‘wow, I gen­uinely en­joyed that’, and I think that’s a great thing. That’s what Shake­speare is all about.”

The build­ing in which Per­chance The­atre per­forms its plays is also some­thing the team takes great pride in, hav­ing been named one of six most unique ways to ex­pe­ri­ence Shake­speare in Canada.

Found just be­hind Cupids Haven, the the­atre is hard to miss, with sail­cloth on the roof and wooden slats around the prop­erty. Irvine de­scribed the lo­ca­tion as a step back in time, and one that was well worth the drive to Cupids.

Irvine, who has been with the com­pany since 2014, also mentioned that there were some pos­si­bly fa­mil­iar faces in­volved in this sea­son’s plays, in­clud­ing Har­bour Grace’s John Shee­han, tak­ing on the role of Petru­chio in “The Tam­ing of the Shrew”, as well as Steve O’Connell, who many may know as Sergeant Hood from Repub­lic of Doyle.

“We work re­ally hard to make Shake­speare ac­ces­si­ble,” said Irvine. “When he was writ­ing 400 years ago, that’s when New­found­land was founded, so our lan­guage, ac­cent, our sense of de­bate, it all comes out of his time. So we em­brace our New­found­land ac­cents in the plays. We don’t force it, but we just al­low it to be there, and I think that helps peo­ple un­der­stand things a lit­tle bet­ter.”

Irvine noted that that was one of the main fo­cuses of Per­chance The­atre – mak­ing Shake­speare re­lat­able, un­der­stand­able and en­joy­able to ev­ery­one, no mat­ter how much they may or may not know of clas­si­cal the­atre.

“The lan­guage shifts over time, surely, but the hu­man as­pect of Shake­speare is still the same as peo­ple of to­day. Hu­man emo­tions are still the same,” ex­plained Irvine. “Even if some­one doesn’t quite grasp the lan­guage, they still un­der­stand emo­tion – sad­ness, anger, joy – all these things are nat­u­ral, and it’s some­thing Shake­speare used to re­ally grab the au­di­ence’s at­ten­tion.

“I think that comes through in our plays as well, and so far, peo­ple ab­so­lutely love it. Our num­bers have dou­bled over the last cou­ple of years, and that’s some­thing we’re re­ally happy to see.”

Start­ing on Wed­nes­day, July 26, Per­chance The­atre will be do­ing daily shows; start­ing with Richard III at 7 p.m. Tick­ets are avail­able at the door, or on­line at www.per­chancethe­atre.com.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

John Shee­han takes on the role of Petru­chio in the play “The Tam­ing of the Shrew”.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Danielle Irvine, artis­tic di­rec­tor for Per­chance The­atre, says the the­atre has re­ceived noth­ing but pos­i­tive feed­back on their plays thus far.

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