Unique set awaits those see­ing new play

Theatre Antigo­nish opens 44th sea­son Nov. 7

The Casket - - Health & Wellness - RICHARD MACKEN­ZIE richard­mac@the­cas­ket.ca

Splish splash … I was takin’ in a Theatre Antigo­nish play.

That’s not ex­actly the open­ing lyric to the clas­sic Bobby Darin song, but it could be if the leg­endary crooner was singing about the up­com­ing Theatre Antigo­nish pro­duc­tion Me­ta­mor­phoses.

A large pool, ba­si­cally cov­er­ing the en­tire Bauer Theatre stage, has been set up for the play which starts with a pay-what-you­can pre­view per­for­mance Wednes­day, Nov. 7, with the of­fi­cial open­ing night the fol­low­ing evening. Ad­di­tional per­for­mances are on Nov. 9, 10, 17 and 18.

Theatre doors open at 7 p.m. for a 7:30 p.m. start to the play.

“The front row will be our splash zone; we’ll give tow­els to ev­ery­one in the front row,” di­rec­tor An­drea Boyd, Theatre Antigo­nish and Fes­ti­val Antigo­nish artis­tic di­rec­tor, said.

“There is a storm that takes place in there; there is danc­ing and fight­ing that takes place in the wa­ter.”

Boyd said Me­ta­mor­phoses, by Mary Zim­mer­man, could be staged with­out the pool, but it’s part of the script.

“It [with­out the pool] would be a com­pletely dif­fer­ent play,” she said. “And a huge theme is about trans­for­ma­tion and the wa­ter is a metaphor for that trans­for­ma­tion. Par­tic­u­larly with this play; it’s the trans­for­ma­tive power of love, in all of its forms.”

Ian Py­gott, vet­eran tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor at the Bauer, said while a pool on stage may be a first for the St. F.x.-based theatre, the ac­tual de­sign was fairly “straight­for­ward.”

“Ev­ery­thing is re­ally solid in­stead of the way we usu­ally build; we build for safety but this is safety plus,” Py­gott said.

“We did it all in house. An­drea said roughly the size she wanted and I did some draw­ings and plans. We changed a few things, added a few things, and said ‘let’s do it,’ with a great amount of trep­i­da­tion in our voices,” he added, elic­it­ing laugh­ter from those within earshot.

Amongst those folks were ac­tors Madi­son Ken­dall, a stu­dent at St. F.X., and com­mu­nity mem­ber Bren­dan Ahern.

In talk­ing about the dif­fer­ent stage set up, Ken­dall kid­ded that she has acted be­fore, and been in a pool be­fore, so this will just be com­bin­ing the two.

“This will be our fifth re­hearsal but our first with the wa­ter,” she said, just prior to an Oct. 16 prac­tice. “So it’s go­ing to be ex­actly like we did it, but now we’re swim­ming, wet.”

“We were told to bring ex­tra tow­els; be pre­pared to get soaked,” Ahern added.

Ken­dall talked about the foot­ing, con­sid­er­ing she’ll be walk­ing in the pool in a lot of scenes.

“We haven’t ex­actly dis­cussed what footwear we’ll wear, but it’s all very safe … it’s flat,” she said. “It’s pretty amaz­ing to see it all come to­gether.”

Boyd said the de­ci­sion will likely be no footwear.

“It’s prob­a­bly go­ing with bare feet,” she said.

“It [the pool] has been painted and will prob­a­bly be painted more with paint with grit in it, so it’s not slip­pery. We’re pay­ing at­ten­tion to all of that; safety is very im­por­tant and there have been a lot of dis­cus­sions about the tem­per­a­ture. Can we have heaters off-stage so there is place to get warm? How do we make sure the back stage stays dry?

“In the script it­self, there is a tran­si­tion where it’s writ­ten in that ac­tors come out singing and mop up the stage.”

Clas­sic myths

Me­ta­mor­phoses is a stage adap­ta­tion of the clas­sic myths of Ovid. Boyd said there are 10 sto­ries told in the per­for­mance which in­cludes the in­tro­duc­tion piece.

“I am so ex­cited to di­rect this play,” she said.

“The sto­ries will pro­voke laugh­ter, tears, grief and joy. It will sur­prise us and draw us in. The ac­tors are all amaz­ing and the creative team is work­ing won­ders to bring the play to life. It is a beau­ti­ful play with stun­ning vi­su­als. And who doesn’t en­joy play­ing in wa­ter?”

Boyd noted the wide range of ages on stage with the 15-per­son cast fea­tur­ing an 11-year-old as well as a cou­ple of se­niors.

“Some peo­ple play mul­ti­ple parts, oth­ers one part, de­pend­ing on peo­ple’s avail­abil­ity,” she said. “I like large casts which get a lot of peo­ple in­volved and al­lows us to do shows which we just can’t do with Fes­ti­val Antigo­nish; it’s fun to have a lot of bod­ies on the stage.”

Ken­dall and Ahern are amongst the ac­tors with mul­ti­ple parts.

“Last time I acted in a theatre show I was in high school,” Ahern said. “But I’ve al­ways been around; bar­tend­ing [in the Green Room] or help­ing out back stage. A friend of mine said I should check this out and I’m re­ally glad I did.”

“I think one of the most amaz­ing parts of Theatre Antigo­nish is that there are so many dif­fer­ent peo­ple com­ing in with so many dif­fer­ent lev­els of ex­pe­ri­ence,” Ken­dall, a New York na­tive who has been act­ing since she was a young girl, said.

“So you have peo­ple who have never done a show in their en­tire lives and just think ‘this would be some­thing fun,’ and then you have peo­ple who have been act­ing all their lives; and with both, you see you have to be vul­ner­a­ble. There is such a good sense of com­mu­nity here; theatre peo­ple are nice and weird and we all get along so well, are so sup­port­ive … it lets peo­ple open up and be vul­ner­a­ble.”

Ad­vance tick­ets for Me­ta­mor­phoses are on sale now; on­line at the­atre­antigo­nish.com or by phone at 902-867-3333.

Richard Macken­zie

Theatre Antigo­nish ac­tors Madi­son Ken­dall (left) and Bren­dan Ahern are joined by stage man­ager Ash­ley Pet­ti­pas in the pool con­structed on the Bauer Theatre stage for the play Me­ta­mor­phoses, which runs from Nov. 7 to 10, as well as Nov. 17 and 18.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.