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GRENFELL MATTERS: Big shows planned for Grenfell theatre

Photo by Beth Bradbury - The Grenfell Campus theatre program will be presenting two shows — David Adjmi's Marie Antoinette and William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night — for the public this year.
Photo by Beth Bradbury - The Grenfell Campus theatre program will be presenting two shows — David Adjmi's Marie Antoinette and William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night — for the public this year. - Contributed

Every semester, we at the theatre department produce two plays for the public. The plays are always high-quality affairs.

They are usually well attended — and of course we always welcome members of the surrounding communities to attend our student productions!

There are plans in place to sell season tickets for the public. We are hoping to offer these by fall 2019.

Over the last few years, we’ve presented some of the best productions in the province: hilarious comedies, great classical pieces and genuinely cutting edge theatre that experiments with the form but remains accessible and entertaining. And we are very excited about the two plays we are offering for this term.

The first is David Adjmi's Marie Antoinette, a contemporary take on the (in)famous queen.

Michael Waller
Michael Waller

The second- and third-year theatre students will bring 18th century France to life in a production steeped in celebrity culture, pop music and the entitled extravagance of the idle rich – certainly not the version from your high school textbook!

Two actresses will share the role of Marie, flanked by an incompetent king, a talking sheep, courtiers, nobles and a number of revolutionaries bent on turning the world upside down.

While revolution brews outside the palace walls, Marie and her cohorts live in a world consumed by excess, artifice and reputation. Adjmi’s Marie is a petulant and insecure young woman, already exhausted by the pressures of leading an entirely public life, yearning to break free of her gilded cage. Is she to be held accountable for her extravagances and ignorance, or is she simply a product of her privileged upbringing?

The brilliant guest director Katharine McLeod is directing the show, with set and costume design by roy Hansen-robitschek and lighting design by Jamie Skidmore.

It runs from March 6-9 in the Grenfell Fine Arts theatre.

I’m directing our other show: William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night – Renate Pohl is designing lights and set and Jamie Skidmore is designing lights. We’re setting it in space.

No joke! Space! I’m thrilled about it. Already, it’s very funny and quite beautiful; I can’t wait for people to see it.

The graduating class and I spent almost two months rehearsing the play at MUN’s Harlow UK campus. Our days were spent rehearsing and our nights are spent in London taking in amazing world-class theatre. One highlight was a trip into town (as they call it in England) to meet with the London cast of Come From Away.

This meeting was organized by MUN so that current students and alumnae in England could see the show, and so the cast could meet some real Newfoundlanders.

What a feeling to see that show in the West End with this group of Grenfell students! We are now continuing rehearsals in Corner Brook.

Please come see it — after you see Marie Antoinette, of course. Twelfth Night runs April 3-6.

Michael Waller is an assistant professor and program chair for the theatre program in the School of Fine Arts at Grenfell Campus.

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