Canadian Stage Opens 2013-14 Season with THE FLOOD THEREAFTER and YUKONSTYLE, Sept-Oct 2013
Canadian Stage opens the 2013.2014 theatre season at the Berkeley Street Theatre with two plays by Québécois playwright Sarah Berthiaume, directed by the inaugural graduates of York University's MFA Program in Theatre - Stage Direction in Collaboration with Canadian Stage, Ker Wells and Ted Witzel. The Flood Thereafter, a twisted fairytale helmed by Wells (who recently directed the company's popular production of Macbeth as part of Shakespeare in High Park), is on stage tonight, September 22 to October 6. Set in a small fishing community and featuring Oliver Becker, Maggie Huculak, Courtney Ch'ng Lancaster, Kevin MacDonald, W. Joseph Matheson and Patricia Marceau, the play is a timeless fable, stretching from the historic roots of ancient Greece to a small village in Quebec today. Yukonstyle (directed by Witzel) begins previews October 13.
"Sarah Berthiaume is one of the most interesting voices to come out of Quebec these past 20 years. Her writing is startlingly original, incisively poetic and very meaningful," said Matthew Jocelyn, artistic & general director of Canadian Stage. "Pairing these bold plays will enable audiences to discover the great range of this essential new voice of Canadian writing, brought to the stage by the two first graduates of York's MFA program in stage directing in collaboration with our company. We are incredibly honoured to present this work for the first time in English outside Quebec."
A haunting reimagining of the story of Odysseus and his encounter with the sirens, The Flood Thereafter is set in a small fishing town in the Lower Saint-Lawrence region of Quebec. Every evening, 20-year old June (Ch'ng Lancaster) does an abrupt strip show in the gritty local bar as all the men of the town watch - and weep. Twenty years earlier, Homére (Matheson), a locAl Fisherman, rescued a woman from the river, and soon after the entire male population fell in love with her. Now they are equally transfixed by her daughter, who could be the child of any one of them. The tide begins to turn when a young truck driver (MacDonald), temporarily blinded by an impossibly bright sun, pulls over and enters the bar.
"This is a wise and haunting tale about human instincts: about love, trust, fear and desire, and the joy and tragedy that can result when we act upon, or ignore, these instincts. The play conjures a world which is both ancient and insistently present, a world in which we exist in a beautiful and terrible balance with nature and thus with each other," adds Wells.
In a revised translation by Nadine Desrochers, the play's naturalism is laced with a mythic, magical quality that is reflected on stage by set designer Yannik Larivee. Elements of the design are natural and fantastical, invoking the feeling of a flood that has washed set pieces ashore or set them adrift. Larivee takes advantage of the height of the Berkeley Street Theatre stage with a 16 foot boat suspended from the ceiling. The actors, who never leave the stage, bring the play to life with live sound effects created by sound designer and Foley artist John Gzowski that become more extreme as the plots evolves.
Writer, actress and co-founder of the Abat-Jour Théâtre (Montréal), The Flood Thereafter is 29 year old Berthiaume's first play, winning awards and acclaim since its premiere in 2006. Yukonstyle (also by Berthiaume) marks its English language premiere at Canadian Stage from October 13 to October 27.
An interactive childcare program, facilitated by Improv Care, will be offered at the theatre during the September 29 matinee (pre-registration required), with free pre-show talks as well as post-show talkbacks held before and after select performances. For a schedule and details visit: https://www.canadianstage.com/online/flood.
The Flood Thereafter will be on stage in the Downstairs Theatre at the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley St.). Performances run Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. with matinees on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. The performance runs approximately 80 minutes with no intermission. Tickets from $22 to $49 are available online, by phone at 416.368.3110 or in person at the box office. For details visit www.canadianstage.com, Facebook: Canadian Stage, Twitter: @CanadianStage; Twitter Hashtag: #csFlood.
About The Flood Thereafter
September 22 to October 6; Opening and media night: September 26
Audience advisory: contains nudity
The Flood Thereafter is a Canadian Stage production in association with theDepartment of Theatre in the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University through York's Master of Fine Arts program in Stage Direction in Collaboration with Canadian Stage, which brings together one of Canada's pre-eminent theatre schools and leading not-for-profit Contemporary Theatre companies to offer highly specialized, advanced training in large-scale theatre directing. Lead support of Canadian Stage's participation in York University's MFA Program in Stage Direction is provided by BMO Financial Group.
Georges Oliver Becker
June Courtney Ch'ng Lancaster
Penelope Maggie Huculak
Dennis Kevin MacDonald
Grace Patricia Marceau
Homére W. Joseph Matheson
Written by Sarah Berthiaume
Translated by Nadine Desrochers
Director Ker Wells
Set and Costume Design Yannik Larivee
Lighting Design Bonnie Beecher
Sound Design John Gzowski
Stage Manager Sandy Plunkett
Assistant Stage Manager Ashley Westlake
Single tickets and subscription packages for the 2013.2014 season are now available with 4-show packages starting at $98 and 10-show packages starting at $272. Single tickets start at $22, with C-Stage Under 30 tickets available for $15 (taxes and fees included). Discount tickets are available thanks to Sun Life Financial, Discount Ticket Programs Sponsor. Subscriptions and tickets may be purchased by phone at 416.368.3110, in person at Canadian Stage's Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front St. E.) or Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley St.) or online at www.canadianstage.com.
About Canadian Stage: Founded in 1987, Canadian Stage is one of the country's leading not-for-profit Contemporary Theatre companies, with the 2013.2014 season marking the organization's 26th season. Led by Artistic & General Director Matthew Jocelyn and Managing Director Su Hutchinson, Canadian Stage produces and showcases innovative theatre from Canada and around the world, allowing its audience to encounter daring work guided by a strong directorial vision and a 21st-century aesthetic. The company prides itself on presenting multidisciplinary pieces and work in translation that pushes the boundaries of form and style. Canadian Stage reinforces the presence of Canadian art and artists within an international context through work that mirrors the cultural diversity of Toronto. The company stages an annual season of work at three major venues (the Bluma Appel Theatre, the Berkeley Street Theatre and the High Park Amphitheatre) and runs a series of artist development and education initiatives, as well as youth and community outreach programs. For more information, visit www.canadianstage.com.