Centaur Theatre Presents English-Language Premiere of AUGUST, AN AFTERNOON IN THE COUNTRY, Oct 2-28

Centaur Theatre's 44th Season opens with August, An Afternoon in the Country by Jean Marc Dalpé, three-time recipient of the prestigious Governor General's Literary Award.

The legendary Franco-Ontarian writer and actor has won countless other awards, including the Masque du texte original for Août - un repas à la campagne which became August, An Afternoon in the Country. The play was translated by renowned dramaturge Maureen Labonté who has adapted more than 35 Quebec plays into English. She was the Director of the Banff Playwrights' Colony at the Banff Center for the Arts from 2006 to 2011 and she has been the Jury Chair for the prestigious Siminovitch Prize in Theatre since 2009.

"Her brilliant translation preserves the spirit of the colloquial French in Août without resorting to the use of accents and her adaptation of Jean Marc's fascinating characters is incredibly rich and nuanced," says Centaur's Artistic and Executive Director Roy Surette.

Harry Standjofski skilfully directs the stellar cast that brings this gripping and often hilarious tale of a Quebecois family to life.

"The amazing group of Montreal actors includes the talented Danette MacKay who reprises her role as Monique, which she played in the Canadian premiere of August at the Alberta Theatre Project's playRites Festival," states Roy Surette.

Danette's fifty-something character, Monique, has a well-groomed boyfriend named André (Pier Kohl) whom she plans to marry. Champagne in hand, they drive to the rundown family farm where Monique's brother Simon (Chip Chuipka) and his wife Jeanne (Pauline Little) are preparing a dinner celebration in their honour. Also present are Simon and Jeanne's high strung daughter Louise (Eleanor Noble), her husband Gabriel (Graham Cuthbertson) and their histrionic teenage daughter Josée (Arielle Palik). Prickly octogenarian matriarch Paulette (Clare Coulter) rules the clan. At first, family members exchange pleasantries on the verandah, but as the August afternoon heats up, intimate secrets begin to surface and the suffocating atmosphere starts to sizzle.

Set Designer James Lavoie created a striking farm house and detailed costumes and Martin Sirois's lighting design shifts between light and shadows, producing a chiaroscuro effect that spotlights highly-charged moments in the play. Stage Manager Wendy Rockburn is assisted by Seamus Ryan.

The Calgary Herald Thursday Evening Chat-Up in collaboration with The Gazette – Thursday October 18, 2012 at 7PM. Join host David Johnston, The Gazette's Communities Editor and August, An Afternoon in the Country playwright Jean Marc Dalpé as they discuss writing, the genesis of the play's colourful characters, as well as the very contemporary topic of current farming economics and the repercussions on Québec's rural population. The first of six in-depth conversations between Centaur Theatre, The Gazette and the Community. Don't miss it. FREE.

August, An Afternoon in the Country plays Tuesday, October 2 - Sunday, October 28, 2012, with previews October 2 and 3, 2012 - 8:00PM. Opening Night is set for October 4, 2012 - 8:00PM.

The regular run is Tuesday to Saturday at 8:00PM. Except Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 7:00PM. Saturday and Sunday matinees play at 2:00PM. Except Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 7:00PM. There is also a Wednesday matinee on October 10, 2012 at 1:00PM. The closing performance will be on Sunday, October 28, 2012 - 2:00PM.

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