Hart House Theatre Presents An Epic Tale, Re-imagined By Margaret Atwood

Hart House Theatre Presents An Epic Tale, Re-imagined By Margaret AtwoodOpening on November 9, Hart House Theatre presents a retelling of classic tale by Canadian icon Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad. Directed by a vigorous new talent, Michelle Langille, featuring a lead performance by powerhouse actor Amanda Cordner, and supported by an all-female ensemble of emergent talent, The Penelopiad is sure to be an empowering tour de force.

In The Penelopiad, award-winning storyteller, Margaret Atwood, weaves a historic saga from a new perspective. After years of loyalty through untold hardship and upon her hero-husband's return from war, Penelope's fidelity is rewarded with butchery and abuse. Featuring a cast of women and Atwood's wry humour, The Penelopiad is a re-examining of an epic HIS-story, which uncovers the hypocrisy of the iconic "good wife".

We welcome Director Michelle Langille to Hart House Theatre for her debut directing project with us, although she is certainly no stranger to the theatre scene around the country.

Michelle is an actor/director/producer/playwright, a founding member of Theatre Inamorata and a proud graduate of George Brown College's Theatre program. She spent the last year finishing the latest draft of her first full length play Ten Days through Nightwood Theatre's Write from the Hip program. Michelle's work has been featured on stages around Ontario and Nova Scotia.

When asked "why this story, why now?", Michelle had this to say:
"Well, there are so many talented female performers in this city that doing a show for 13 women is a no brainer.

I'm a sucker for the other side of the story, for the other point of view. It's the truth of our lives: that we all experience the same thing very, very differently. You can tell the same story of the same event 50 different ways, based on the 50 people present.
The Penelopiad is a story of suppressed voices, of the consequences of suppressing the voices of women in particular, women of all stations. It is a tragedy in the truest sense of the word in that it is preventable. If Penelope brought Eurycleia into her plan, if Penelope had welcomed Odysseus right away, if, if, if! If she had her voice, if she had autonomy, if the maids had autonomy, if we could see past our own struggles to hear the voices of those who are truly suffering.

I am deeply interested in guilt and accountability. If we didn't tie the noose that hung them but we didn't stop the people who did, are we accountable? If we didn't fire the gun that killed an innocent black man reaching for his cell phone but we enabled a system that allows for unchecked power in law enforcement, are we accountable? If we weren't alive when our ancestors stole the land but we benefit from it, are we accountable? I believe we are. Guilt is powerful and can consume us, but I hope that it can also push us to action, to own our accountability and allow us to transform it into empathy and a desire to help those who need and deserve it."

Joining Michelle on the production team are designers Holly Meyer-Dymny (sets), Cat Haywood (costumes), Steph Raposo (lights) and Andy Tridhardt (sound). This team will be creating the underworld, after-death reality of Penelope and her maids.

Amanda Cordner as Penelope Amanda graced the Hart House Theatre stage back in 2013 in the production of The Wedding Singer and we are pleased to welcome her back in this powerful role. For the last year Amanda has been touring her solo show Body So Fluorescent across Canada and in the US. Body So Fluorescent premiered in Toronto during the 2018 SummerWorks Festival and won the Jon Caplan Spotlight Award. Amanda has been seen on stage recently in Featherweight (Toronto Fringe 2018), Divine (SummerWorks Festival 2017), Private Lives (Pure Carbon) and the newest season of Baroness von Sketch.

Women of the Ensemble: Shanoa Philips, Jeanne-Arlette Marie, Brianna Diodati, Ellie Posadas, Shannon Dickens, Kyra Weichert, Rose-Ingrid Benjamin, Arielle Zamora, Nyiri Karakas, Neta J Rose, Julia Hussey and Andrea Massoud.

On Stage Nov. 9-24, 2018

Week 1: Fri. & Sat., 8 pm Week 2: Wed. to Sat., 8 pm Week 3: Wed. to Sat., 8 pm and Sat., 2 pm
Postshow Talkbacks: Sat., Nov. 10 and Thurs., Nov. 15 Preshow Artist Chat: Sat., Nov. 24 at 1 pm
Warning: The show contains coarse language, and references to sexual and graphic violence

Tickets & Box Office Single Ticket Prices
Adults: $28
Seniors: $17
Students: $15
$12 Student tickets every Wednesday night

Box Office 416.978.8849 tickets.harthouse.ca

About Hart House Theatre

Established in 1919, Hart House Theatre is the University of Toronto's Performing Arts Leader. Since its inception, the theatre's unique mix of young professionals, alumni and students has garnered the theatre a reputation as a cultural destination for not only the community of U of T, but also the city of Toronto.

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