The Walterdale Looks in the Rearview Mirror For 2012/2013

The Walterdale Playhouse’s upcoming 54th season is “a haunting exploration of loss and connections; a self-reflexive, deconstruction of our post-modern society; a classic story simply told; a movement through our shared history blended together with poetry and imagery; and a musical to invigorate the soul.”

Artistic Director Sarah Van Tassel explains further, “When I was compiling the plays [for the season] I was trying to find a way to tie these really interesting plays together, and they’re all so different. But one of the things I found that they all did was that they looked back on things the characters had gone through in their lives, or our musical is a retrospective of an artist’s work. So, I was stuck on retrospective.”

The 2012/2013 season will feature 5 plays, as well as The Walterdale’s evening of new one-act plays, From Cradle to Stage.

The season starts in October with The Weir (by Conor McPherson) – which will be perfect for Halloween, as it tells the story of what happens when a woman who is new in a small Irish town joins a group of gentlemen as they recount ghostly tales. Director Anne Marie Szucs says, “in the end, she actually has a story that turns all of their perspectives … upside down.” The Weir will run October 17 – 27, with auditions on July 8 and 9. Justin Deveau (who played Tereus in The Walterdale’s production of The Love of the Nightingale) read just one of the “spooky stories” told in The Weir:

From December 5 – 15 will be Martin Crimp’s version of The Misanthrope (by Molière). Van Tassel “lovingly calls this play a self-reflective deconstruction of our post-modern society.” If you’re wondering if anything will be lost in translation, director Janine Hodder says, “this particular translation of the play is so much fun. It’s modernized, but it keeps all the sharp wit and satire that Molière is famous for, as well as his tendency towards iambic pentameter and rhyming couplets.” I saw an interpretation of The Misanthrope during Fringe 2011, and must admit that most of the dialogue went over my head. This interpretation promises to be modern, and hopefully more accessible. It will be interesting to see how Hodder goes about these things. Auditions for The Misanthrope are September 2 and 3. At the season announcement, Chance Heck and Stanley Woo read a scene from The Misanthrope:

The season’s third play, Summer and Smoke (by Tennessee Williams) is the play I’m most excited about. Summer and Smoke will take place on February 6 – 16, with auditions on October 21 and 22. Van Tassel gushes, “I loved it. I loved every second of it. I loved the characters. It’s just one of those plays that takes you back into the time that it’s set and it’s … a classic.” Director Mary-Ellen Perley further peaks my interest by describing the play as “a character-driven play in which the central characters, John and Alma, explore not only sexual repression versus indulgence, but most importantly, explore the journey of beleaguered souls trying to find their way towards the light. This is a play about how all of us may be struggling with our own doppelgänger – that other person inside us. Williams suggests that we may all have this duality, that we may all be gasping for air, needing to break free from unseen constraints to live a fully realized life.”

Next in the season will be Burning Vision (by Marie Clements), playing April 4 – 14 with auditions on December 9 and 10. Van Tassel, who is also directing the play, says, “Burning Vision is a story of the transportation of uranium from the Dene land in northern B.C. and its journey across the sea, and how it was eventually dropped on Japan in the form of a atomic bomb. It’s a metaphysical play. It’s really different, and out there, but it’s not just a Dene story, or a Canadian story, or a German story, or a Japanese story. It’s our story. It’s our history.”

From Cradle to Stage, The Walterdale’s exhibition of new one-act plays, will take place May 20 – 25. Submission deadline for playwrights is September 14, and auditions will be held February 10 and 11.

The final play in The Walterdale’s 2012/2013 season will again be a musical (this season it’s Nine). Anything Goes is a musical written in 1934 featuring the music and lyrics of Cole Porter, telling the story of the antics happening on an ocean liner from New York to London. In the recording below, Kristen Finlay performs “Anything Goes”

– Jenna Marynowski

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