LSM Newswire

Monday, February 25, 2008

'night, Mother- Altera Vitae Productions at Mainline Theatre, March 19-30

'night, Mother

By Marsha Norman

Directed by Jesse Corbeil

With Sandy Ferguson and Alexandra Valassis

Wednesday, March 19 - Sunday, March 30

"Jessie, I was here with you all the time. How could I know you were so alone?" - Mama

Montreal, February 2008- Altera Vitae is proud to present their inaugural production, 'night, Mother, the 1983 Pulitzer Prize winner by Marsha Norman, playing at Mainline Theatre from March 19 to 30. This new Montreal company aims to produce works of theatre that engage and service the community. With each new production, Altera Vitae will partner itself with a charitable organization whose mandate is similar to themes in the play and pledge a donation from the production's profits as well as assist the organization in their public awareness strategies. For 'night, Mother, Altera Vitae supports FSOS (Family Survivors of Suicide). Says Altera Vitae artistic director Carolyn-Fe Trinidad, "We hope to spread the word about this valuable organization through our production."

'night, Mother follows Jessie as she prepares to die, wrapping up her affairs as she tutors her mother in survival. The play, with it's realistic dialogue, is a heart-wrenching look at the 'could-have-beens' and 'if-onlys' that get in the way when what one should be doing most is listening. While many productions of 'night, Mother have centred on Jessie, Altera Vitae focuses on Mama's turmoil. With Quebec's present suicide rate one of the top five in the world, the play remains topical.

Director Jesse Corbeil explains his take on the story, "At the centre of the play, there's a real sense of disconnection, like what happens when we don't really hear one another because we're too busy pretending to listen." He continues, "It's hard to reach out to someone who's not doing so well, often because we haven't even noticed that there's a problem." Corbeil wants to stress however that they have succeeded in keeping the production from being depressing, with both characters offering something hopeful in hopelessness.

Rounding out the team is set and lighting designer Audrey-Anne Bouchard, sound designer Dan Legault and stage manager Mindy Sirois. Audiences will enjoy an original soundtrack composed specifically for this production by local bands Daniel Iorio, DD Swank and Dush. Along with an FSOS charity night on March 25, the original soundtrack CD will be on sale at every performance, with half of the proceeds donated to FSOS.

'night, Mother will be done in 'real-time'. With that in mind, doors will open at 7:30 with the show starting at 7:55pm.

"Mama, you don't pack your garbage when you move." - Jessie

'night, Mother

Altera Vitae Productions

Playing at Mainline Theatre

3997 Blvd. St. Laurent

Tuesday to Sunday, 7:55 pm

Matinees: Saturday and Sunday, 1:55 pm

2-for-1 matinees on March 22 and 23

18$ Regular / $15 Students, seniors

Reservations: 514 823-8823 or

Charity Night: Tuesday, March 25, 10$ of every ticket sold is donated to FSOS –Family Survivors of Suicide (

'night, Mother original soundtrack CD on sale at every show for $10, 5$ of every CD sold is donated to FSOS

Fundraising evening of music and awareness, Feb. 28 at Cafˆ© Sarajevo, contact

Bands: Daniel Iorio (, DD Swank (, Dush (


The MEDIA CALL for 'night, Mother will be held on Wednesday, March 19 at 2:30pm at Mainline Theatre. This is an occasion for camera footage, interviews and still photography. Please confirm by Monday, March 17.

Media Contact: Janis Kirshner (514) 287-8912

Jesse Corbeil- Director

Jesse spent two seasons directing short plays for the Montreal School of Performing Arts' Express O Theatre summer theatre programme. He joined 6th Avenue Players, where he directed Craig Pospisil's It's Not You, David Ives' Arabian Nights, Madeleine George's The Most Massive Woman Wins and Caitlyn Murphy's Brazen. Jesse holds a degree in Communications with a specialisation in film production from Concordia University and has just finished writing a short film project, which he will be looking to cast, crew and shoot later this year. Jesse has also worked as a dresser and costume tech on the Montreal West Operatic Society's production of The Sorcerer and stage-managed The Pirates of Penzance, wherein half the cast of 48 had swords, the other half had hoop skirts ¬ó and nobody lost an eye. You can read more about Jesse at

Alexandra Valassis- Jessie

Alexandra studied theater at Dawson College's professional theater program. She has appeared in numerous stage and film productions including Titania in Midsummer Night's Dream, Macduff in Macbeth, Narrator in Rocky Horror, Ginger in Gilligan's Island, Helena in The Tragedy of Man, Mrs Ravenscroft in Ravenscroft and is very proud to have been a part of To the Green Fields Beyond winner of the Best Ensemble Mecca Award. As part of Dum Blond Productions she's co-written and co-produced Sex and La Cite part 1&2 with Paula Davis where she's had a fabulous time portraying the infamous Samantha Jones. Alexandra was last seen in Saving Celine.

Sandy Ferguson- Mama Thelma

Sandy studied theatre and dance in Montreal for many years and has performed in Montreal, Toronto and Hudson. She has acted, choreographed, danced and sung with the Hudson and Lakeshore Players' Clubs, the Hudson Music Club and the Hudson Village Theatre Pantomime Productions in Broadway Encore, Anne of Green Gables, The King and I, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, The Wizard of Oz, and Hello Dolly. Sandy enjoyed being Number 11 in Twelve Angry Jurors, Mona in Queen Milli of Galt, Louella in What Kind of a Life is That?, and above all, Truvy in Steel Magnolias.

Marsh Norman- Playwright

Marsha Norman was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Hull-Warriner and Drama Desk Awards for 'Night Mother, which received its world premiere at the American Repertory Theatre in 1982. Ms Norman won the 1992 Tony Award and Drama Desk awards for The Secret Garden; and the John Gassner Medallion, Newsday Oppenheimer award and the American Theatre Critics Association Citation for Getting Out. Other plays include Third and Oak, The Laundromat, The Poolhall, The Holdup, Traveler in the Dark, Sarah and Abraham, Loving Daniel Boone, and Trudy Blue. Published work includes Four Plays and a novel, The Fortune Teller. Television and film credits include Face of a Stranger, starring Gena Rowlands and Tyne Daley. Since 1994 she has served on the faculty of The Juilliard School.

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