LSM Newswire

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Community service for Of Mice and Men cast

The cast and crew of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men give back to the community
while undertaking on-site character studies

Sunday, August 24 from 10:30am to 1:00pm

Future Hudson Historical Society (541 Main Road, Hudson)

August 2008 Don't miss this real 'labour day' as the cast and crew of the Montreal Theatre Ensemble's (MTE) Of Mice and Men take their work into the community. The town of Hudson, like all good farmsteads, will provide the rakes, hoes, shovels, wheelbarrows, etc., as the cast undertakes a major cleanup involving clearing the brush, stacking logs and branches, carting off rocks, weeding and hoeing around a building recently acquired by the Town for use by the Hudson Historical Society.

Ten actors will offer some serious method acting. They'll spend the day in character and costume, working as farmhands would in 1937, for only their food. Bossing everyone around, the foreman for the day will be local resident James Parry. Lunch will be an authentic meal; cabbage, beans and bread, in keeping with the type of food labourers would have eaten during the depression.

Two of the actors play characters with disabilities (Bill Fletcher as Candy and Herschel Andoh playing Crooks) and will work with the physical handicaps given in the text. Christopher Moore as Curley, the boss' son, will do little but order people around and Rebecca Croll, playing Curley's wife, will be flirting with all the boys while they try to get their work done. These characters present obstacles and challenges to the group such as Lennie (Adam LeBlanc) having to be closely supervised, and Curley picking fights and doing little work, as he is immune from 'getting the sack'.

This interaction will give the actors something concrete to draw from when playing roles that modern actors might have trouble relating to, as comforts of today are wildly different from the harsh realities of that time. While doing this physical labour, the cast can experience one another as they would in the play, without the confines of the script.

West Island/Island-wide benefits

More importantly, the actors will give back to the community while learning in this unique setting. Hudson Mayor Elizabeth Corker is excited about this mutually beneficial event. She, along with representatives of the Hudson Historical Society will be on-site. This season, the John Abbott College Department of Theatre and Music embarks on a new venture by launching its Stage Two series. Here, John Abbott College's Professional Theatre Program welcomes outside theatre companies to share their experience and open their rehearsals to the present theatre students. The first visiting company is the Montreal Theatre Ensemble. This important program benefits culture all over the island.

Of Mice and Men, August 28-Sept. 13
Montreal Theatre Ensemble
Casgrain Theatre, in the Casgrain Building of John Abbott College
21, 275 Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne de Bellevue
Reservations: (514) 515-9140

Of Mice and Men is presented in association with the John Abbott College Department of Theatre and Music

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