LSM Newswire

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Nightwood Theatre

"A perspective on love and loss [that] will haunt you for days." Entertainment Weekly

Love is like... wild dogs. If it hunts you down, it will not let you go. Wild Dogs



From the novel by Helen Humphreys / Arranged for the stage by Anne Hardcastle

Directed by Kelly Thornton / Starring: Tamara Podemski, Les Carlson, Steve Cumyn, Raven Dauda,

Stephen Joffe, Tony Nappo and Taylor Trowbridge

October 4 to November 8, 2008 - Berkeley Street Theatre, Downstairs

Produced by Nightwood Theatre in association with The Canadian Stage Company

Toronto, ONĶ Nightwood Theatre opens its 29th season with the world premiere of Helen Humphreys beloved novel Wild Dogs, arranged for the stage by Anne Hardcastle. Winner of the 2005 Lambda Award for fiction; Wild Dogs was voted one of NOW Magazines Top 10 Books of 2004 and has been optioned for film. This world premiere stars Tamara Podemski as Alice. Podemski was the winner of the Sundance Film Festival 2007 Special Jury Prize for Acting the first Canadian and first aboriginal in history to win this prize -- and an IFC nomination for her work in Four Sheets to the Wind.

Wild Dogs is an unforgettable story about the wild in all of us. Each evening at dusk, six people gather at the edge of the woods, calling their dogs back dogs that have turned wild. Theres Lily, simple and considered irresponsible; Jamie, a teen with an attraction to bad company; old Walter who knows his family only tolerates him; Malcolm, an artist with a secret; Rachel, a wildlife biologist; and Alice, on the run from a bad relationship. Drawn together by need, this unlikely group forms a community until violence strikes unexpectedly.

Humphreys subject is the despair that torments the inhabitants of an economically depressed town. A volatile romance between two of the characters and a climactic act of violence loom largest in setting the mood for this beautiful novel, and Hardcastles stage adaptation does not disappoint. It is a powerful script universal in its exploration of human nature, bold in its dynamic expression of theatrical form and profound as it probes the dichotomy between ourselves as lone wolves and our desire to run with the pack. On Humphreys novel Hardcastle says, I loved the way the quiet, elegant prose carries an underground stream of raw emotion and rather scary action. I loved the characters, I hated the characters, I believed in them, I mistrusted them, I took sides and changed sides. And I can't shake myself free from it.

Director Kelly Thornton goes on to explain, One of the most interesting things about this script is that it exists on multiple narrative planes. In one breath it speaks to the audience in monologue, the next it slips into dialogue and then suddenly, an internal moment. She goes on to ponder the essence of Wild Dogs emotional pull, Wild Dogs is essentially about nature versus man-made constructs; wild versus domestic. And it is beautifully human how it weaves a story around these disparate souls. How they find each other and lose each other as well. It is ultimately about belonging, and place.

Thornton has assembled an impressive creative team for this world premiere including set and costume designer Teresa Przybylski, lighting designer Kimberly Purtell, sound designer Jennifer Gillmor, assistant director Alex Rambusch, stage manager Kristen Kitcher and assistant stage manager Sandi Becker.

Joining Tamara Podemski, the acting ensemble for Wild Dogs includes Canadian film, television and theatre luminaries as Les Carlson as Walter (renowned actor who has appeared on every major stage across the country including six seasons at Stratford Festival), Steve Cumyn as Malcolm (Dora Award-winning lead actor from Angels in America), Tony Nappo as Spencer (Alias Godot, Da Vincis Inquest), Raven Dauda as Rachel (Intimate Apparel, Da Kink in my Hair) and introduces, in their Toronto stage debuts, Taylor Trowbridge as Lily and Stephen Joffe as Jamie.

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