LSM Newswire

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

MAÏTA at Geordie

Geordie Productions
Geordie Productions presents Maïta on the Mainstage!

MONTREAL - Geordie Productions is proud to present Maïta, by Esther Beauchemin, produced by the Théâtre de la Vieille 17 and the Théâtre de Sable in collaboration with the Théâtre Française at the National Arts Centre. Maïta is presented in an English translation by Henry Gauthier at the D.B. Clarke Theatre from March 13 to 22, 2009. Directed by Robert Bellefeuille, this poetic marionette production about freedom and hope is appropriate for adults and children age 7 & up.

ABOUT THE PLAY | Originally produced in 2000, Maïta comes to Geordie after an extensive tour in three different languages that has brought it across Quebec, Canada, to the United States and even Mexico. The production was last seen in Montreal in 2002 for an extremely successful French-language run at La Maison Théâtre. Esther Beauchemin won the Christine-Dumitriu-Van-Saanen Prize at Toronto French Book Fair for the script, and the production was a finalist at the 2003 Soirée des Masques for best production for young audiences, sound conception and original text.

THE STORY | Maïta, the daughter of a puppet maker, is sent by her father to work in a factory in order to pay off family debts. Before leaving his 8-year-old daughter, he bestows upon her Issane, a precious puppet on which Maïta's mother has sewn 1461 pearls, one for each day until her father will come for her. Since she knows how to read and write, Maïta becomes indispensable to Wunan, the factory foreman. Maïta works hard, but when night falls she recounts the tale of Issane - The Princess of Light - through shadow puppetry to the other children, and counts the days until she will finally gain her freedom.

GEORDIE'S VOW OF SILENCE | In honour of the true events that inspired this play, Geordie will be participating in Free the Children's "Vow of Silence" campaign. Free The Children is a Canadian charity and the world's largest network of children helping children through education, with youth involved in its innovative education and development programs in 45 countries. Beginning at 3pm on March 5, 2009 Geordie will join people around the world in remaining silent in support of those who are unable to speak up themselves. For more details, please visit

Maïta | Written by Esther Beauchemin | Produced by Théâtre de la Vieille 17 and the Théâtre de Sable and in collaboration with the French Theatre of the National Arts Centre

STARRING: Esther Beauchemin, Roch Castonguay, Henry Gauthier, Marie-Thé Morin, Nathalie Poiré; STAGE DIRECTION: Robert Bellefeuille; PUPPET DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION: Josée Campanale; STAGE MANAGEMENT & LIGHTING: Jean Hazel

PERFORMANCES: March 13 - 22, 2009| Opening night: March 13 at 7:00pm |

Weekend Family Performances: Mar. 14 & 15 at 3pm; Mar. 21 & 22 at 1pm & 3pm | School Matinées: Mar. 17 - 20, 10am & 12pm

VENUE: D.B. Clarke Theatre, Concordia University Hall Building | 1455 de Maisonneuve W.

TICKETS:(ON SALE NOW): $13.50 children, $16 adults; $15 seniors; all prices include tax

AGE RECOMMENDATION: Children age 7+ and adults of all ages | 60 minutes

BOX OFFICE and INFORMATION: (514) 845-9810 or

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Monday, February 16, 2009

The Assumption of Empire, Unwashed Grape at MainLine Theatre- March 3-22

Unwashed Grape presents

The Assumption of Empire

A new play by Ann Lambert

Directed by Paul Hawkins

March 3-22, 2009

"Isn't it amazing how many lives we have?" -Sophie

Montreal, February 2009- Unwashed Grape is mounting Ann Lambert's most ambitious play, The Assumption of Empire, at MainLine Theatre March 3-22, directed by Paul Hawkins. Former head of the National Theatre School's playwriting program, Ann Lambert returned to writing for the stage two years ago in Unwashed Grape's acclaimed double-bill of Two Short Women and The Wall. She is collaborating with them once again, exploring where the political and the personal intersect in a world rocked by violence and dizzying change—the shifting of tectonic plates—sometimes all too close to home.

Lambert is excited about her ongoing exploration of this theme: "Over the past 25 years as a writer, I have examined this intersection of political and personal and whether the two can even be separated. I am interested in how people's lives change in ways they could never have anticipated, and how they face those changes."

The Assumption of Empire takes place in and around Montreal from 1978 to 2008, spanning the Revolution in Iran, the 1st referendum for independence in Quebec, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Dawson shooting. These events form the backdrop for the life of Sophie Wiseman, who is taken back in time when she learns of the mysterious death of her ex-husband's wife.

Sophie Wiseman, married to Steve, is haunted by her first marriage to Ivan. What happened to her dream of love and changing the world? How did she settle for the daily compromises that erode her? How does she come to terms with growing older and the struggle to feel like her life has added up to something? Lambert stresses however that more than anything, this play is a love story: "Although the backdrop of the play reflects some world events, this is really a love story about the many forms love can take in one lifetime- a love from the past that haunts the present, a married love that can feel like a limited substitute for the real thing, a love for a child that is a constant source of joy and torment and the passionate need to find meaning in a world that has changed so overwhelmingly in just 30 years."

"Ann Lambert has her finger on the pulse of the moment," notes director Hawkins, "but as well, she explores the choices that define Sophie's journey from her past to her present." He continues, "The Assumption of Empire is in search of lost time as Sophie is in search of meaning and orientation now. When Lambert writes about the past, it is with an uncanny and prophetic anticipation of the present world and its problems. Her topical situations unfold with surprise, humour and sometimes horror."

The Assumption of Empire marks Lambert's second collaboration with director Paul Hawkins and her fourth collaboration with leading actor Laura Mitchell, playing Sophie (a writer and actor, Laura has co-written and performed four theatre cabarets with TITTERS, co-wrote a feature film and co-produced, co-wrote and narrated Unbuckling My Bible Belt, which premiered at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema). Spanning the years with Mitchell are veteran performers Bill Croft as Steve (recently seen in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Segal Centre) and Tim Hine as Ivan (seen in Fallen Angels at the Segal Centre), and newcomer Alice Abracen in her first professional production as Sophie's daughter Eliot. Ann is especially thrilled to be working with Alice, her real-life daughter.

Rounding out the team is set and costume designer Louise Arsenault, a playwright with a love of design; lighting designer Steve Schon, currently technical director at Dawson College, Black Theatre Workshop and the Just for Laughs Festival; original music and soundscape composer Eduardo Pipman who has performed and recorded with various jazz and contemporary improvisational musicians and won the prestigious award for the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2000 and stage manager Anton Golikov, in his final semester studying Cinema & Communications.

The Assumption of Empire

Unwashed Grape

At MainLine Theatre

3997 Blvd. St Laurent

Reservations: 514-849-3378 or

Tuesday to Saturday, 8:00 pm

Matinees: Saturday and Sunday, 2:00 pm

Tickets: $20 regular, $17 student/senior, group rates available

$10 shows: Tuesdays (Mar. 3, 10, 17); Wed. preview Mar. 4; Sat. matinee, Mar. 7 at 2pm

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wexford Festival Opera announces 2009 Season

Wexford Festival Opera announces 2009 Festival Programme

(Wexford, Sunday November 2, 2008)
After a tremendously successful 2008 season at the new Wexford Opera House, which saw more than 29,000 tickets sold, Wexford Festival Opera Artistic Director David Agler has announced details of the 2009 Festival.

Running from October 15 until November 1, 2009 the 58th Festival will feature the following operas on stage in the John and Aileen O’Reilly Auditorium in Wexford Opera House:

MARIA PADILLA | Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)
A melodrama in three acts to a libretto by Gaetano Rossi and Donizetti after François Ancelot’s play. First performed Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 26 December 1841. Sung in Italian.

THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES | John Corigliano (b. 1938)
Grand opera buffa in two acts to a libretto by William M. Hoffman after Beaumarchais’s play La Mère coupable (1792 ). First performed New York, Metropolitan, 19 December 1991. European premiere in a newly revised version by the composer. A co-production with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Sung in English.

IL CAPPELLO DI PAGLIA DI FIRENZE (The Florentine Straw Hat) | Nino Rota (1911-1979)
Farsa musicale in four acts to a libretto by Nino and Ernesta Rota after Eugène Labiche and Marc Antoine Amédée Michel’s vaudeville Un chapeau de paille d’Italie.
First performed Palermo, Teatro Massimo, 21 April 1955. Sung in Italian.

In addition to these operas, the 2009 Festival will feature three short works, choral recitals and concerts. Friends and priority booking will open on May 5, 2009 with general ticket sales starting June 1, 2009.

For more information please visit

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Friday, April 25, 2008

[Montreal] CinemaSpace at The Segal Centre for Performing Arts announces busy start to Spring

Canadian premiere of Anne and the Reverend (Apr. 30/May 1); Ralph Benmergui to appear live, May 3

April, 2008 – As a spring awakening returns to Montreal after a record setting winter, so too is the new CinemaSpace at the Segal Centre coming to life with an invigorating schedule of films that includes both the Canadian premiere of Anne and the Reverend and an appearance by Ralph Benmergui to promote his new documentary television series, My Israel.

“We got started at CinemaSpace this winter with a successful collaboration with Les Rendez-vous du cinéma Québécois and the Montreal Human Rights Film Festival and then we got very busy watching a lot of new material to pick what we felt would truly inspire Montrealers to come to the Centre and our brand new CinemaSpace in the spring.” says CinemaSpace director Ezra Soiferman. “We’ve got wonderful films and events to share.”

Indeed, the early spring schedule is highlighted by the screening of a film that could be called the next Paper Clips: Anne and the Reverend (April 30th, May1st). “A reverend from Hiroshima who speaks Hebrew fluently… A museum about the Shoah lost in the middle of the Japanese countryside… Anne and the Reverend is a documentary about Makoto Otsuka, a reverend from Hiroshima, who met Anne Frank's father Otto Frank 30 years ago and ever since then has shared the memory of the Holocaust to Japanese children. Through the portrayal of this man, both funny and moving, Anne and the Reverend presents an unexpected approach to the Shoah and an unknown side of Japan.” Filmmaker Francois Uzan, flying in from France, will be present for a post film Q&A on both nights. This is the Canadian premiere of Anne and the Reverend.

“I'm very excited to share my film with the audience: introducing people to Reverend Otsuka and his amazing work is always a thrill,” said Uzan. “Actually, when I first met him I promised I'd do my best to let as many people as possible know about his museum about Anne Frank and whenever I screen "Anne and the Reverend", I feel like I'm keeping this promise.”

On Saturday, May 3rd, journalist Ralph Benmergui offers a sneak peek at video clips from his new TV series and shares stories of his recent experiences in Israel. “Ralph Benmergui: My Israel, coming to VisionTV on May 5, 6 and 7, is a new, five-part documentary series that looks at the past, present and future of Israel through the eyes of one of Canada’s most renowned journalists. The series brings Ralph, a Moroccan-Canadian Jew, face to face with Israelis from every stratum of society, and shows the Holy Land in ways that few Canadians have been privileged to experience. Broadcast in honour of Israel’s 60th anniversary, the program is a heartfelt exploration of belief and values, ethnicity and identity, conflict and reconciliation in a country coming of age in the 21st Century.”

"I'm very excited about this series and feel that in true Jewish style I've given everyone on this journey a hard time,” Benmergui quipped. “We as Canadians need to talk about Judaism, Israel, and Ashkenazi/Sephardic dialogue. I can't wait to see you all."

Also coming up at CinemaSpace are:

Esti Mayer: Artist. A live lecture on The Holocaust Suite (May 1st at 7pm; Entry is free. Must RSVP for tickets 514-739-7944)

Fundraiser screening of award-winning shorts by students from Tel Aviv University (May 4th, 7:30PM, Must RSVP to Cdn Friends of Tel Aviv U. at 514-344-3417).

S&M: Short and Male - Sneak Preview of Howard Goldberg’s new documentary about short men Tuesday, May 6th, 7pm and 9pm

Six Days in June – Doc produced by Ina Fichman about 1947 Israeli Six Day War. Thursday, May 8th at 8:30PM.

Baghdad Twist – NFB documentary by Joe Balass about his mother’s reminiscences of growing up Jewish in Iraq. May 14th and 15th, 7pm.

Please see the attached full schedule for dates and times, address and more information.

About CinemaSpace:

CinemaSpace is the Segal Centre’s brand new state-of-the-art screening room. Featuring surround-sound, a high definition projector and 77 plush cinema seats covered in hemp eco-fabric, CinemaSpace is Montreal's brand new boutique film venue. It will host independent film screenings, collaborations with existing film festivals, and much more.

Ben Gonshor

Director, Marketing and Communications

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Free lecture: Sunday-@-the-Segal, before The Odd Couple, May 4, 11:00am, with Andy Nulman

CBC Radio One Presents


A series of intimate conversation and riveting lectures at

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre

Andy Nulman

Don't miss Sunday-@-the-Segal for the upcoming production, The Odd Couple, as we welcome local connoisseur of comedy, Andy Nulman. Andy prides himself as having always marched to the beat of a different drum. Who better, then, to talk about being odd? Join us for a Sunday-@-the-Segal that guarantees to be different, surprising, unexpected, fun, unique and innovative. Andy is the President and CMO of Airborne Mobile but is perhaps best known for his 15-year tenure as CEO of Montreal's renowned Just For Laughs International Comedy Festival. An acclaimed and thought-provoking public speaker who has motivated and challenged Fortune 500 companies such as GM, Eveready/Energizer, 3M and Wal-Mart, Mr. Nulman has also written two best-selling books, How To Do The Impossible and I Almost Killed George Burns. Andy was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 business leaders by the Financial Post in 1997, voted one of the Top 100 Montrealers of the 20th century by the Montreal Gazette in 2000 and was honoured as a distinguished recipient of the McGill Management Achievement Award in 2004.

Sunday, May 4, 2008, 11 AM

Coffee and refreshments will be served in the lobby

(Tickets on sale now for the first preview of The Odd Couple at 1:30 pm)

At the Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre, 5170 Cote Ste. Catherine Rd.

FREE ADMISSION!! No reservations necessary, general admission

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre and Delmar present

The Odd Couple, May 4-25, 2008

For tickets call (514) 739-7944 or log on to


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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hold the dates: The Odd Couple at The Segal Centre for Performing Arts, May 4-25

The Odd Couple

By Neil Simon

Directed by Diana Leblanc

The snow is almost gone- it's time to start laughing with Neil Simon's classic comedy.

Mark these dates in your spring calendar

Sunday, May 4 – Sunday, May 25, 2008

88.5 CBC Radio One presents the Sunday-@-the-Segal lecture for The Odd Couple on Sunday, May 4, 11 a.m. With Andy Nulman.

The Odd Couple

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre

At The Segal Centre for the Performing Arts at the Saidye

5170 Cote St. Catherine Rd.

Monday to Thursday at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday at 9:00 p.m.

Sunday at 7:00 p.m.

Matinées: Wednesdays, 1:00pm and Sundays, 2:00 pm

Reservations: (514) 739-7944


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Monday, March 24, 2008

A Lie Of The Mind


Fallen Angel Productions presents "A Lie Of The Mind"
by Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard.

Come take a ride down the big bad American road. Somewhere along the
way you'll meet two dysfunctional families tied together by the
marriage of their children.

A Lie Of The Mind examines the deceitful tricks the mind can play and
the harsh reality of being surrounded by alcoholism, domestic violence
and emotional instability. The play ties in one very important
universal truth, each of us is on a desperate search for love and
peace of mind.

Directed by Frances Balenzano A Lie Of The Mind features: Rick Bel,
Brad Carmichael, Vance De Waele, Doreen Fagan, Melissa Paulson,
Jessica Rose, Andre Simoneau and Katie Stanfield.

--A love ballad… a little legend about love.
Sam Shepard describes A Lie Of The Mind.

A Lie Of The Mind

Preview Wednesday April 16th
Thursday April 17th to Sunday April 20th
and Wednesday April 23rd to Sunday April 27th at 8:00p.m
with a Saturday matinee April 26th at 2:00p.m.

Mainline Theatre
3997 St. Laurent Blvd. Montreal
Tickets are $17.00/adults $13.00/students&seniors
Groups of ten or more $11.50

Box Office: (514) 489-0271

For information e-mail us at

Anna De Santis
Media Representative
Fallen Angel Productions
(514) 887-7093

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Free lecture- Sunday-@-the-Segal, before I, Claudia, March 16, 11:00am, with Leah Cherniak

CBC Radio One 88.5 FM



A series of intimate conversation and riveting lectures at

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre

Leah Cherniak

Don't miss Sunday-@-the-Segal for the upcoming production, I, Claudia, as we welcome the show's director, Leah Cherniak.

Ms Cherniak is the co-artistic director of Theatre Columbus in Toronto and will be sharing her thoughts on new play development in Canada, specifically as relates to I, Claudia. For I, Claudia, The Record's Robert Reid said, "Leah Cherniak's direction is flawless."

Theatre Columbus has created over 25 new plays and has an excellent reputation for innovative productions of classics. For Theatre Columbus, Leah has directed most of the company's repertoire, including, Hotel Loopy, Gynty (an adaptation of Ibsen's Peer Gynt), The Barber of Seville, Paranoia, Lonely Nights and Other Stories, The Betrayal, The Cherry Orchard and Twelfth Night, among many others. She co-created and directed the multi-award winning play, The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine. Leah also directs for The Tarragon Theatre, The Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, Blyth Festival and Thousand Islands Playhouse among others. Leah teaches an intensive clown course for The Ryerson Theatre Program as well as teaching at The National Theatre School in Montreal.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

11 AM

Coffee and refreshments will be served in the lobby

(Tickets on sale now for the first preview of I, Claudia at 1:30 pm)

At the Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre, 5170 Cote Ste. Catherine Rd.

FREE ADMISSION!! No reservations necessary, general admission

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre and Theatre and Company in association with Delav Consulting presents

I, Claudia, March 16-April 13, 2008

For tickets call (514) 739-7944 or log on to


Media Contact: Janis Kirshner (514) 287-8912

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Friday, February 29, 2008

[Montreal] I, Claudia- The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre, March 16-April 13

Press Release

For Immediate Release

First Class Theatre

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre and Theatre and Company

in association with Delav Consulting Inc.


I, Claudia

By Kristen Thomson

Directed by Leah Cherniak

Starring Michelle Polak

March 16 –April 13

" I'm going through puberty. Oh my God, I don't even want to talk about it, it's disgusting!" –Claudia

MONTREAL February 2008- The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre, in association with Theatre and Company and Delav Consulting is pleased to present the award-winning play I, Claudia from March 16-April 13 in the new Studio space. This lauded Canadian work has also been turned into a film directed by Chris Abraham. Michelle Polak, originally from Montreal, returns to portray Claudia as well as the important adults in her life in this outstanding performance.

Claudia speaks to us from inside the boiler room of her school. Incensed and incredulous at the adult world around her, she is also fiercely funny about it. Michelle Polak deftly uses masks to portray Claudia, whose parents are divorcing, Drachman, a former actor turned school janitor, Claudia's grandfather Douglas and Leslie, her father's new girlfriend. Though the central character is a pre-teen, the story resonates with communal notions of bringing meaning to our lives and the search for happiness. I, Claudia is the winner of the 2001 Dora Award for Outstanding New Play.

Director Leah Cherniak describes the universality of the piece, "The play reminds us of both the fragility and resiliency of childhood. It also reminds me to keep my eyes open, to watch and listen to my own daughter, taking nothing for granted."

This highly theatrical one-woman show will astound you with Michelle Polak's performance. She is thrilled to be doing the role, "This is by far one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in the theatre. Themes of transformation, truth, vulnerability, loneliness and hope all speak to me. May the audience go on this journey with me."

Creating Claudia's world is Robin Fisher, set and costumes; Andrea Lundy, lighting; and Lyon Smith, sound. Todd Bricker is the stage manager.

We are excited to offer this production as part of the first season in The Segal Centre's new Studio space. Its 177-seat flexible plan makes the Studio an exciting space to work with, allowing innovative artists from all levels in their career to explore their most current projects or works-in-progress. As well, performing arts groups in the community have a professional venue to showcase their endeavours. The space's flexibility also allows for a variety of exploratory and multi-disciplinary works. The Studio is already home to our new resident theatre company Sidemart, who presented their terrific production of Trad in November. Other great uses of the space include hosting a film festival by the Jewish Public Library, The Dybbuk and the Schulich at the Segal Concert Series, which saw 150 high school kids listening to the McGill School of Music's Big Band Orchestra. Further information about the Studio and recent events is available on The Segal Centre for Performing Arts website.

"Ever stare at yourself so hard that your eyes practically start bleeding? I do." –Claudia

88.5 CBC Radio One proudly presents Sunday-@-the-Segal with Leah Cherniak

Sunday, March 16, 11am. Admission is free.

Join us for another season of intimate conversation and riveting lectures. Leah Cherniak, co-artistic director of Theatre Columbus and director of I, Claudia, shares her thoughts on new play development in Canada, specifically as it relates to this play.

Monday Night Talkbacks presented by Pratt and Whitney Canada

As usual following the play, some of the actors and/or designers will remain on stage to take questions from the audience. Monday Night Talkbacks provides an intimate opportunity for audiences to engage up close and personal with the personalities bringing first class professional English language theatre to Montreal.

Tickets and Media Information


March 16- April 13, 2008


March 16 1:30 pm

March 17- 19 8:00 pm


March 16 11:00 am

Media Opening Night:

Thursday, March 20 8:00 pm


Monday - Thursday, 8:00 pm

Saturday 8:30 pm

Sunday 7:00 pm


Wednesdays 1:00 pm

Sundays 2:00 pm

Box Office:

(514) 739-7944


(514) 790-1245

Segal Centre for Performing Arts at the Saidye

5170 cote St. Catherine Rd.

Leah Cherniak- Director

Leah Cherniak is the co-artistic director of Theatre Columbus in Toronto. The company has created over 25 new plays and has an excellent reputation for innovative productions of classics. Leah studied theatre at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. For Theatre Columbus she has directed most of the company's repertoire, including, Hotel Loopy, Gynty (an adaptation of Ibsen's Peer Gynt), The Barber of Seville, Paranoia, Lonely Nights and Other Stories, The Betrayal, (Chalmers Award for Playwriting) The Cherry Orchard and Twelfth Night, among many others. She co-created and directed the multi-award winning play, The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine. Leah also directs for The Tarragon Theatre, The Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, Blyth Festival and Thousand Islands Playhouse among others. Last year Leah enjoyed directing Intimate Exchanges by Alan Ayckbourn for Theatre & Company and Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman for Theatre Columbus/Soulpepper. She also directed John and Beatrice, by Carol Frechette at The Tarragon and John Mighton's The Little Years, a co-production with Neptune Theatre and The National Arts Centre. Leah teaches an intensive clown course for The Ryerson Theatre Program. She also teaches for the George Brown Theatre Program and The National Theatre School in Montreal.

Michelle Polak- Claudia and other characters

Michelle has found herself involved in some amazing projects- pieces of theatre that excited her and hopefully audiences as well. Her love for the theatre ranges from experimental, to new Canadian work, to Shakespeare and Moliere. Some favourite works include The Overcoat in London, Australia and New Zealand; Little Dragon (at TPM); Lost Heir and Schoolhouse (Blyth Festival) and Dying to be Sick (National Arts Centre).

Kristen Thomson– Playwright

As playwright and performer, Kristen Thomson has had considerable success with I, Claudia, her first play. The one-woman performance play was created through improvisation with masks, and Kristen has performed it at The Tarragon Theatre (Dora Mavor Moore Awards for both performance and writing), Belfry Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Magnetic North Festival, World Stage Festival and a tour of Hungary. The play was later adapted for film by Kristen and director Chris Abraham. For the film, Kristen was awarded a best performance Gemini Award and ACTRA Award, along with two Canadian Comedy Awards for performance and writing. Kristen is a resident of Toronto, where she continues her long-standing relationship with the Tarragon Theatre as a playwright in residence. The Patient Hour, Kristen's second play, will be presented there in 2009. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School.


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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 Café 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 — 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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