Theatre Incarnate

Maple Route by Jeremy Scarth Bowkett - Theatre Incarnate @ PTE Colin Jackson Studio

Theatre Incarnate are known for edgy, sometimes quirky, and often controversial productions, so it may seem strange that the company have worked with local playwright Jeremy Scarth Bowkett to develop a 3 act epic about a moment in Canadian History. The company's departure is our gain, as we get the opportunity to see a shocking and truthful glimpse of the life soldiers lead when they return to civillian live. Under the measured and specific direction of Christopher Sobczak, the play and performers catapult through this challenging time. Things appear normal at first as we see Cam and Alexa in what are clearly the early stages of their re-united marriage, however we quickly see that Cam is a boiling pot with the lid rattling, waiting to burst. Just like that pot, Cam bubbles and eventually explodes, his confusion and rage at what he experienced in the former Yugoslavia rendering him unrecognizable to his wife. With a text this filled with angst, there is the potential for over-doing it, however every moment of Karl Thordarson's portrayal of Cam is truthful. Toby Hughes as Cam's reservist buddy Dean offers a believable lovable hoser, bringing much needed release of tension with his comic timing, and Theresa Thompson's Alexa is a believable troubled but loving army wife.

3 acts may seem long, but the production does not feel that way; rather it feels as if we in the audience are sitting on a runaway railway car, careening toward a mountainside as the play progresses.

This notwithstanding, the script could continue to be developed; some scenes felt they could be trimmed just slightly to achieve an even more explosive effect. Additionally the voice of Alexa wasn't quite as clearly developed as the other two characters, which under less steady direction could be clunky.

That said, this is a production that you need to see. An important story, well told, and pieced together artfully by a fantastic company. Go see this play!

Busy Theatrical Week Coming...

So, before I rant (in a separate post) about the de-valuation of art through commodification of it, I want to share a couple events in the coming week.

First, my project for the past few weeks has been to direct for the Manitoba Association of Playwrights Highschool Playwriting Competition (sponsored by Scirocco Drama). This annual event provides the opportunity for 5 young playwrights - often first time writers - to have their short plays developed with a dramaturg and director, and be presented on the stage at MTC Warehouse. This year I am directing a new play by Beatrice Tuano called Intoxicated. The piece delves into the impact of loss on a young life through the eyes of two characters - the boyfriend who dies in a car accident, and his girlfriend who is left behind. I've been blessed to work with three lovely actors - Eric Rae, Ruth Rietze, and Kaeleigh Ayre. 

Tickets info here:

Performances are Thursday and Friday evenings - and audiences get to vote for their favourite play! dear friends over at Theatre Incarnate have been re-working a piece they shared in the Fringe 
Festival a couple years ago called Master Orloff and Madame Clodile's Freakshow Beautifique. Using buffon 
techniques, circus freaks, and live music, the original production was highly enjoyable, and I can't wait to see what the
re-work brings to light! 

Saturday and Sunday evening they'll be hosting workshop performances, followed by a Q&A session for further development
of the piece. Info here: