by Christopher Moore
Persephone has it's next season right around the 8-part-harmony corner! It's got a Broadway musical, a Paul Van Dyck original, and a classic.
Those who got a ticket to last season's Spring Awakening The Musical, might be pleased to hear that we were picked up by Centaur Theatre as part of their Brave New Looks initiative. Those who didn't get a ticket last year might be even more pleased to hear that there's a second chance to see what I have been going on and on about for the past forever.
When a show ends, many times artists will have the feeling that they wish they could get another crack at it. This is certainly true of myself and to be able to work on this musical again is nothing short of a gift. The power behind this show speaks through the talent onstage. It's a musical about young people featuring young people who absolutely love the altissimo out of the show. This is the must-see musical of the new generation. Perhaps it's their age that connects them so well or the fact that the musical was running on Broadway around the time most of them were entering theatre school...or both, but either way the commitment is genuine and passion palpable. For myself, as much as I'm glad to be able to revisit certain choices or moments...I'm really just filled to the brim to be able to work with these people again.
Our second show of the season will be Paul Van Dyck's The Nisei & The Narnauks, about Japanese internment camps in Canada during WWII. It is a dark part of our own history, not usually discussed or even taught in schools. As with Persephone's production of Oroonoko by Van Dyck, we feel it is absolutely crucial that we continue to talk about these mistakes in our histories, lest we be doomed to repeat them. The piece tells the story through the eyes of a Nisei (second generation Japanese-Canadian) as she searches for her grandmother, meetings others along the way who help or hinder her journey, including Narnauks (First Nations mythological shape shifters). The show incorporates mask, puppetry, and music. I've always wanted to do a show that plays with these different theatrical arts, and am excited to see Paul put it together at Le MAI.
Originally, I thought I wanted to do another comedy for our third show. In searching through various scripts, I came upon something altogether different: an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde. I had never read the novella, but was well aware of the story. I read the adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher, more simply titled Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde and knew immediately I wanted to do it. I found out Mainline Theatre was available in April and decided it was the perfect venue. When things come together like that, I tend to pay attention. It's bold, intense, and haunting. There are only six actors, four of which take turns playing Hyde. It grabbed me from page one and I'm anxious to get started!
So that's our season! We are already underway with rehearsing our first show. In a few hours actually, I'll be running several of the scenes and bouncing my rhythmically challenged toes all along the way. I probably distract more than I help the production at this point, but they'll have to bare with me for another few weeks yet!