Tag Archives: red deer college

Red Deer College Pride and Prejudice

The graduating class of Red Deer College’s Theatre Performance and Creation program is currently performing in the Jon Jory adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice, under the direction of instructor Lynda Adams and coaching by fellow student Evan Macleod.  The adaptation is said to have kept much of Austen’s original written language including the oft-quoted lines.  I am not enough of an Austen fan to verify this, except for the one about the truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.  But there were certainly enough long convoluted sentences to convey the essential comedy-of-manners nature, in which an insult can be delivered so cleverly and politely that it takes the recipient (and the theatre audience) a beat or more to work out that something cutting has been said.  “I take no leave of you, Miss Bennet; I send no compliments to your mother” was part of a harsh speech from one of the more blunt characters, Lady Catherine de Burgh (Katie Walker), but it took me a few moments to work out what a snub it was, as I could hear a slow chuckle make its way through the audience.  

I thought that Rina Pelletier as Mrs. Bennet was particularly good at portraying the enthusiasms and motivations of her character through the unfamiliar idiom, and she was an audience favourite.  There was a flouncing-in-her-chair moment in the second act that was especially memorable.   Her husband was played by Richie Jackson, with a lovely contrast of his understated wry asides to his wife’s excesses.  Despite similar costuming and hairdos, the five Bennet sisters gradually became distinguishable from each other, the agreeable eldest Jane (Pharaoh Seeley), clever blunt Elizabeth the protagonist (Kassidee Campbell), Mary the bookworm (Emily Cupples), Lydia who longs to meet soldiers (Emily Seymour), and Lydia’s flighty sidekick Kitty (Robyn Jeffrey).  The characterizations of the clergyman Mr Collins (Brock Beal) and of Mr Bingley’s sister Caroline (Erin Pettifor) were pointed and amusing.  The more successful suitors for the Bennet sisters, the pleasant neighbour Mr Bingley, the aloof Mr Darcy, and the untrustworthy Mr Wickham were played by Damon Lutz, Nate Rehman, and Michael Moore.  Warren Stephens was a butler supervising a staff of stage-crew/footmen, as well as other small parts.

The stage sets, with moving backdrops and furniture and sturdy doors, conveyed the appropriate formality and simplicity.  Garden strolls and private conversations were conveyed by having the characters step down from the main stage level to a lower promenade downstage.   Scenes taking place at balls had appropriate-looking dancing groups in the background.  I enjoyed watching the dancing so much that I wish some of it had been easier to see.  A scene with Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle the Gardiners (Erin Pettifor and Brock Beal) riding in a carriage was mimed so amusingly with rocking over the bumpy road in unison that I didn’t listen to what they were saying.

Pride and Prejudice is playing at the Red Deer College Arts Centre mainstage until Saturday night, with tickets available through Black Knight Inn. 

Zombies and the Bard

Red Deer College’s William Shakespeare in the Land of the Dead, which played in October of last year, was a performance that didn’t fit tidily into a genre.  The title gave a hint of what to expect though – a juxtaposition of Shakespeare and zombies.

The play was written in 2008 or so by John Heimbuch, and directed by Kelly Reay of Calgary.   The cast of fourteen are all students in the graduating year of the Theatre Performance and Creation program, last seen as an ensemble in Ten Lost Years last spring.

The set, constructed in the black-box space of Studio A, created the sense of being in the greenroom or other backstage space at the Globe Theatre shortly after it had been built, with warm yellow lighting and a light mist or haze, rough wooden benches and table, and large exposed beams suspended overhead.  The scene opens with Kate (Pharaoh Amnesty), the ” ‘tiring girl” for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men theatre company, starting to clear up the room while a performance is going on.  Shakespeare (Evan Macleod) and Burbage (Richie Jackson), friends and collaborators, then enter and discuss past and future productions, the politics of the day, the troubles of dealing with actors and patrons, and so on.  Will Kemp (Nate Rehman), the clown of the company who had been known for playing Falstaff, bounces in, pesters Shakespeare to write Falstaff into more scenes, and taunts him that audiences would rather see his jigging and foolishness than a story with a plot.  The parts that I knew about seemed consistent with canon, and this part introduced some of the main characters, but I felt like it dragged a little and was sometimes hard to hear or to follow.

The rest of the company tumbles backstage at the end of their performance, stripping off tabards for Kate and the company apprentice Rice (Robyn Jeffrey) to collect and fold, and calling for everyone to join them at a tavern.  But while Kemp and Shakespeare stay at the theatre, the tavern excursion encounters some zombies and comes back infected.  Other characters attempt to shelter in the theatre, unaware of the contamination, most notably Queen Elizabeth I (Emily Cupples) with a small retinue.  Cupples, in large starched ruff, was splendidly regal.

The production is a wonderful showcase of zombie makeup, because those bitten early in the show show more decay with their every entrance, while those who manage to survive until near the end appear nearly undamaged.  As I don’t have my program for this production at my fingertips I can’t tell you who to credit for this design and application.

Skin Deep: self-created, site-specific, scenes, stories, and sculptures

The last performance assignment on the curriculum for the 2014 graduating class in Theatre Performance and Creation at Red Deer College was to create and perform some site-specific work off campus in some space not normally used for theatre.

The class chose the Red Deer Lodge hotel, and took advantage of several different spaces around the central courtyard of the hotel, starting in the lobby and leading the audience around.  There was a general theme of self-discovery, exposure, and the choices of how much to reveal, but the various scenes and vignettes used a variety of techniques and tactics, giving the performance some flavour of a showcase of skills developed.

Continuity was maintained by having Julia Van Dam as a guide.  Although she had a challenging trickster demeanour, it was reassuring in an apparently unstructured situation to see her red-gloved figure glide up and point us to where we should go next.  After some bits in the lobby of the hotel, the audience members were led to explore various glimpses around the courtyard, fights and dances and conversations, and then directed to a murder investigation in a hotel conference room.  That was good to have early on the program, while the audience was feeling uncomfortable with what was expected, because the characters (Wayne DeAtley, Victoria Day, Chase Cownden, JP Lord, Bret Jacobs, and Julia Van Dam) were easy to identify and the narrative arc straightforward.

After that, things got weirder, but we got more comfortable with it.  Some of the scenes took place in hotel bedrooms – Jen Suter and Jessica Bordley did a powerful invocation of tormented teenage girls in a scene that I thought was probably called “So Fucking Angry”, and Brittany Martyshuk and Jake Tkaczyk had an interesting concept of speaking together in the solitude of separate rooms with the help of crackling baby-monitors.  Some happened on a balcony over our heads.   Another one seated the audience in a conference room while dancers reflected on a curtain formed Rorschach-blot-like shapes in response to a patient’s (Taylor Pfeifer) answers to a nurse (Constance Isaacs).  Dustin Funk and Tyler Johnson were two homeless people in conflict.  Richard Leurer and Megan Einarson had a particularly disturbing scene in the hotel pool.  Some of the narrative in the performance was in rhyme, and some of it was recited in chorus.  There was quite a lot of expressive movement, possibly a bit too much, and there was some stage fighting, some dance, and some good tableaux.  There was a movement scene with, I think,  Jessica Bordley, Tyler Johnson, Chase Cownden, JP Lord, and Richard Leurer, narrated in rhyme by Julia Van Dam about friendship and romance and shifting loyalties that I liked a lot.

I was impressed that all the traffic-directing was done in a very organic way and that none of the performers fell out of character at all even when the audience probably wasn’t doing what they wanted us to.  I thought that the performance might have been a bit too long or too repetitive, but in general I enjoyed it a lot.  I liked the sense of wandering around with more going on than I was able to see.  Skin Deep continues Wednesday and Thursday this week, with information available at this Facebook page. 

Ten Lost Years: Depression memories at Red Deer College

 Ten Lost Years is a book by Canadian Barry Broadfoot, a book of oral history of the Depression years, published in 1973.  It’s compelling reading, even for someone whose Depression memories and influences are second-hand or third-hand.  The initiative for the project collecting the memories and stories of older Canadians, and the title of the book, refer to Broadfoot’s observation that people didn’t tend to talk about those bad times and that they weren’t covered well in schools.

The book was also used as source material for the play Ten Lost Years by Jack Winter and Cedric Smith, first produced in Toronto in the mid-1970s.   Red Deer College’s first year Theatre Performance and Creation class performed the play last week, under the direction of instructor Tom Bradshaw.   The book of short narratives in multiple voices was translated effectively to the stage by making about half the performance short monologues, interspersed with scenes with small and large groups and a few ensemble songs.   The musical pieces, especially the opening and closing renditions of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” and the harmonica orchestra were effective in drawing together the disjointed individual stories to give a sense of community, whether in a small town or in a collection of transients huddling in a basement.   In the opening chorus, I was struck by the joy expressed by many of the performers, in particular Rina Pelletier.  Evan Macleod’s piano playing and singing, and Erin Pettifor’s solo of “Over the Rainbow” were also strong contributors to the performance.

All the performers played multiple characters, narrating the different stories and acting them out.  Katherine Walker, Damon Lutz, and Brock Beal evoked some middle- and upper- class characters, providing different perspectives but not without compassion.  Warren Stephens’ scene as the welfare officer reluctantly telling his new client (Michael Moore) that he’s required to surrender his liquor license was painfully effective.  Stories of rape by an employer in a desperately-needed job, and of watching a man at the end of his rope beat a child for losing the change on the way home from the corner store, were powerfully moving even though I had read the book a few days earlier and could recognize what was coming.

Other stories were humorous, affectionate portraits of struggling families and stubborn individuals getting through hard times.  Emily Cupples was amusing as the school principal, calling pupils to listen to the near-inaudible radio broadcast of the Prince of Wales abdicating.  Several scenes used the premise of radio narrative or radio drama, mostly in a good way but I thought that the living-in-an-igloo scene done as radio was just kind of odd.

One very effective directorial choice was to have Michael Moore, a non-white member of the cast, deliver the caution at the beginning about how the real people’s real words might include some expressions that we would find offensive.  And then the first time that the script included a racial slur, the characters on stage all gasped and glanced at the performer of colour in exactly the same way that the audience was doing. He repeated his caution about the real words of the time, everyone sighed, and the scene resumed.

The costumes, with muted shades of cotton and knitwear, and the authentic-looking props, were interesting to look at and valuable in maintaining the sense of the time.  I was particularly moved by looking at the piano light and the washboard, because I remember my parents using ones quite like them.  City Centre Stage is a multipurpose space which is probably primarily a movie theatre, and the production used the screen at the back of the stage to project a photo-album of relevant images.  The raised stage made the first few rows crane our necks to watch, and next time I go there I will sit farther back.

Ten Lost Years has now closed.  The Red Deer College Theatre Performance and Creation class of 2015 will be seen in next academic year’s Performance Art Series, starting in October.  The plays for next year’s series have not yet been announced.

Solo Flight for RDC students

One of the assignments for the graduating students in Red Deer College’s Theatre Performance and Creation program is to develop and perform a solo piece, about 10 minutes long, acting as multiple characters.  The solos were performed this week, some on Thursday and some on Friday.  I attended the Friday show, and afterwards I wished I’d been able to see the other nine performances as well.  The Friday show was MCed by class member Richard Leurer, and other classmates who were not performing managed the tech and front of house duties, creating a friendly relaxed environment in the black-box space of Studio A, where I had seen first seen them perform a first-semester Showcase in December 2012.

The performers all acted as three or more different characters, signaling the shifts clearly to the audiences by changing position, posture, voice, and/or accent.  Most of the female performers played both male and female characters, with the most entertaining and convincing male character being Victoria Day’s crotch-scratching homeless man.  Bret Jacobs’ family story included a kind and entertaining Granny who aged along with the young protagonist.  Both age shifts were communicated effectively and with affection.  Jen Suter, Jessie Muir, Bret Jacobs, and Jake Tkaczyk all incorporated small child characters in their stories.

Jen Suter’s story of an overworked restaurant server, her unappealing co-worker, and her demanding patrons was a good choice to start the show because it was easy to understand and very funny.  Several of the creators/performers ventured away from real-world settings to include elements of adventure-science fiction (J-P Lord’s mismatched crew on a voyage across the galaxy), disturbing encounters with metaphysical powers (Collette Radau’s visits from the fear of death, Jessie Muir’s angelic demon), or an imagined dystopic future (Taylor Pfeifer’s world of addiction to bottled emotions).

Victoria Day and Constance Isaac both told powerful contemporary-world stories of teenagers struggling to cope with difficult family situations.  In Jake Tkaczyk’s piece, a seven-year-old protagonist encounters a couple of differently dangerous adults in a playground, and escapes disaster only because of the hostility between the malefactors, both of whom warn him about the other.

The program finished with Collette Radau’s work about encounters with a personified Fear of Death, but more generally about the experience of moving into an uncertain future.  It made me cry.

The show poster, reproduced above, was designed by Miranda Radau.

The Red Deer College Theatre Performance and Creation class of 2014 has one more set of public performances.  Skin Deep is a site-specific ensemble piece created by the performers.  It will be performed April 20-24 at a site in Red Deer, and more information is at this Facebook page.

Escher-esque set for Three Musketeers

All for one and one for all, with Red Deer College Three Musketeers

The Red Deer College theatre program’s current production is The Three Musketeers, the 2006 Ken Ludwig adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s novel, first published as a newspaper serial in 1844.

I did not attempt to read the original, as I could not get through Dumas’s Count of Monte Cristo after I saw a Stratford (Ontario) Festival production about ten years ago.  So my pre-show preparation was limited to reading Wikipedia, looking at the Red Deer College Performing Arts website, and looking at a video clip from this production posted in a newspaper preview.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the adaptation, and this production directed by Thomas Usher, managed to create for modern audiences a fast-paced, episodic, wish-fulfilling adventure which was probably true to the impression left on contemporary readers of the serial.   D’Artagnan, the young man from the country who travels to Paris with the goal of becoming a Musketeer like his father before him, was played with well-meaning earnestness by Tyler Johnson, like most of the cast a graduating student in Theatre Performance and Creation.   My favourite character in the story was an addition for the modern adaptation, D’Artagnan’s younger sister Sabine (Brittany Martyshuk).   D’Artagnan’s parents ask him to take his sister to Paris and enroll her in a convent school, but it turns out that she actually wants to seek her fortune as a swordfighter and maybe fall in love with a Musketeer.   I found her character both charming and credible.

The three musketeers of the title, whom D’Artagnan is challenged by and then befriended by, are Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.  (The “h”s are silent because they are French – I didn’t know that before.)  Athos is the more serious musketeer whose sad personal backstory comes out later, and he is portrayed by Chase Cownden, a particularly impressive stage fencer.  Porthos (Bret Jacobs) is interested in fashion, and a scene in which he is showing off a new cloak leads to a fight scene with some impressive use of a length of cloth to tangle an opponent.  Aramis (Wayne DeAtley) aspires to religious life, and is the target of Sabine’s crush.

The musketeers’ archenemy is Cardinal Richelieu (Richard Leurer), remote and devious and a little slimy.  Richelieu’s collaborators and allies include Milady (Megan Einarson) and Rochefort (Victoria Day).   Other characters include the King and Queen of France (JP Lord and Taylor Pfeiffer), and Constance the queen’s lady-in-waiting and love-interest for D’Artagnan (Constance Isaacs).  Daniel Vasquez, a recent graduate of the RDC Theatre Performance program, plays Treville the head of the musketeers, Buckingham the Queen’s lover, and a few other minor parts.  Most of the other actors are multiply-cast as well, with some quick costume changes.

The set for the show was strongly reminiscent of the Escher print Relativity, and the similarity was underlined by pieces of staircase and balcony suspended in the air at odd angles. The actual stage was full of entrances and exits, balconies and crossing staircases, and they all got used, with almost no prop movement between scenes.  This helped underline the impressions of fast-paced action with complications and conspiracies.

There was, of course, a lot of stage combat, not just swordfighting but unarmed fighting, knifework, and other tools used as weapons.  At one point, all twelve cast members are engaged in a skirmish all over the stage between musketeers and Richelieu’s guards, with so much going on that it was hard for the audience to keep track of and easy to buy into the illusion of it being a real fight.

One of the things I liked best about this production was the women’s parts and the scope for female actors.  They weren’t just cast as men for fight scenes; the script included three fighters explicitly identified as female, who seemed like distinct interesting characters – Sabine, the young girl who grew up learning fighting with her older brother, Milady, with a dagger in her boot and a secret in her past, whose manipulative sexuality was reminiscent of the courtesan Einarson played in the troupe’s production of Comedy of Errors last year, and the guard captain Rochefort, in eyepatch and scar. Milady is a character in Dumas’ original story, and so is a male version of Rochefort.  I couldn’t tell whether Rochefort had been changed from male to female by the 2006 playwright or by the director of this production, but it didn’t matter and it worked well enough for me to enjoy it.

The production even passed the “Bechdel test” – the criterion expressed by a character in an early edition of Alison Bechdel’s comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, that she only reads/watches fiction in which two women talk to each other about something other than a man.   I can’t remember what the conversation was about in the second convent scene, when Constance is taking sanctuary and Milady is looking for her, but the scene at the convent school where Sabine has been enrolled definitely passes.

I’m not sure that everything shown on the stage was necessary to the plot – but it was fun and the pace was good and I didn’t mind.  The tavern singing and the masked-ball dancing were fun to watch.   The random musket battle with Huguenots confused me a bit more, because I was wondering whether there was a point to it other than giving Porthos a chance to make some funny comments about religion.

The costuming used a limited but rich palette of colours, allowing the audience to distinguish between the heroes in brown, burgundy, and gold, with Porthos having more dramatic choices, the household of royalty in purple, and the enemies in black and red.  I also noticed red hues in the lighting for Milady’s and Richelieu’s scenes.  And I loved the peacock dress Sabine wore to the masked ball.  There were lots of scruffy whiskers in evidence, with Richelieu’s waxed mustache and groomed-squirrel-tail goatee in sharp contrast.

In the show I saw early in the run, there were a few situations of stilted speech, but for the most part the actors spoke clearly, convincingly, and in character, and they made me care about what happened to the characters.   And the last line made me cry.

Three Musketeers plays Wednesday through Saturday of this week at the Red Deer College mainstage.  Advance tickets are available on line and by phone from the usual outlet.

Alice Through the Looking Glass, and what I found there

The audience is different at a matinee of a show advertised as suitable for families.  There are a lot more black velvet dresses and pink snow boots.  I overheard a discussion beforehand about how live theatre is different from movies, with an adult explaining that no, it’s not all going to be on that little screen, and I overheard a discussion afterwards with other audience members saying that they didn’t want to go home yet, they wanted to stay and talk to the characters.  It was also clear to me that some young members of the audience were restless during the long poems and songs, and they didn’t conceal that quite as effectively as I like to think that I do nowadays.  All that being said, I did not find any of the audience members badly behaved or disruptive of my enjoyment of the show.  And I did enjoy it.

Lewis Carroll’s story Alice Through the Looking Glass, written in 1873, was adapted for the stage by Jim DeFelice in 1974, with music written by Larry Reese.  The production currently playing at the Red Deer College Arts Centre Mainstage is directed by faculty member Lynda Adams, and the seven performers are all final year students in Theatre Performance and Creation.

Julia Van Dam played the eponymous Alice convincingly as an imaginative Victorian-era child of “seven years and six months”, daydreaming of imaginary worlds and then landing in an unexpected one where things don’t go the way she dreamed.  Her body language, more expressive than an adult’s but still restricted by custom and crinoline, conveys delight, responsibility, frustration, and relief, and her singing voice is up to the material while not seeming inappropriately adult.

The other six cast members all played multiple characters.  The story was simplified a little bit from the original, but they left in all the important characters – TweedleDum and TweedleDee (Jennifer Suter and Jessie Muir), Humpty Dumpty (Dustin Funk), and some of the chess pieces.  As in the original, and in the playing-card symbolism of Alice In Wonderland, it was interesting to see the chess pieces develop distinctive character traits – the Red King (Dustin Funk) is sleepy to the point of narcolepsy, the Red Queen (Jessica Bordley) is a stern parent/teacher figure hectoring Alice about manners and behaviour while the White Queen (Collette Radau) is endearingly gentle and bewildered, and the White King (Jake Tkaczyk) is forgetful and clumsy.  Except for the Red Queen and to some extent Humpty Dumpty, all the characters treat Alice as an adult with agency, and she readily takes on responsibilities of taking care of herself and of them.  This was satisfying to me as a child reader and was still so as an adult playgoer watching the story through her eyes.

I noticed other ways that my old reactions to the story coloured my responses to the play.  I started out scared of the Red Queen, but I think actually that came from being scared of the playing-card characters in Alice in Wonderland.  I thought the Walrus and Carpenter song was both too long and too disturbing, because that is how I felt about it when I first read it.  In this stage production, I really enjoyed the oysters-as-puppets though.  And I still felt impatient during Alice’s encounter with the White Knight (Jen Suter) in the penultimate square.  As in the book, it felt like an irrelevant delay in order to introduce yet another eccentric character and recite yet another poem.  Jen Suter plays the White Knight with a sort of cowboy accent, perhaps of a cowboy whose range extends from Montana to somewhere in the Old South, but her delivery of the repeated line about “it’s my oooown invention” was very funny, and I heard a lot of adult chuckles during that scene.  I loved the expressive movement and feathery menace of the Black Crow (Jessica Bordley) just before and just after intermission, as the White King flails around causing or harnessing a tornado with his queen’s long unmanageable shawl.

It’s not really a story with a conventional plot arc or a lot of continuity, just Alice’s goal of reaching the eighth row of the chessboard as a pawn so that she can become a queen.  One undercurrent of theme is about names and loss of identity, as several characters warn Alice about losing her name or challenge her to replace it.

In a pair of framing scenes at the beginning and end, Alice is a little girl in her own house interacting with her nurse (Collette Radau) and her cat Dinah (Jessie Muir, with amusingly-credible feline physicality).  The “real” world scenes are shown as silhouette shadows on a scrim, with black and white drawing showing a fireplace, mantelpiece mirror, and chessboard.  This created a magical contrast with the colourful three-dimensional Looking-Glass world, similar to the colour film effect in Wizard of Oz, although I did wonder whether it confused the family behind me, in which an adult had just explained that the live actors in the play weren’t going to be on the screen at all.  The initial scene also made very clever use of the optical trick of having one character farther from the light than the other, so that Alice standing up looked about the same height as her seated nurse.

Outside those scenes was a second framing, as the performance started with a single spotlight outside the curtain (and in fact, outside a “second frame” ornate-scrollwork
mirror-frame decoupaged with mirror-image text from the Jabberwock) illuminating a Storyteller (Jake Tkaczyk) in Victorian-period frock coat, top hat, and white gloves and still demeanour, who sings the Prelude song “Child of the pure unclouded brow”.  His well-trained mid-range voice would not be out of place in musical theatre and his changes in delivery for different parts of the song helped make sense of the rather abstract lyrical poetry.  After the ending scene with real-world Alice on the screen talking over the adventures with her cat, Tkaczyk begins to sing again in costume as the White King but with the Storyteller’s voice, and the curtain rises again on the Looking-Glass world as the other performers join in with the choral finale.  Again, this provides a pleasing symmetry while also covering the musical-theatre convention of an all-cast song leading to the curtain calls.

The chess-piece costumes were very clever, with wide padded stiff hoops at the rim of robes suspended from the performers’ shoulders.  Similar stiff hoops could be spotted at the bottom edges of the knights’ horses, at TweedleDum and TweedleDee’s trouser cuffs, and on various sleeve cuffs.  Alice’s costuming, pink white and black with ringlets and a big hairbow, suited the clear simple palette of the show, but drew attention with small patterns and details reminiscent of the little-girl fussiness of the Harajuku Girls (Gwen Stefani’s backup dancers).

The fantasy world’s set used a revolve painted with a chessboard grid, and a pile of different-height boxes consistent with the grid.  Various trees, flowers, and so on continue the theme of coloured squares.  As I had been spending time with a young nephew before the show I was immediately reminded of the video game Minecraft, but that may not have been intentional.  The momentary jarring sensation when I heard the phrase “grassy knoll” on the 50th anniversary of J.F. Kennedy’s death was certainly not intentional.  The backdrop included a whirling Fibonacci-sequence checkerboard cloud formation.  Four stage technicians, students in the Theatre Production program, (Michael Johnson, Jordan Kruithof, Astrid Olivares, Jesse Robbins) contributed visibly to the production, as hands appearing in tables to serve drinks, crew of the Fourth-Square Express train, and especially at discovering Humpty Dumpty after his fall.

In the early performances I saw, there was possibly a little bit of sound balancing inconsistency in the first choral number, “Through the Glass”, and a few places where a performer was not speaking clearly enough to be easily heard from the middle of the big auditorium.  But those are easy details which will likely be corrected before this week’s performances, running Tuesday through Saturday (Nov 26 through 30), with tickets available through Black Knight Ticket Centre as usual.

An audience member studies the set for Through the Looking Glass at intermission.

An audience member studies the set for Through the Looking Glass at intermission.