The first festival of staged-readings of English-language Quebec plays, 24-28 February 2020.
From 24-28 February 2020, Alexis Diamond, Emma Tibaldo, Alison Bowie and I (Erin Hurley) presented a series of staged-readings of plays drawn from my research corpus of published and unpublished works written between 1930 and 1979. Each evening saw two thematically related one-act plays read by professional Montreal actors on the stage of Moyse Hall in McGill University Arts Building (853 Sherbrooke St. West). Directing the 26 local actors across these four nights of performance were the Artistic Directors of Black Theatre Workshop (Quincy Armorer), Centaur Theatre (Eda Holmes), and Imago Theatre (Micheline Chevrier) as well as the Artistic Associate of the Segal Centre (Caitlin Murphy). More than 250 people attended this free event, including Carol Libman, a founder of Playwrights Workshop Montreal whose newsroom drama, The Reluctant Hero (1956) was read on closing night, and the daughters of Elinore Siminovitch, whose ground-breaking feminist play, Big X, Little Y (1974) proved quite contemporary.
Little did we know that two weeks hence, the coronavirus pandemic would effectively shutter theatres for the next year.
Seeing Sapientia by Hroswitha of Gandersheim, adapted by Joseph Shragge from a literal translation by Lynn Kozak, and directed by Mia van Leeuwen (August 2018)
The blood! The beatific looks! The smashed teacups! Scapegoat Carnival Theatre staged this play by a nun from the 10th century in the small space at MainLine for full houses in August of 2018. I adored this deeply serious/rollickingly humourous exploration of fanaticism, female piety, and violence recounted with household objects. Sapientia was played by a mirror, the Roman gods were party-lights, and Oreo crumbs were dirt.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare – dir. Ken Livingstone, who was Artistic Director of the theatre that summer.
Review in Le Soleil, Martine Corrivault, 16 august 1976, B7
"Le metteur en scène, Ken Livingstone laisse une fois de plus le soin d’imaginer les lieux […] Les comédiens sont en ‘T-shirts’ blancs marqués du nom de leurs personnages et évoluent sur la scène toute blanche du Frontenac Playhouse, absolument dénudée. Quelques coussins, un yo-yo, un porte-document, des banquettes de bois, deux fauteuils de toile et un disque de couleur s’ajoueront au jeu des acteurs qui ne servent plus que leur texte.”
[Example of a file or website to attach to the submission]: http://collections.banq.qc.ca/ark:/52327/2722114
Quebec author and labour activist, Dan Daniels, has his play, The Plot to Overthrow Peter Rabbit, produced by his Living Theatre at Arleigh Peterson’s Revue Theatre on what was then St. Luc Street. It won the “Best Visual Production” prize at the Western Quebec Regional Drama Festival in 1968.
In light of the continued health-risks of the coronavirus pandemic, the Quebec government of François Legault closed the theatres to public performances in March 2020. Moyse Hall was used exclusively for two necessary theatre courses in the Department of English – Stage Scenery and Lighting I (ENGL 368) and Stage Scenery and Lighting II (ENGL 372) – in the Fall of 2020 and Winter of 2021, respectively. These were taught by Keith Roche (Technical Director) and Corinne Deeley (Technical Production Manager) of Moyse Hall.
Please note: Criticism and critical evaluations will be included on this map; they are necessary to increasing our understanding of the dynamics and relationships of English-language theatre in Quebec over time. What will NOT be included are ad hominem attacks, vilification, retaliation, defamation, and abusive or belittling language.
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So-and-so was a crappy actor and mean person who got a lot of leading roles nonetheless. They didn’t understand text nor how to tell a story through movement.
So-and-so rejected my play. But really, they were too stupid and close-minded to understand! My piece was too experimental / too mainstream / too queer / too domestic for them.