A few changes in the theatrical scenery are emerging on the horizon of a cresting year: in particular, Alberta Theatre Projects’ annual PlayRites fest is ending after a 30-year run. They will feature two Canadian world premieres this year and six plays in total, which will channel more focus into the quality of those productions. Additionally, they have appointed a new executive director, Vicki Stroich.
Comrades until December 7 @ Reeve Theatre, U of C
Written by Beth Graham and Daniela Vlaskalic, this play is based on the lives of Nicola Sacco and Bartolommeo Vanzetti. The two anarchists have emigrated from Italy and are convicted of murdering two men in an armed robbery in 1920. The true story relives their experiences of a seven-year imprisonment and the philosophical gleanings they draw – speaking to innocence, political freedoms and some of the struggles we still face today.
“After Party” until December 21 @ Lunchbox Theatre
Many of us can relate to working during the holidays, but this play comes at it from the perspective of an office IT guy and a cleaning lady who remain scheduled after a party there ends. Two lonely souls, some leftover mistletoe and a karaoke machine guide the night as we see how they try to find some deeper connections. Directed by Aaron Coates, and starring Trishia Woodley and Scott McAdam, it was written by Neil Fleming, who also wrote a previous Lunchbox smash hit “Last Christmas” (2011/12 season).
Around the World in 80 Days until December 29 @ Alberta Theatre Projects
We talk about this time of year as being the “holiday season” and here is a show that really emphasizes our desire to vacation and explore. Based on the short novel by Jules Verne about dreaming big and embracing adventure. The set design is a particular highlight of this play, as the tale goes from London to India to the American frontier, to a steamship that completes the journey. Narda McCarroll’s steampunk-themed set brings it all to life, and as three actors take on 20 roles.
By Cait Lepla