Tony- and Pulitzer- winners and work aplenty for local artists (especially women)...but the season’s crowning jewel has to be Haunted Hillbilly, a revamped version of Sidemart Theatrical Grocery’s musical
I have never been so happy to eat my words. In an earlier column I spoke out about this city’s need to for a producer who will help artists develop their shows. Not 24 hours later, Roy Surette and company took my words, baked them into a humble pie and served them to me on a Centaur-shaped platter. And a tasty pie it is too – Centaur launched its 43rd season and it is unequivocally the most exciting one to date.
The theatrical world is far too often dominated by white men and their stories, so a very big nod of approval must be given to Mr. Surette for a season that includes three female playwrights, two female directors and an army of Montreal’s finest female performers – Gemma James-Smith, Felicia Shulman and Lucinda Davis, to name a few. Then there is the fabulous Ellen David, who will be starring in Yasmin Reza’s Tony award winning God of Carnage, which dazzled Broadway last year. And one cannot help but get twitter-pated about the inclusion of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer-Prize winning play Intimate Apparel, a play about an African-American seamstress that one would normally expect to find under Black Theatre Workshop’s marquee.
Centaur is giving Montreal artists exactly what they most deserve: the opportunity to revisit their work and the resources to help it realize its full potential.
In both these cases, Centaur is giving Montreal artists exactly what they most deserve: the opportunity to revisit their work and the resources to help it realize its full potential. That this is the first time in recent memory that Centaur has done this is proof that under Roy Surette’s stewardship, the theatre is finally moving in a direction that will make it an integral part of Canada’s theatrical identity.
I am going to applaud Roy Surette...for tearing away the myth that the most exciting theatre is happening on the independent stages.
Further proof of this can be found in the season’s three world premieres, each involving nationally-acclaimed playwrights and producers: Colleen Curan’s True Nature (directed by Amanda Kellock), Morris Panych’s In Absentia (directed by Mr. Surette) and Pierre Marivaux’s The Game of Love and Chance, translated by ex-Montrealer Nicholas Bilon. A co-production with Toronto’s Canadian Stage Company, the show will be directed by CanStage’s artistic director, Matthew Jocelyn. All these productions will no doubt receive national attention, allowing the spotlight to shine brightly on the former stock exchange building on St. Francois-Xavier.
If this sounds like a commercial, so be it. No one should be above giving the Centaur its due. In between bites of my tasty humble pie, I am going to applaud Roy Surette and his underlings for tearing away the myth that the most exciting theatre is happening on the independent stages. At least for the time being, Centaur Theatre is the site for a paradise found.
Download the Centaur brochure here.
Download the Centaur brochure here.
Is it just me or does it look like the message of supporting indie works and artists is one Surette is getting? And not just in a lip-service sense.ReplyDelete
Not just you - first time Centaur has taken such a remarkable step. All due to Roy Surette. Bravo.ReplyDelete
I think it's unfair to generalize that this is the first time Mr. Surette is supporting local artists since he took the helm of Centaur. He's been demonstrating that support since he created the first season under his A.D.-ship at Centaur (I can say that first-hand as an assistant to him on two productions). Yes, lots of great upcoming support for locals, but it's not a revelation.ReplyDelete