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Thursday, March 29, 2012

EVENT: 8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived (May 23-27)

Michaela Di Cesare re-conceives successful show

“8 Ways is wonderfully written, feels incredibly genuine, and is a complete delight to see.”
-Al Lafrance, Bloody Underrated

“The author-actress also made herself very vulnerable, which I think explains much of the power of the piece, and her budding success.
-Mabel Talk

“Michaela Di Cesare, star of this solo, is an insanely likable performer. Di Cesare the writer is incredibly intelligent and has a terrific story to tell that doesn't go a word longer than necessary”
-Gaëtan Charlebois, The Charlebois Post

 “Sharp and funny, her take on the St-Leonard dating scene and impressions of her mother (“Baby,straight men don’t read”) are hilarious.”
-Sacha Jackson, Montreal Mirror

8 Ways my Mother was Conceived, the show that enjoyed a holy trinity of successful runs and an even holier trinity of MECCA nominations (Best Actress, Best Text and Revelation), is being resurrected like Lazarus from the dead (if Lazarus had come back bigger, better and with superpowers, that is).

Re-conceived and re-produced (get it?), the one-woman show about a girl growing up in Montreal’s East End Italian community who develops a Virgin Complex brought on by the fact that her entire family believes her mother was born immaculately à la Jesus Christ is now being directed by Tamara Brown for a short run at the Rialto Theatre in late May.  Despite having already won a 2011 MECCA for best text, Di Cesare has completely restructured and re-examined the play with the generous help and expert insight of Emma Tibaldo at Playwright's Workshop Montreal. The script is now edgier, bolder and unapologetic.

Many Montreal institutions have offered their support to this sophomore production. Among them are (the aforementioned) Playwright’s Workshop Montreal, Black Theatre Workshop, The Rialto Theatre and the National Congress of Italian Canadians. The production is also being funded in part by a grant from the University of Toronto's Arts Council. The Launchpad Award for Emerging Artists aims to kick-start the career of a young artist whose project demonstrates the potential to succeed on a professional level.

This new production will also benefit from the input of a creative team composed of local artists, designers and up-and-coming talents. Vuyo Bhembe, who most recently created the soundscape for BTW's Stori Ya, will be lending his brilliant ear to Di Cesare's text. Alexander Smith, who has been working consistently over the last year with Persephone Productions, BTW, and other local independent companies, will be designing lights. Lara Kaluza who created the set for the critically acclaimed Table D’Hôte production Humans will be designing the set and costumes. Birdie Gregor, equally in-demand, will be stage managing the production. Ms. Brown is thrilled to be the valiant leader of this eclectic and promising group and is aiming to bring the focus of the piece back to its roots: the performer.  Upon recalling the first time she experienced the show she says, “I was immediately struck by this young Montreal woman's touching and funny story that is at once so personal and specific, and yet resonates with audiences across the boundaries of culture and gender. I've personally always been fascinated by the power of those women who my mother's family call cuentistas, keepers and weavers of old stories and myths; women who use the stories that are given to us as medicine for the soul of both the storyteller and the listener.”

Michaela recently completed her Master’s Degree at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies.  During her MA she appeared in Ovid: Love Letters from the Empty Bed, Much Ado about Don Juan, and New Custom. In Montreal she has most recently played Saura in the Montreal Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Titus Andronicus and Jaya Patel in The Arrangement. Other notable roles are Mariedl in Werner Schwab’s Holy Mothers at Theatre Ste-Catherine and the Young Woman in Mike Bartlett’s My Child at Mainline Theatre.

8 Ways my Mother was Conceived will run from May 24 through 27 at the Piccolo Rialto (5723 Parc Avenue). The show will preview on Wednesday, May 23rd at 7:30 PM.  Thursday to Saturday 8PM.  Saturday and Sunday 2PM. Tickets are $25 regular admission, $20 for students. Group rates are available. The National Congress of Italian Canadians is hosting a closing cocktail at 3:30PM on May 27th. Show & Cocktail tickets are $40 regular admission and $35 for students.

Rialto Box Office: 514-770-7773
National Congress of Italian Canadians: 514-279-6357

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