GORE BAY – Next week Gore Bay Theatre will be presenting the play ‘Molly Sweeney’ by Brian Friel, which will be its Northern Ontario Drama Festival entry. The play is structured with three characters, Molly, played by Tara Bernatchez, her husband Frank, played by John Robertson and her doctor Mr. Rice, played by Will Smith.
All three actors have been acknowledged at the regional and provincial level. Their characters, blind to one another, isolated in their own separate worlds relate their points of view by addressing the audience directly. Co-director Walter Maskel said, “‘Molly Sweeney’ is regarded as a major work of literature by a master storyteller using nothing more than the simple purity of beautifully constructed words. In an age that admires spectacle, ‘Molly Sweeney’ is something different, a play of words and ideas.”
The Northern Ontario Drama Festival (QUONTA) will feature plays performed in the Sault, North Bay, Sudbury and Gore Bay. This year, rather than travel to a festival where all the plays would be presented, the adjudicator will travel to every competing group’s home theatre. Gore Bay Theatre will be adjudicated on Friday, February 28.
Co-director Andrea Emmerton said, “it will be an opportunity for audience members to listen to a qualified adjudicator critique the group’s performance. For those interested it can be a valuable experience. Also, if you are going to learn and grow as a theatre artist, or any artist, you have to be open to objective criticism. It is how we learn the finer details in any art, with the untethered guidance of a master teacher.”
Fortunately, this year’s adjudicator and master teacher, Annette Procunier, has over 30 years’ experience having adjudicated over 100 festivals at the provincial, national and international level. She has been honoured with numerous awards as a theatre artist and adjudicator as well as writing a book about the process of adjudicating. Her passion for the art has never waned as she continues to produce, direct, workshop and play-polish for dozens of groups.
Another master, harpist Mary Anderson of Barrie Island, composed and performed the music for the production. She toured extensively and internationally with the acclaimed duo Anderson and Brown.
In the DC Metro News, the reviewer said ‘Molly Sweeney’ was “a masterful play, funny and heart-rendering, beautiful and thought provoking, filled with poetic language, engaging characters, and penetrating insights into the human condition, representing the tradition of Irish story telling at its very best.”
Information about show times is in the advertisement in this issue.