Student actors, professor tour bilingual show across region, May 1-16
Actors in Tintamarre, Mount Allison University’s bilingual theatre company, perform a scene from VILLAGES, which will be touring schools throughout the Marititimes next month.
SACKVILLE, N.B. — More than 3,000 Maritime students will be entertained and engaged this spring by Tintamarre, Mount Allison University’s bilingual theatre company, when they perform VILLAGES during their annual school tour.
Every year, volunteers from throughout the Mount Allison campus create an original, fast-paced, activist comedy with music that entertains and prompts reflection.
Alex Fancy, founder-director of Tintamarre, says, “Theatre explores important and sensitive issues in a respectful manner. VILLAGES is about a visit to two villages facing a convergence of environmental and socio-economic challenges.”
Over 40 actors, designers, and technicians created the original production, through a collaborative process that has engaged students for three decades, and is known well beyond Mount Allison. Twelve actor-students will stage the school-tour version.
Graduating honours international relations, Hispanic and gender studies student Natalie Brunet of Ottawa, ON is this year’s associate director. She explains that the play is, as usual, up-beat and ends with “a celebration of ways to sustain threatened communities.” Brunet plays a writer who re-discovers her roots after having travelled the world.
“Rising sea levels, diminishing water tables, erosion, loss of jobs, and effects of industrial activity: these challenges are compounded by social and cultural differences that isolate our two villages from each other,” explains Lauren Sturgeon, a third-year psychology and sociology student from Miramichi, NB. She plays two roles: a young mainlander who hangs out with a person from the island in the bay, and a city reporter who fails to understand what it’s like to live in either village.
Monctonian Luke Trainor, a fourth-year history, philosophy, and religious studies student has composed music and says that, “there’s hope for both villages because they learn to listen to each other, and because they have a kitchen party together.” This sentiment is shared by fourth-year honours English student Amber Tucker of Pasadena, NL, this year’s other composer.
Teachers receive a learning kit, and performances are followed by an audience talkback. Tintamarre’s unique collaborative process will also be shared through workshops in several schools.
Tintamarre aims to celebrate listening and the role theatre can play in our world.
The tour is supported by the Crake Foundation, the Campbell-Verduyn Internships, Mount Allison alumni and other friends of theatre and Tintamarre.
Twenty-two performances are scheduled, including one on Sunday, May 11, at 4 p.m. in Tweedie Hall on the Mount Allison campus. Free admission, free-will collection, sixty minutes.
– May 1 Pugwash Junior & Senior High Schools, with workshop
– May 2 Riverside School, Milford, NS, two performances
– May 5 Bonar Law Memorial School, Rexton, NB
– May 6 Avonview High School, Windsor, NS two performances & workshop
– May 7 Harmony Heights Elementary School, Truro, NS
– May 8 Oxford Regional Educational Centre, Oxford, NS & Tantramar Regional High School, Sackville , NB
– May 9 Birchmount School, Moncton, NB with workshop / Marshview Middle School, Sackville, NB
– May 11 Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB
– May 13 Springhill Junior High / Springhill Senior High / Springhill Elementary Schools, three performances, Springhill NS
– May 14 Dr John Hugh Gillis Regional High School, Antigonish, NS / Northumberland High School, Alma, NS, with workshop
– May 15 Saint Stephen High School / Fundy High School, St George, NB
– May 16 Harkins Middle School, Miramichi, 2 performances / Losier Junior High School, Miramichi