Victoria Arts Guide
- Page 30
Phoenix Theatre covering all the bases
From Greek classics to Broadway musicals, Phoenix Theatre’s season covers all the bases UVic’s Department of Theatre is gearing up for the return of their students and an incredible season of plays. The Phoenix Theatre’s 2018-19 Season covers a lot of bases, ranging from a solo show about the hilarious (and not-so-fun struggles) of becoming a mom, to a full-blown musical with a stage crowded with singing and dancing colourful characters (and an airplane). It takes us back in time with an enduringly powerful Greek classic and then forward to the 20th century with a whimsically dark comedy by one of Canada’s top playwrights.

In October, the annual Spotlight on Alumni features the work of alumna and Jessie-nominated playwright and actress, Nicolle Nattrass (BFA ‘91). Her one-woman play, ‘Mamahood: Bursting into Light’ (Oct. 10 to 20) explores her experiences in becoming a new mother at the age of 40 — one she likens to a journey into another world. Complete with ‘80s musical interludes, she shares poignant moments from her initial dreams to her real struggle to become the “perfect mom”.

In November, one of Canada’s distinguished directors and choreographers, Jacques Lemay, will guest direct ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ (Nov. 8 to 24). This farcical send-up of jazz-age musicals was first performed by Toronto theatre mainstays Don McKellar, Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison as a wedding gift for their friends, Janet Van De Graff and Bob Martin. Martin joined the trio as a writer and the play won rave reviews at the Toronto Fringe. Producer David Mirvish picked up the play and booked it for an extended run in two prominent Toronto theatres, before it moved to Broadway in 2006 with Bob Martin in the lead role. Nominated for 14 New York Drama Desk Awards, earning five Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards.

‘Trojan Women’ (Feb. 14 to 23): directing debut of theatre professor, Jan Wood. Jan has 35+ years of experience in professional theatre as an actor, director, movement coach, voice coach and teacher. She will direct this timeless Greek classic — first written in 415 BCE, but still one of the most powerful plays about the casualties of war. Set against the background of the epic tale of the Trojan War, the playwright Euripides shifts our focus away from the conquering heroes. Instead, he tells the story from the perspective of the vanquished wives, mothers and daughters of the defeated Trojan warriors.

The final play of the Phoenix season takes us to the precarious ledge of a seven-storey building with the award-winning play, ‘7 Stories’ (Mar. 14 to 23) by Canadian playwright Morris Panych. Fast-paced and sophisticated, this satire is full of eccentric characters, including a man contemplating suicide. Instead, he is endlessly interrupted by quirky building residents and becomes drawn into the their daily lives. So self-absorbed are his neighbours, that no one even bothers to ask why he’s out there! This quick-witted, dark comedy is in good hands with director and Professor Fran Gebhard, who has directed many comedies for the Phoenix.

The Phoenix season is available as a 3 or 4-package subscription, starting at $40.50 — saving you up 50 per cent off regular ticket prices with many subscriber benefits.

Tickets for individual shows available one week in advance of each play. Contact the Phoenix Theatre at phoenixtheatres.ca for details or call: 250-721-8000.