Entertainment Local

QCT comes full circle

By JT McVeigh, The Enterprise-Bulletin

COLLINGWOOD — When Rochelle Reynolds set her season schedule for Quarter Century Theatre, she knew that she wanted to bring a different voice of theatre to the area.

Preparing for the fourth and final production of the young company’s season, Reynolds’ latest production brings her schedule full circle with Wild Abandon, a humorously dark one-man play written by well-known Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor.

“It has been a really interesting process as the director and with Graham (Conway), the fellow who is playing the character,” said Reynolds during a break in rehearsals for the Nov. 9 opening.

“This is a play I studied in university and I just thought that it was brilliantly written and funny, and although it is darkly written, it is hilarious.”

A back cover synopsis of the play describes in as Conway playing a witty, opinionated and slightly neurotic man on a quest to find himself and understand the world around him.

“The process of putting this together has been very collaborative. Stopping and talking things through, we are painting a cohesive path for the story. For about 75% of the play you know where the character is going, what wavelength he is on, and then he suddenly takes off and puts the plot on its head,” said Reynolds.

MacIvor has championed the black box theatre, Reynolds says, basically in stories like Wild Abandon, he puts a person in a space and that can be taken for granted.

When Reynolds started QCT, the plan was to bring theatre to the area that isn’t always performed here.

“Wild Abandon is probably the signature style that I want to be producing more of. We started off the season with Salt Water Moon, which was staged in a really unique way but at its core it is a nice play that is easy for people to access,” Reynolds said. “And then we moved into Palace of the End which was completely the other way; the type of play that would encourage an audience to be uncomfortable with and then Megantic was challenging because it was a brand new show and it was just me putting everything on the line.”

Top talent leads the play in this production. Conway is a recognized actor in his own right, receiving a Dora this year for his production of Peter Pan that he is bringing to Soulpepper in December.

“To round off the season with something that is so bizarre and deliberately unstructured ... I’m excited about it,” said Reynolds.

Wild Abandon is playing at the Simcoe Street Theatre, 65 Simcoe Street, Collingwood, from Nov. 9 to 11. Performances begins at 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are $35 and are available at www.qctheatre.ca or the theatre Collingwood box office.



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