Mikado - 2-May-05 (7)

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Jury Foreman

Pamela Rowe talks about her role in 12 Angry Women

   It took me a while to build a character for the foreman(which I think it would have been called in the 50’s). I decided that in a big city there would be at least one Jewish person and I gave her an appropriate accent so I believe that adds a bit of interest and humour to the character plus it gives me something more to work with. The prejudices that we experience in the play are sadly as relevant today as they were in the plays time frame. I hope the play allows us to think about our attitudes and the ease at which we aquiesce to group mentality.
  Since returning to the island I have participated in a play read and taught a course at the National Theatre School. Drama Festival at Watermark Theatre. I have been fortunate  since I am also a registered nurse to work part time allowing me to to have been a member of the Vancouver Bach Choir, take a pre-professional training year with Neptune Theatre, and be involved in theatre both in Nova Scotia and Vancouver. Before heading west I spent a summer doing three shows here at Victoria Playhouse. 
My husband and I bought, moved, and renovated a large one room schoolhouse where we now live with our dog Radar in Brackley Beach.

Posted by RobAdmin on 04/22 at 02:21 PM
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Here Come da Judge!

Frances Gray - Music … and Judge

  After a 45-year career as Professor of Piano and Music Theory at UPEI, and longtime role as pianist/keyboardist with the PEI Symphony Orchestra, Fran takes a temporary break from Bach, Brahms and Chopin — for something quite different.  At the invitation of director Terry Pratt, she makes her debut performing new-to-her incidental music for 12 Angry Women.  To fit the era of the play, Fran will be playing 50’s rock-n-roll and excerpts from the musical My Fair Lady.  She had similarly performed incidental music for ACT’s play The Dining Room.

  There’s also an acting role (sort of).  As the play starts, Fran will be heard as the sober voice of the judge.  Her one-and-only other cameo vocal role was as Inez, the nursemaid in ACT’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta, The Gondoliers.

  Frances Gray is actually a very classy classical pianist, with three CDs to her credit.  Though retired from academia, she continues to enjoy practising, reading music, teaching a few students and concertizing. She likes to attend concerts, ballet, and theatre performances. She has embraced the Seniors College and immersed herself in many new experiences and areas of interest.  She took up bridge two years ago and has tried to master the basics, aspiring to play with those who have been at the game for a lifetime!  She has two beautiful granddaughters, ages four and two, living in Halifax.

Posted by RobAdmin on 04/22 at 02:14 PM
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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Juror #5 - Tamara Steele

“I learned how to knit for this play!”

  “This is a play play which encourages the audience to contemplate the value of independent thinking, and reminds us that, even today, we must continue to fight negative stereotypes and prejudices.”  That’s a chief reason Tamara Steele is excited about being a part of 12 Angry Women.

  Tamara is certainly familiar with acting in strong, meaningful drama.  Her record includes four such pieces with ACT (a community theatre): Doubt (2013), Inherit the Wind (2014), Women of a Certain Age (2015), and The Laramie Project (2016).  But she has also had wide experience in other sorts of performance over the years between 2009 and 2016: the Christmas pantomimes at the Confederation Centre, and various other community theatre and local independent film productions.

  When she heard about the auditions for 12 Angry Women, she realized it had been a couple of years since her last thespian endeavour, and that she was really missing being on stage.

  In her work life Tamara is the Administrative Assistant at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery.  Besides theatre and visual art, she’s a musician: “I sing pretty much all the time,” she admits … but most notably with local band Lady Soul.  At home, she and her husband Mark have two dogs and a cat.

  Tamara plays Juror #5.  This is a person who has apparently lived in a state of disadvantage.  She is quite intelligent and observant … but she is also insecure and has a tendency towards defensiveness.  One other thing, Tamara says: “I learned how to knit for this play!”

Posted by RobAdmin on 04/18 at 08:18 AM
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Sunday, April 14, 2019

12 Angry Women - a family affair

Marla Haines - Juror #7

  Marla Haines has been involved in theatre since she played Little Red Riding Hood in kindergarten.  She is an actress, writer, director, producer, and most recently she has ventured into film-making.  She has been involved with ACT for over ten years, five of those on the ACT board.  Before that she was a member of the Harbourfront Players.  Her most recent shows include Raised on TV, The Laramie Project, and Our Town.  She jumped at the chance to be a part of the dynamic group of 12 Angry Women.

  There’s an interesting extra factor: Marla’s husband Richard is the Producer of this play.  Indeed, theatre is a Haines family affair: on top of all Richard’s work in several circles, daughter Gillian is now studying in Vancouver to be a professional Stage Manager.  “It was a thrill to act with both of them in Our Town a few years ago,” Marla says.  “Richard and I love working together and we have been cast as husband and wife a couple of times, which a real stretch for us!” Marla jokes.

  Marla will be playing Juror #7.  “This character is a nasty piece of work,” Marla says.  She’s loud, pushy, self-absorbed, and believes she’s a “real” American.  Marla has created a back-story for her character.  She imagines her local New York City birth in humble circumstances … marrying an entrepreneur and perhaps running the business as he went off to fight in the Second World War.  With sale skills and drive, she kept their business going and made it thrive.  Now in the jury room, she is a hard-headed, single-minded force, interested only in getting out of the jury job as fast as she can, so she can get back to her busy life.

Posted by RobAdmin on 04/14 at 01:32 PM
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Saturday, April 13, 2019

PEI Community Theatre Festival 2019

8 groups made it a fine afternoon!

  Saturday afternoon, March 30th at the Carrefour: what a great Community Theatre Festival it was.  It was enjoyed by the biggest audience we’ve ever had.
  Eight amateur groups presented a dandy variety of pieces: a comic repartee atop the Tower of Babel, a poetic dramatization of a Homeric tale, a gripping drama about teenage angst, a belly-laugh spoof of Tim’s ‘Roll-up-the-rim’ fervour, an amazing improv theatre game, three stand-up comedians, an absurdist amusement about moving a woodpile, and colourful creations of Mi’kmaq legends.
  You can see the photos by clicking on ‘Gallery’ in the upper-right corner of the screen ... and scrolling down to click on ‘Community Theatre Festival 2019.’
  Making it all happen: 40 actors ... a half-a-dozen front-of-house volunteers ... our sponsors and contributors: The Buzz, Bluefield Realty, the Belvedere dental clinic; Watermark Theatre, Spotlight School of Arts, Victoria Playhouse, and the Confederation Centre/Charlottetown Festival; Sobeys, Superstore and Foodland.  And a rotating play-to-play audience of about 250 loved it.
  Thanks to all for this fitting observance of World Theatre Day.

Posted by RobAdmin on 04/13 at 07:46 PM
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Friday, April 12, 2019

A Not-so-Angry Woman

Catherine MacDonald - Juror # 8

  What’s it like to have an open mind when everyone else thinks in black-and-white simplicity?  That’s what Catherine MacDonald’s character faces.  She’s swimming against the stream, and it’s a powerful current in that jury room.  She’s smart; she’s also compassionate and committed to fairness.  “She reminds me of my father,” Catherine says, “with her intelligence and her insistence on justice.”

  Juror #8 is the voice of evidence-based reason.  In a way, she personifies the theme that is so significant in the play, and in our current times — when facts and even truth seem threatened by bias, willful ignorance and the easy answer.

  Catherine has a huge range of experience in portraying fascinating women.  She played Marie Claire/Veronica Franco in the original production of Shameless Hussies.  She has been Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Ursula (Much Ado About Nothing), and Gertrude (Hamlet).  She was also in earlier ACT productions — 1837: The Farmer’s Revolt, The Four-Cornered Couch, and The Lover.  In recent years she’s been involved in Raised on TV 2 and 3.  Now with 12 Angry Women she is excited about “the opportunity to try my hand at a powerful modern drama.”

  Catherine actually started out as a dancer — mostly Highland, but also ballet.  One of her favourite experiences was dancing in Hooray For Hollywood, a community musical at the Confederation Centre directed by Alan Lund, no less. She plays the piano, too, and has been both chorister and accompanist in several choirs.  She has spent most of her professional career teaching English at Charlottetown Rural High School.

  “I do love acting,” she admits, “but really the three best things in my life are Garrett, Ellie, and Brooklyn, my amazing children.”

Posted by RobAdmin on 04/12 at 08:13 AM
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