"Village Wooing will win your heart"
—Joff Schmidt, CBC Theatre Reviewer
Village Wooing is a clever romantic comedy by George Bernard Shaw
written in 1933, in which an intellectual upper class travel writer
meets a phone
operator looking for a husband. It's one of the productions in Shawfest
SCENE asked Krista Jackson, an actor, director and co-founder of zone41 theatre, how her unique theatrical and visual art production came to be:
Last February, it was announced that RMTC's 2012 Master Playwright
Festival was going to be Shaw and I found out that Eric Lesage would be
showing his woven panels of a 1956 Webster's Dictionary, titled Re: Definition, at RAW: Gallery
of Architecture and Design during the usual Festival time slot. I had
seen the panels at the WAG Supernovas show in 2006 and knew I wanted to
direct a two person (named A & Z) gem of Shaw's, called Village
Wooing as zone41 theatre's second show. Shaw was both a reformer of
the English alphabet and a master weaver of words and ideas, so
presenting his play with Lesage's art seemed perfect.
Panel by Eric Lesage (Eric Lesage)
I cold emailed Joe Kalturnyk at RAW to see if they would be interested in my new theatre company presenting in conjunction with Eric Lesage's work. Here we are opening at the gallery and proudly featuring local actors Graham Ashmore and Tracy Penner within the 15 panel exhibit.
Joe, Eric and I worked together to use the labyrinth of panels in the gallery space so the exhibit -- lit throughout the performance -- becomes a third character in the play. The play and the panels reflect each other. Shaw lived from 1856 to 1950 and it is wild to think that all the words in the English language that Shaw used during his prolific writing career are in the panels of that Webster's 1956 Encyclopedic Dictionary.
When Tracy Penner -- the actress playing Z -- first saw the panels at RAW it gave her new insight into her character and the play. Penner said, "I think it adds a 'mysterious' feel to her and her shop -- almost as though she could cast a spell on you if she wanted. The two characters are constantly trying to 'define' one another and in the end none of it matters. Just as Eric states that the panels aren't about the actual words. A & Z are two people suspended in time, just as the panels are suspended in space."
Audiences are invited to be part of our adventure by witnessing Shaw's battle of the sexes in an intimate gallery setting. And of course, we invite everyone to stay after the performance to take in Lesage's extraordinary exhibit. Village Wooing runs January 19 - 29 at RAW: Gallery of Architecture and design with Eric Lesage's Re: Definition as part of RMTC's ShawFest.
Tickets: 230.5018 or firstname.lastname@example.org
zone 41 theatre's Krista Jackson (Dylan Hewlett)