If a nearly nude young man with a placard doesn’t induce you to buy your season’s tickets, maybe the lineup will.
Theatre lovers gathered at the Irving Greenberg Theatre on April 8 to celebrate the Great Canadian Theatre Company’s (GCTC) 40th anniversary and get a sneak peek at the season ahead.
Daniel MacIvor’s play The Best Brothers, which ran at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre last fall, is coming to GCTC in March 2015. GCTC’s artistic director, Eric Coates, who hosted Tuesday’s launch party, will direct.
“It’s two brothers — one of them’s gay and one of them’s straight, and there’s a lot of tension between them, but it’s not about sexuality," Coates says in an interview with Xtra. “They just don’t get along. The joke is the mother of these two guys is killed by a drag queen who falls off a float at the Pride parade trying to pet the mother’s little dog and crushes the mother to death ’cause [the drag queen] is huge.”
Andy Massingham, a popular Ottawa actor, will play Kyle, the gay real estate agent who’s dating a sex worker. John Ng will play Hamilton, his uptight heterosexual brother.
“The thrust of the play is they have to look after this dog that actually caused their mother’s death, and the dog’s a nightmare,” Coates says. “It’s a very funny play.”
The evening began with Nhanci Wright, chair of the board of directors, talking about the early days of GCTC, which was founded in 1975 by a group of professors and graduate students at Carleton University. From its “humble beginnings” of staging plays in an old fire hall to its move to the beautiful Irving Greenberg Theatre in 2007, the theatre’s success is because of its artists, audiences, volunteers and donors, she says.
Here’s a look at the other plays of 2014/2015:
• The season kicks off with the world premiere of The Boy in the Moon. Based on Ian Brown’s memoir about his son Walker, who has a rare genetic condition, the play is written by Emil Sher and will be directed by Coates.
• In Fish Eyes & Boys With Cars — written, choreographed and performed by Anita Majumdar — you’ll meet Bollywood-style dancers stuck in the ’burbs and dreaming of escape.
• Pomme and ’Restes: Shipwrecked! — A Company of Fools has written this adventure about a pair of clowns working on a cruise ship that gets marooned on a desert island. Life on the island is entertaining because it’s inhabited by island-themed literary figures, from Captain Hook to Anne of Green Gables.
• George F Walker’s Moss Park is a dark comedy about Tina and Bobby, who have a baby, no money and big disagreements about their future. Directed by Patrick McDonald.
• You can be a longtime Ottawan and never meet one, but Public Servant is about an idealistic civil servant determined to make a difference. Written by Jennifer Brewin, Haley McGee, Sarah McVie and Amy Rutherford; directed by Jennifer Brewin.