How should we talk with young people about change in our world? Should we highlight change in the natural world? In society? How do we prepare for change?
More than three thousand Maritime students will encounter these and other questions when Tintamarre, Mount Allison University’s bilingual theatre company, performs VILLAGES during their annual school tour.
Every year, volunteers from throughout the Mount Allison campus create an original, fast-paced, activist comedy with music that entertains and prompts reflection.
Alex Fancy, founder-director of Tintamarre, says that “theatre explores important and sensitive issues in a respectful manner.” He adds that their new play is “a visit to two villages facing a convergence of environmental and socio-economic challenges.”
Over 40 actors, designers and technicians created the original production, through a collaborative process that has engaged students for three decades, and is known well beyond Mount Allison. Twelve actor-students will stage the school-tour version.
Teachers receive a learning kit, and performances are followed by an audience talkback. Tintamarre’s unique collaborative process will also be shared through workshops in several schools.
Natalie Brunet (Ottawa, 4th year, International Relations/ Hispanic Studies/ Gender Studies) is this year’s Associate Director. She explains that the play is, as usual, up-beat and ends with “a celebration of ways to sustain threatened communities.” Brunet plays a writer who re-discovers her roots after having travelled the world.
“Rising sea levels, diminishing water tables, erosion, loss of jobs, and effects of industrial activity : these challenges are compounded by social and cultural differences that isolate our two villages from each other,” explains Lauren Sturgeon, (Miramichi, 3rd year, Psychology and Sociology). She plays two roles : a young mainlander who hangs out with a person from the island in the bay, and a city reporter who fails to understand what it’s like to live in either village.
Luke Trainor, (Moncton, 4th year, History, Philosophy and Religious Studies) has composed music and says that “there’s hope for both villages because they learn to listen to each other, and because they have a kitchen party together.” This sentiment is shared by Amber Tucker (Pasadena, NL, 4th year Honours English), this year’s other composer.
Tintamarre aims to celebrate listening and the role theatre can play in our world.
The tour is supported by the Crake Foundation, the Campbell-Verduyn Internships, Mount Allison alumni and other friends of theatre and Tintamarre.
Twenty-two performances are scheduled, including one on Sunday, May 11th, at 4:00 PM in Tweedie Hall on the Mount Allison campus. Free admission, free-will collection, sixty minutes.
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org 506-364-2480 mta.ca/tintamarre