February 9-18, 2017
The Gladstone Theatre, 910 Gladstone Avenue, Ottawa
Winner of a Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, this astonishing play established Beth Henley as a major voice in theatre. Warm-hearted, irreverent, zany and brilliantly imaginative, the play teems with humanity and humor as it examines the grave yet somehow hilarious troubles of three Mississippi sisters. In the end the play is the story of how its characters escape the past to seize the future—but the telling is so true and touching and consistently hilarious that it will linger in the mind long after the curtain has descended.
Crimes of the Heart is a snapshot of the lives of the three Magrath sisters. It is 1974, five years after hurricane Camille, and five years since the sisters have been together in their hometown of Hazlehurst, Mississippi. The reunion, and all the action of the play, takes place in the kitchen of old Granddaddy’s house. Lenny, the eldest and most over-looked of the sisters, has sent a telegram to Meg, the middle sister who left to pursue a singing career, imploring her to return to Mississippi and help with Babe, the youngest sister, who has been arrested for shooting her abusive husband. During the next 24 hours, the past and present collide in humorous and heartfelt ways, as old and new relationships are brought into view. Memories and resentments come alive for the sisters as they come to terms with the consequences of their own crimes of the heart.
“While this play overflows with infectious high spirits, it is also, unmistakably, the tale of a very troubled family. Such is Miss Henley’s prodigious talent that she can serve us pain as though it were a piece of cake.” —NY Times.
“It has heart, wit and a surprisingly zany passion that must carry all before it…it would certainly be a crime for anyone interested in the theatre not to see this play.” —NY Post.
“From time to time a play comes along that restores one’s faith in our theatre…” —NY Magazine.
September 14-24 2016
Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief
By Paula Vogel
Directed by Bronwyn Steinberg
Stage Managed by Louisa Haché
ASM Hannah Redman
Lighting by David Magladry
Set and Costumes by Nancy Perrin
Desdemona: Élise Gauthier
Emilia: Robin Guy
Bianca: Gabrielle Lalonde
The Gladstone Theatre: 910 Gladstone Avenue, Ottawa
Desdemona… is a sexy and subversive dive into the lives of Shakespeare’s women, slipping into the backroom of Othello’s Cyprian palace and letting the audience in on the secrets that ultimately lead to Desdemona’s downfall. Minor characters in the original story (even Desdemona has little to do in the original play), the noblewoman Desdemona, her servant Emilia, and the prostitute Bianca come front and centre with what was really going on behind the scenes. Delving into the relationships between these three women of contrasting social class and experience with both humour and heartache, Desdemona picks through the boxes into which women file themselves – and each other – in the name of social safety & conformity.
“Desdemona: A play about a handkerchief is a stylish production…with brains heart and courage in this parallel story.” Everything Theatre
“Desdemona offers viewers a hilarious evening’s entertainment” The Upcoming
“Brilliant …this production conjures both the freedom of an all-female environment and the emotional and physical constrictedness that Shakespeare imposed on these female characters.” Exuent
“Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief is an incredibly funny and touching… tour-de-force. It’s exciting for both Othello-lovers and people who’ve skipped Shakespeare’s classic. It’s one of those plays where you feel enchanted, inspired – and disappointed by the shortness of it. Go and experience some fantastic female performances and secret voices of Shakespeare’s women.” A Younger Theatre