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Season With No Theme Set For 2013|14

February 26, 2013
Old habits die hard. And so once again this year, foolishly, perhaps, I went looking for “a theme,” a thread which, no matter how thin, might somehow connect the six plays that will comprise the Main Stage Series at Globe Theatre next season.

 
There isn’t one, of course. How could there be? As artistic director Ruth Smillie explained patiently, hoping it would sink in this time, with 70 per cent of the total revenue coming from the box office, the last thing she wants, or needs, is a focus so narrow it resembles a theme. A far better strategy is to choose a combination of plays whose broad appeal is more likely to satisfy as wide an audience as possible.
 

However, there are at least “patterns.” Several of them. Like what, you ask? Well, like the fact that the Season With No Theme will open and close with plays that will be directed by Max Reimer, who made his Globe debut last fall by staging Billy Bishop Goes To War.

Reimer was offered his choice of The Last Resort and Man of La Mancha. He asked if he could please do both and his wish was granted.
 
The Last Resort, script by Norm Foster, music and lyrics by Leslie Arden, is a light-hearted whodunnit set in a lodge in northern Saskatchewan where a “stool pigeon” under the watchful eye of an FBI agent is hiding out from the mob with a hired gun hot on his heels.

Man of La Mancha
, script by Dale Wasserman, music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion, needs no introduction (but it’s going to get a short one anyway). A blockbuster musical inspired by the Miguel de Cervantes novel Don Quixote, it blends romance, action and comedy with a sentimental bottom-line message. It also happens to be the show that gave us the song “The Impossible Dream,” for which we ought to be eternally grateful.
 
I suppose you could argue that the Season With No Theme is united with seasons of the past by the fact that Smillie continues to honour her pledge to have three of the six productions directed by women, in this particular case Courtenay Dobbie for Sleeping Beauty, Valerie Ann Pearson (Becky’s New Car) and, making her Main Stage directorial debut, Judy Wensel (Salt-Water Moon).
 
A classic fairy tale recreated for this occasion by Smillie, Sleeping Beauty has the distinction of serving as the Globe’s holiday show. Becky’s New Car, by Steven Dietz, tells of a middle-aged married woman who arrives at a crossroads when she meets a handsome millionaire. Salt-Water Moon, by David French, is a story of young love that takes us back in time to a small town in Newfoundland in the 1920s.
 
Finally, the Season With No Theme further strengthens the link between Smillie and her Globe predecessor Susan Ferley, in the sense that the two artistic directors will have programmed all seven installments of the Wingfield saga, the most recent of which is titled Wingfield Lost And Found, written by Dan Needles, directed by Douglas Beattie, and featuring Rod Beattie.
 
The Shumiatcher Sandbox Series will offer the following:

* Shangri-La, written and performed by Judy Wensel, directed by Denise Clarke, is a nostalgic look at the summer of 1963 through the eyes of a 13-year-old girl.
 
* Lipstick Smears and Mermaid Tears: Memoirs of a Sinking Soul is described by Smillie as a shadow puppet show inside an installation art piece in which Tamara Unroe presents a mythical world under the sea.
 
* Conrad-Roy: A Love Story, written and performed by Dakota Hebert and Rebecca Lascue, is a romantic comedy in which complications arise in the form of the title character’s doomed love for a first cousin.
 
* Alexander Abrams’ Magical Space Boots, written and performed by Colby Richardson and Jonah McFadzean, directed by Shaunna Dunn, uses animation, puppetry and visual art in a staged-reading presentation from the realms of science fiction and fantasy.
 
* Fusion Project is the annual collective creation that showcases the many and diverse talents of young artists in training at the Globe Theatre School.
 
Visit the Globe Theatre Plays page to view the entire 2013|14 lineup.
 
Nick Miliokas is a freelance writer and editor based in Regina. You can reach him by email at rozenstern@rocketmail.com.
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