In light of Alberta Theatre Projects going public with its financial difficulties a couple of weeks back and subsequent fundraising appeal, the announcement of its 2017/18 season, themed “Defy Expectations,” is a strong, optimistic outlook for the dynamic theatre company.
Current artistic director Vanessa Porteous states in the announcement: “In our 2017-18 season, we’re sharing six audacious stories that will inspire, challenge, thrill, and bring us together to celebrate the incomparable power and potential of the human spirit.”
• The season begins with The Last Wife by Kate Hennig — a modern-day re-imagining of Katherine Parr’s marriage to Henry VIII. This is Hennig’s first play of The Queenmaker Trilogy and is directed by Glynis Leyshon. The Last Wife runs September 12 to 30.
• To The Light by Evelyne de la Chenelière, translated by John Murrell, follows. It was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s 1927 novel To The Lighthouse and touches on loss and the power of friendships, and their relationship to our identity. To the Light runs Oct. 17 to Nov. 4.
• Returning to the ATP stage Nov. 21 to Dec. 31 is the company’s holiday show, the smash-hit production of Charlotte’s Web, a stage adaptation of the children’s classic by E.B. White and featuring the directorial debut of ATP’s Director of artistic programming, Laurel Green.
• In a co-presentation with One Yellow Rabbit for the 32nd Annual High Performance Rodeo, ATP offers up Empire of the Son by Tetsuro Shigematsu. Shigematsu’s one-man show tells the tale of his rocky relationship with his father through striking cinematic vignettes and a look at his father’s personal history. Empire of the Son runs Jan. 16 to 28.
• Feb. 27 to March 17 we see Constellations by Nick Payne being directed by Valerie Planche and brought to the ATP stage. It’s a love story about an unlikely romance between a beekeeper and a physicist, played out across parallel universes.
• Completing ATP’s upcoming season will be a world premiere written by Canadian playwright Tracey Power. Glory is set in the 1930s and tells the story of four friends setting out to prove that hockey isn’t just for men. This inspiring play runs April 3 to 21.
Kari Watson is a writer and former Listings Editor of Fast Forward Weekly, and has continued to bring event listings to Calgary through her website, The Culture Cycle. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.