A contemporary triptych – two Canadian playwrights reflect on life in the modern theatre.

Michel Tremblay’s Johnny Mangano and His Astonishing Dogs and Gloria Star are two stylish, very 20th century one-acts which examine the disparity between the seedy reality of two-bit showbiz, and the glitz and glamour of the American dream of showmanship and stardom. Daniel McIvor’s This is A Play lets us hear what’s really going on inside the heads of a trio of actors during a performance of a strange domestic drama about lettuce. A comedy about a tragedy inside a parody, this is meta-theatre at its most amusing and up-to-date best.

Media Reviews

“The first two one act plays Johnny Mangano & His Astonishing Dogs and Gloria Star have been spliced together well, forming a comedic look at backstage life in the 70’s for a husband and wife dog act. The only problem is when you are dealing with Canada’s best known Francophone playwright, Michel Tremblay, the comedy is never quite where you expect it.”

“This is a Play is a hilarious poke at theatrical pretence by veteran performer and playwright Daniel MacIvor.  Three skilled young performers, Katie Lawson, Dalal Badr and Ben Lawrence give us a glimpse at the paranoia involved in the self-centred art of acting.  Fears about remembering lines, wigs fitting, hitting their lighting marks and whether or not their mothers are in the audience belie the art involved in acting.  To reinforce the point, the action is punctuated by a lecture on the nature of originality, with slides of Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans and other advertising icons flashed across Patrick du Wors versatile set. This is a Play is worth the trip.”

– Robert Mitchell, CBC Reviewer

This is a Play  – Overacting is de riguer here and Katie LawsonDalal Badr and Ben Lawrence are clearly enjoying the opportunity to indulge, and have the talent to pull it off.  An intentionally unoriginal original score by Peter Brown, complete with a deadpan, uncredited, voiceover commentary and projected PopArt images, adds immeasurably to the mock-serious tone.  This is a very clever and witty piece, which is worth the price of admission on its own.”

– Ian Cochrane, Monday Magazine


Show Dates

February 15 – February 24, 2001

Matinee – Saturday, February 24 – 2pm
Pre-Show Lecture – February 16 – 7pm
Dinner Theatre – February 20

Cast & Creative

Director: Pia Wyatt
Set Designer: Patrick du Wors
Costume Designer (Johnny Mangano & Gloria Star): Kris Johnston
Costume Designer (This is a Play): Heather Libby
Lighting Designer: Karen Goddard
Sound Designer: Jay Bennett
Musical Composer (This is a Play): Peter Brown
Stage Manager: Alison Latimer

Cast (Johnny Mangano): Devon Pipars and Alex Robertson.

Cast (Gloria Star): Elicia Cronin, Bronwyn Davies Glover, Rebecca Henderson, Jay Hindle, Kim Isbister, Melissa Robertson, Adele Sacks, Katie Siney, Georgina Spelvin and Brodie Stevenson.

Cast (This is a Play): Dalal Badr, Ben Lawrence and Katie Lawson.