GuineaPigging read-through

I had the great pleasure of acting in the last workshop/staged reading of Catherine Frid’s play GuineaPigging, directed by Molly Thom, a little over a year ago – and was very happy to be at the read-through that launched its full-fledged premiere production on our main stage last night.

We had quite the gang assembled – so many people, that not all of us fit around the two large tables that had been pushed together for the read-through, so a bunch of us were sitting in a line of chairs upstage. Producers PJ Hammond and Tabitha Keast assembled a nice spread of cookies, fruit and beverages for us – and actor Chantale Groulx brought in a homemade chocolate cake!

Playwright Cate Frid and director Molly Thom have an excellent cast assembled for this world premiere. And there are few familiar faces in the cast: Chantale, Chris Reid (who couldn’t make it last night) and Tim Walker were all in the last workshop/reading, and Laura Vincent will be playing the young lead. Arfina Abdourahime, Lionel Boodlal, Krista Marchand and Alan Norman rounded out the cast in attendance, although Alan got a paying gig and will have to be replaced (the second time for this character – such is the world of non-paying theatre).

Production team folks were also present: Razie Brownstone (props), designers Angus Barlow (sound), Jennie Grimard (costumes) and Ed Rosing (set and lighting), as well as AD Laurie Williams, and Navneet Rai and Seema Lakhani (who will be assisting with production and marketing, respectively). Super busy marketing gal Tina McCulloch is rehearsing two shows, so couldn’t make it out last night. Ed presented his three-part set, with floor plan and palette tailored to each playing area, the pharma testing lab being the main location. Slick, sterile and corporate – complete with company logo.

Always a blast to see a script in process and it was especially gratifying to hear it at its first production rehearsal. This is some big, farce fun – with more than a few thoughtful moments too. Thanks to Razie for the drive!

I’ll be dropping by rehearsal later in the process – but will update with rehearsal photos in the meantime.

p.s. – just updated the Summer’s End stumble-through post with a photo; scroll down and check it out.

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