Last night in the lobby* of Alumnae Theatre, director Ali Richardson presented her cast doing a first read-through of the script of The Clean House, the final show in Alumnae Theatre Company’s season. It was the first time many of the cast had met, but they did an amazing job, aided by producer Laura Jabalee Johnston’s reading of the often-funny stage directions. Also present for this first read were set designer Orly Zebak, costume designer Daina Valiulis, props designer Helen Monroe, and sound designer Nick Potter. Stage Manager Lizz Armstrong and Production Manager/lighting designer Steph Raposo unfortunately could not be there; they’re currently working on other shows. Several Alumnae Theatre Company reps attended by invitation, including bloggergal (yours truly), Alumnae’s President Brenda Darling, and marketing team members Carina Cojeen (who took the photo) and Jeanette Dagger.
Sarah Ruhl’s delightful and semi-mystical play The Clean House was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.
L-R: Annemieke Wade (Virginia), Lilia Leon (Ana), Andrea Irwin (Lane), Marina Moreira (Matilde), Laura Jabalee Johnston (producer), Ali Richardson (director) at the first read. Neil Silcox (Charles) would be at far left. Photo: Carina Cojeen.
In it, Lane (played by Andrea Irwin) is a buttoned-up workaholic Connecticut doctor who hires a young Brazilian woman, Matilde (Marina Moreira) as her housekeeper. But Matilde (the Portugese pronounciation is approximately “ma-chil-jee”) hates to clean – she’d rather spend her time coming up with the perfect joke. Lane’s sister, Virginia (Annemieke Wade), a bored but smart-mouthed stay-at-home wife, is a confidante to both. Lane’s surgeon husband Charles (Neil Silcox) is mentioned, but conspicuously absent for almost all of Act I. He shows up in Act II, falling madly in love with one of his patients, Ana (Lilia Leon). The resulting love triangle was played out both comically and with deep emotion – a beautiful balancing act by the actors, especially at this early stage.
Looking forward to seeing this production as it develops in rehearsals! The finished article will be presented on the Main Stage at Alumnae Theatre, April 7 – 22.
See the Facebook event (https://www.facebook.com/events/1301005259957126/) and Alumnae Theatre website for more info and news.
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*because every other space in the building was in use – no kidding! Rehearsals for New Ideas Festival (opening March 8) on both the 2nd floor and in the Studio; and Toronto Irish Players are renting the mainstage for The Night Joe Dolan’s Car Broke Down (running to March 4).