Capital Critics' Circle
Le cercle des critiques de la capitale

Reviewing Theatre in Canada's Capital Region
La critique théâtrale de la région Ottawa-Gatineau

The Extremely Short New Play Festival: An event that opens the stage for new writers.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

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Photo. Andrew Alexander. Brad Long and Gabrielle Lazarovitz (Ex Libris by Yohanan Kaldi)

Ten short plays directed by John Koensgen, presented in rapid sequence but set in spaces that are similarly designed so that there is almost no visual distinction among the works. Also the same four actors return in various roles so the performances are not as highlighted as the texts themselves. That is no doubt the reasoning behind this form of staging: It draws our attention to the writing and less to the staging. An important experiment that gives younger playwrights, as well as some seasoned ones, a chance to have their work shown in public.

I liked Pierre Brault’s Quartet because it was a playful meeting of four voices that appeared to be written as a musical score, rather than a dialogue. Very good. He used extra linguistic means (rhythm, pauses, and quality of sound, accent, rhyme, intonation and all such things) as the four voices wove their way around each other and eventually ended in a duo that matched beautifully. Michel Tremblay did this a lot in Les Belles –Soeurs and in other works…it’s a technique that highlights language and Brault with Koensgen directing captured the flow very well.

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