On Jan. 12-15 and 19-22, Burning Coal Theatre Company will present the Southeastern premiere of Mary’s Wedding, Canadian actor, playwright, and screenwriter Stephen Massicotte’s 2002 poignant “dream play” about two star-crossed lovers separated by World War I. North Carolina director Josh Benjamin will stage the show in Burning Coal Theatre, near the Historic Oakwood Section of downtown Raleigh, NC, as part of Burning Coal’s “Wait Til You See This!” second-stage series. GoodReads.com blogger Letitia awarded Mary’s Wedding four of five stars and called it “Heartbreaking … but in the beautiful way that makes you love to cry.”
According to the Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia:
“Playwright and actor Stephen Massicotte was born in Trenton Ontario in 1969, and grew up in Thunder Bay. He attended Cambrian College in Sudbury, where he graduated with a Diploma in Graphic Design and Advertising. He subsequently graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary.
“His first plays were short Fringe productions, in which he acted with friends…. His first full-length work was Mary’s Wedding, which took three years to research and gestate and two years to rework at Alberta Theatre Projects. A ‘dream play’ set in 1920 on the evening before Mary’s wedding, it tracks back in time to her relationship with a young prairie farm lad, who leaves to fight the War to End All Wars, but who remains alive and present in her imagination and memory.
“Mary’s Wedding was enthusiastically received by Calgary audiences and reviewers, and awarded the Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play in 2002, and the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for outstanding new publication.
“Since its premiere at ATP playRites Festival in 2002, it has been produced across the country [and] in Washington and San Jose, and in Perth, Scotland, and translated into French.
“Massicotte has also written a screenplay for Mary’s Wedding. [It] has been adapted as an opera, which premiered in Victoria in [November] 2011 ….”
In its news release on Mary’s Wedding, Burning Coal Theatre Company writes:
“Mary and Charlie [played in the Burning Coal production by Caitlin Davis and Matthew Hager first] meet as they take shelter in a barn from a gathering thunderstorm. As their relationship begins to blossom, World War I interferes and Charlie heads off to war with the Canadian Cavalry Division.
“While Charlie’s dream of glorious warfare is shattered by the reality of day-to-day life in the trenches, Mary is left to hang on to the bits of information she gets from Charlie’s letters. She dreams of the day he makes it home from war and they can be married.
“[But a]s the war drags on, Mary hopes that her dreams will be enough to keep Charlie alive in her heart until their wedding day.”
Burning Coal Theatre Company adds:
“[Director] Joshua Benjamin is a freelance director from Mebane, NC and a Burning Coal Theatre Company Member. For Burning Coal[, he has directed]: Mary’s Wedding, Limbo, [and] Way to Heaven (assistant director). [His other] Area credits [include]: Love Drunk (J&J Productions), Right Place Right Time (Stillwater Theatre), Art, Our Town, [and] The Libation Bearers….”
“Caitlin Davis plays Mary in the production. This is her first Burning Coal show. Her credits include an Off-Broadway production of Stop the Virgens at the Creator’s Project, directed by Adam Rapp, Tartuffe at Triad Stage, [and] The Ugly Duckling at Bright Star Theatre. Film: Karen O — Stop the Virgens, Zero Sum Game, The 14th Burning, Somewhere Over Arkansas, The Importance of Being Honest, [and] Break a Home a House. She graduated from UNC-Greensboro in 2011.
“Matthew Hager plays Charlie. Mary’s Wedding is Matthew’s first full production with Burning Coal. Other credits include Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Finch in The Collective for UNC’s LAB! Theatre, and Babbs in Charley’s Aunt at Theatre in the Park. Matthew has trained at UNC-Chapel Hill (BA Dramatic Arts, 2011), DePaul University, Shakespeare & Co., and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.”
In his director’s notes for the ATP premiere presentation of Mary’s Wedding, playwright Stephen Massicotte wrote:
“… [Mary’s Wedding] was going to be a war play [about the War to end All Wars]. However, I was in love when I wrote it and I thought it was more of a love to end all loves. This is not that love story but the more I loved her, the more Mary and Charlie loved each other. The more I longed to return to her, the more they longed to return to each other. So the war play became a love story. I wrote it to forget her and to get her back and to remember her and to let her go.”
Burning Coal Theatre Company presents MARY’S WEDDING at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12-14, 2 p.m. Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19-21, and 2 p.m. Jan. 22 in Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School, 224 Polk St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27604.
BOX OFFICE: 919/538-1742, firstname.lastname@example.org, or http://www.etix.com/.
The Play: http://www.canadiantheatre.com/dict.pl?term=Mary’s Wedding (Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia).
The Playwright: http://www.canadiantheatre.com/dict.pl?term=Massicotte, Stephen (Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Massicotte (Wikipedia).
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