A Clever Comedy
By Willy Russell
Directed by Micheline Chevrier
Brash, straight-talking Rita bursts into University night classes determined to change her life. Her tutor Frank is an alcohol-fueled lecturer, a failed poet and a self-acknowledged ‘appalling teacher of appalling students’ who has just about given up. In need of some extra cash, he agrees to tutor Rita, totally unaware of the whirlwind that’s about to enter his world.
In Willy Russell’s intimate comedy about self-discovery and choices, Rita shows Frank that sometimes, students are the best teachers.
“A marvelous play, painfully funny and passionately serious!”
- – The Sunday Times
“A truly great play… a succession of blissful one-liners!”
- – Daily Telegraph
Student Matinee – Presented by TD Bank Group
October 15, 11:00am
Evening Performances: Tuesday through Saturday 8:00pm
Matinees: Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday 2:30pm
Running Time: 2 hours (with intermission)
CastRita (Susan): Charlotte Gowdy
Frank Bryant: Blair Williams
CreativeDirector: Micheline Chevrier
Set & Costume Designer: Diana Uribe
Sound Designer: Adam Harendorf
Lighting Designer: Michael Walton
Stage Manager: Jessica Severin
Apprentice Stage Manager: Théa Pel
Dialect Coach: Alison Deon
MICHELINE CHEVRIER (Director)
For the Playhouse: Debut.
Elsewhere: Helen’s Necklace, Albertine in Five Times, The Tinker’s Wedding, A Room of One’s Own (Shaw Festival); If We Were Birds, Thinking of Yu, Champ de Mars: A Story of War (Imago Theatre); Top Girls (Segal Centre); Intimate Apparel, Doubt (Centaur Theatre); The Iliad, A Thousand Paper Cranes, Andersen’s Inkwell (Geordie Productions); Salt-Water Moon, The Vaudevilles of Chekhov (National Arts Centre); Hay Fever (Theatre Calgary); My Mother’s Feet (Canadian Stage); Glenn, Les belles soeurs, Coma Unplugged (Great Canadian Theatre Company); Mary’s Wedding (Prairie Theatre Exchange); The Glace Bay’s Miners’ Museum (Globe Theatre/Alberta Theatre Projects).
Upcoming: La Corneille (L’Unithéâtre); The Caucasian Chalk Circle (National Theatre School); Random (Imago Theatre/Black Theatre Workshop).
Other: Artistic Director (Imago Theatre, Ottawa, 2013 to present); Artistic Director (Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa, 1995-2000); Instructor/Guest Lecturer/Guest Director (National Theatre School, York University, McGill University, University of Alberta).
ALISON DEON (Dialect Coach)
For the Playhouse: The Importance of Being Earnest, Boeing Boeing, Somewhere Beyond The Sea.
Elsewhere: Favourite theatre credits include - The Railway Children (Mirvish); The Little Years and The 39 Steps (Magnus); Romeo & Juliet, The Secret Garden (Resurgence); The Shape of a Girl (First Light); Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Touchmark); The Miser (Sudbury Theatre Centre); Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, London Assurance (Stratford).
Upcoming: Alison is a Teaching Artist for the Stratford Festival and Shakespeare in Action, and Dialect Coach for Mary’s Wedding (Golden Apple Theatre) and Fishskin Trousers (Cart/Horse).
CHARLOTTE GOWDY (Rita/Susan)
For the Playhouse: Playhouse Associate Artistic Director; Director: Bird Brain, Peg and the Yeti. As Assistant Director: Boeing Boeing.
Elsewhere: As Actor: The Crucible, Major Barbara, Hotel Peccadillo, The Autumn Garden, The Invisible Man, The Cassilis Engagement, Hands Across the Sea (Shaw Festival); The Importance of Being Earnest (Manitoba Theatre Centre); The Winter’s Tale (Canadian Stage) Salt-Water Moon (Blyth Festival); Measure for Measure, Taming of the Shrew (St Lawrence Shakespeare); A Christmas Carol, Ivor Johnson’s Neighbours (Theatre North West); They All Do It (Odyssey); Villlage Wooing (Theatre Lac Brome); Pterodactyls (Tarragon/Shakti); Romeo & Juliet (Resurgence). As Director: Red (Theatre Kingston); Dumbo Squid (Summerworks); The Comedy of Errors, Escape From Happiness, Better Living (Fanshawe College); Why Do You Smoke So Much Lily (Nightwood).
Upcoming: Venus in Fur (Theatre Kingston).
Other: Graduate National Theatre School (acting); Ecole Philippe Gaulier (Paris, France); Guest Instructor, Queen’s University. Charlotte was recently shortlisted for the Gina Wilkinson Prize for Directing.
ADAM HARENDORF (Sound Designer)
For the Playhouse: Driving Miss Daisy, Third Floor.
Elsewhere: Alligator Pie, The Cherry Orchard (Soulpepper); Sweeney Todd, Elf – The Musical, La Cage Aux Folles, The Jungle Book (Neptune); Lost In Yonkers, Visiting Mr. Green (HGJT); For The Pleasure Of Seeing Her Again (Festival Players of Prince Edward County); How To Succeed: A Tribute To Des McAnuff (RTS); Third Floor (SummerWorks); Fool For Love (Red One Theatre); Short Story Long (Best of Fringe); The Shepard Plays (Candles are for Burning).
Upcoming: A Woman Is A Secret (Rip Jaw Productions).
Other: Adam is also a record producer who has worked with Juno award winners Jayme Stone and Mansa Sissoko, Grand Prix Du Jazz award winner Nick “Brownman” Ali, and The ElastoCitizens. He recently designed sound for the animated film Tin Canyon.
THÉA PEL (Apprentice Stage Manager)
For the Playhouse: She Loves Me, 1812 and All That.
Elsewhere: Persée (Opera Atelier, Royal Opera of Versailles), Abduction from the Seraglio (Opera Atelier); Blue/Orange, The Winter Wonderettes (Theatre Kingston).
Upcoming: A Christmas Carol (Soulpepper).
Other: Théa is a graduate of Queen’s University Drama Department and Queen’s University Faculty of Education. She teaches High School in her spare time. Colour her excited to be back at the playhouse this summer! Many Thanks!
JESSICA SEVERIN (Stage Manager)
For the Playhouse: The Importance of Being Earnest, Suds, Somewhere Beyond the Sea.
Elsewhere: World Pride 2014 Opening Ceremonies/Allan Gardens (Pride Toronto); Persée (Royal Opera Versailles, Opera Atelier); Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata (Citadel Theatre, Alberta Theatre Project, Acting Up Stage); Parfumerie, La Ronde, A Christmas Carol (Soulpepper); This Wide Night (Summerworks); Billy Elliot (Mirvish Productions). Other credits include eight seasons with Soulpepper, five seasons with Opera Atelier, and shows with Volcano, Mirvish Productions, Obsidian Theatre, Tarragon, Tapestry New Opera, Nightwood, Theatre Smith Gilmour, Drayton Entertainment, Nuit Blanche and George Brown Theatre.
Upcoming: Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata (National Arts Centre).
MICHAEL WALTON (Lighting Designer)
For the Playhouse: Salt-Water Moon, The Clockmaker.
Elsewhere: Glenn, A Tender Thing (Soulpepper); King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2009, 2014), Antony and Cleopatra, Othello, Fiddler on the Roof, The Three Musketeers, Henry V, The Matchmaker, A Word or Two, Twelfth Night, The Misanthrope, The Tempest, As You Like It, King of Thieves, Macbeth, Hamlet (Stratford Festival); Cosi Fan Tutte directed by Atom Egoyan (Canadian Opera Company); A Word or Two with Christopher Plummer (CTG/Stratford, Los Angeles); Albert Herring (Vancouver Opera/Pacific Opera); Maria Stuarda (Pacific Opera); Enron (N.A.C.); Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Sideways (La Jolla Playhouse, California); Venus in Fur, Cruel and Tender (Canadian Stage); Mary Poppins, Next to Normal (Citadel/T.C.); And Slowly Beauty, The Year of Magical Thinking (Belfry/N.A.C./Tarragon).
DIANA URIBE (Set & Costume Designer)
For the Playhouse: Debut.
Elsewhere: Lion in the Streets (Hydro Québec Studio); If We Were Birds (Centaure); Hanzel et Gretel (La Roulotte); La vérité sur Hong Kong (Maison de la Culture Frontenac); Adam’s Rib (The new Groundswell Festival); Human Cannon (Hydro Québec Studio); Where de Blood mixes (Calixa-Lavalee); Le Ventriloque (Théâtre du Quat sous); Histoire des Fous (Théâtre aux Cascades); La mère, le père, le petite et le grand (Maisons de la culture de Montréal); Opéra Rossini et ses muses. Le grand diner. (Monument National); The Poster. (Bain St-Michel); Embouteillages. 27 Playwrights. (Hangar 16); kAdmOs Damned Be The Hands That Did This Thing. (Monument National).
Upcoming: Have we forgotten yet? (Studio Hydro Quebec).
BLAIR WILLIAMS (Frank)
For the Playhouse: Debut.
Elsewhere: Over thirty productions with the Shaw Festival; Flesh and Other Fragments Of Love (Tarragon); Pig (Buddies in Bad Times); Blithe Spirit (Segal Centre); What the Butler Saw (Soulpepper Theatre Company); Cloud 9 (Mirvish); Betrayal (Theatre Calgary); Julius Caesar (Citadel Theatre); It’s a Wonderful Life (Canadian Stage Company); Macbeth (NAC/Citadel Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeareworks); The Voysey Inheritance, Philadelphia Story (Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia); Gaslight, Hay Fever, Sherlock Holmes (Theatre Calgary); Closer (Canadian Stage Company); The Weir (Geva Theatre, Rochester); Dr. Faustus, Caucasian Chalk Circle (Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, England). As Director: A Lovely Sunday For Creve Coeur, Peace In Our Time, The Millionairess, Ways Of The Heart, The President (Shaw); Pericles (Dalhousie University); A Fond Husband (George Brown); The Play’s The Thing (Segal Centre); Rope (Vertigo Theatre).
Other: Blair has also appeared with the internationally acclaimed chamber orchestra Tafelmusik in the narrative concerts Chariots of Fire, King Arthur, The Grand Tour, and The Quest for Arundo Donax, and holds a Juno Award for Best Children’s Album of the Year. Blair is a native of North Bay, Ontario and a graduate of the National Theatre School.
Ashlie’s Inside Story