Adele Bailey (left)

Director deals with contrasting characters in Quartet

Courtenay Little Theatre's spring production opens April 10

Jean Higginson

Special to The Record

The Courtenay Little Theatre’s upcoming production  of Quartet, by Ronald Harwood, is directed by Alana Gowdy.

Alana majored in theatre at college in Northern Ireland and has since directed many plays for both adults and children.  She has taken numerous courses and workshops. Learning about theatre is a lifetime’s passion.

“The initial challenge for the director in any production is choosing the right play,” said Gowdy.

She previously directed other work by Harwood and appreciates his writing and character development.

“The four characters in Quartet have very contrasting personalities,” said Gowdy.  “The roles are demanding, but the CLT cast is extremely strong and equal to the challenge.”

Gowdy is delighted with the talent and humour that the actors have brought to their roles.

Quartet is a story of retired opera singers.  Cecily Robson (Annie Lord), Reginald Paget (Tony Arnold) and  Wilfred Bond (Phil Henry) live in a pleasant residence for retired musicians.  Unexpectedly Jean Horton (Susan Cox), the once superb soprano,  moves in.

Prior to auditions, Gowdy studied the play thoroughly, preparing initial ideas about the characters, how they will move about the stage or make their exits and entrances.

She also considered the scenery, costumes, props and music needed to support her concept of the play.  Working closely with stage manager Adele Bailey, plans were made to ensure that rehearsals and performances run smoothly and make steady progress.

“Rehearsals must be timed so that actors are at their best on opening night,” said Gowdy.

In Quartet, as in all plays, the director is a sort of magician and each production reflects the director’s vision.

“I wanted to bring out the care and concern that the four characters have for each other,” said Gowdy.  “It is important to enjoy the humour with which they face their lives.”

Tickets for Quartet are on sale now at the Sid Williams Ticket Centre, 442 Cliffe Ave., or by phone 250-338-2430 ext. 1, and online at sidwilliamstheatre.com.

Show dates are April 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18 at 7:30 p.m. (all seats $22) and a 2 p.m.  matinee Sunday April 12 (all seats $20).

 

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