• James Armstrong

Hudson Village Theatre 2019 season features Canadian talent


PHOTO COURTESY JOHN SHERIDAN

Rehearsals for the Hudson Village Theatre’s Marion Bridge directed by Dean Patrick Fleming (right) have gotten underway featuring (left to right) Leni Parker, Stefanie Buxton and Kathryn Kirkpatrick as the three sisters.

Hudson Village Theatre’s (HVT) 2019 professional season is currently underway with the production of the first of three plays by Canadian playwrights starting with The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey onstage from July 4 to July 21. Next in the line-up are Marion Bridge by Daniel MacIvor and Billy Bishop Goes to War by John Gray and Eric Peterson. Director Dean Patrick Fleming is reported to have chosen four plays for his first season at HVT but the title of the fourth play is being kept under wraps for the moment and will hit the local stage in February, 2020.

Homecoming

Rehearsals for the dramatic comedy Marion Bridge are currently underway according to actor Kathryn Kirkpatrick who plays the role of Theresa, one of the three sisters in the play. It’s a story about the siblings who reunite at their childhood home in Cape Breton to care for their dying mother.

“It’s all about family dynamics,” said Kirkpatrick, a native of Pointe-Claire in Montreal’s West Island. “It’s actually quite funny,’” she added despite the fact a member of the family is dying. Leni Parker and Stefanie Buxton play the roles of the other sisters.

Life parallels art

For Kirkpatrick, the play parallels real life as she recently returned to Montreal from British Columbia.

“It’s freaking great to be back home. I love Montreal,” she said. “Coming home is all about family.”

Kirkpatrick’s career in theatre and film began when she graduated from Concordia University at the age of 19.

“I was very shy and introverted when I began a Drama and Education degree,” said Kirkpatrick. She soon discovered the joys of stage performance as her studies progressed giving her opportunities in production and direction as well as performance. After graduation, her career path led to Vancouver where there were more opportunities in the film and theatre industry. She’s known for roles in films such as Okja (2017) where she played a reporter, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants in the role of a waitress (2005) and Slither (2006) where she became part of a sci-fi monster.

“I feel like this is a new start, coming back to Montreal. The dream is to live here and work across the country,” she said adding her role in Marion Bridge is an important part of this phase of her life. She’s looking forward to working in French as well.

According to Kirkpatrick, rehearsals for Marion Bridge move to Hudson within the next two weeks. Playing the role of the middle sister parallels Kirkpatrick’s personal life, as well.

“In my family I’m the middle sister. One of my sisters, who passed away last year, was an Anglican priest. I’m playing a nun,” said Kirkpatrick. “I have a lot of personal investment in this role.” Although written in the 1990s, she describes the play as very relevant to issues of today. “Cape Breton doesn’t change that much which adds to its heart and charm,” she said with a chuckle.

Hudson stage a new experience

This is Kirkpatrick’s first experience of performing on HVT’s stage.

“I’ve seen lots of productions in Hudson,” she said. “I love the feeling of the place. It’s a great space to perform in. As far as the audience goes, it’s really well placed,” she said noting the nature of the acoustics of the space were a huge benefit.

“You can easily play to the audience. You don’t have to yell to be heard at the back of the house.” She described the focus of a live stage performance before an audience as completely different from performing in film.

“The theatre audience is the other character in the room,” she said. “How the audience reacts makes a difference.”

For tickets and further information regarding current and upcoming productions at HVT, visit their web site, www.villagetheatre.ca.

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