Gallery 7 Theatre Continues Season With Canadian Play About Love And War

By January 13, 2013Arts

Submitted.Gallery 7 Theatre of Abbotsford BC is pleased to ring in the New Year with a Canadian theatre masterpiece; Mary’s Wedding*, by Stephen Massicotte. Set against the backdrop of World War I, Mary’s Wedding is a beautiful, yet moving story of love & loss, war and peace.

On the night before her wedding, Mary dreams of love, war, what was and what could be. Her thoughts focus on her first paramour, Charlie, who she met by chance in a barn while seeking shelter from a prairie thunderstorm. An innocent romance develops, only to be thwarted by the turbulent times of 1914. Separated by war, Charlie sends letters from the front, and a story of love, loss and healing emerges in a beautiful and poetic theatre experience written by one of Canada’s leading playwrights.

Since its premier in 2002, Mary’s Wedding has been widely produced both nationally and internationally, becoming one of Canada’s great theatre success stories. Stephen Massicotte’s celebration of innocent love and exploration of heroism and the atrocities of war was inspired by The Lady of Shallot and Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson, as well as the Strathcona Regiment’s heroic charge on Moreuil Wood during WW1. The play was awarded the Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play in 2002 and the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Outstanding New Publication.

“This play has been on my “must-do” list for several years now,” says Gallery 7 Theatre’s Artistic Director, Ken Hildebrandt. “The story is so touching and the writing so poetic. Though it deals with some deep heart & soul issues, the play leaves us with a sense of hope and perhaps ironically, a sense of peace. It’s really an amazing play that way.”

Gallery 7’s production features the acting talents of Annette Reilly in the role of Mary, and Matt Veenbaas in the role of Charlie.

Reilly, who resides in Maple Ridge, is making a welcome return to the Gallery 7 stage after having directed productions of Pride and Prejudice and The Matchmaker for the company.

Veenbaas recently played Earnest in last spring’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest and Willoughby in November’s production of Sense and Sensibility.

Making her directorial debut at Gallery 7 with this show is Katherine Hill. Hill is a BA Honors graduate in Film and Theatre from the University of Reading, England, and has worked as an actor, director and a producer for both theatre and film.

“As an English immigrant myself, I loved the character of Mary and could relate to her,” explains Hill. “What attracted me most to the play, however, was how simplistic the story is. This simplicity is seen in the context of a dream about love lost that takes place around the time of WWI. The story explores that world and what relationships at that time often had to face. As I began to work on the concepts, themes and character development for our production, I wanted to remain faithful to that simplicity.”

Working with Hill to bring this story to the stage is a talented team of design artists. Set design is by Brian Ball, costume design is by Catrina Jackson, lighting design is by Ken Hildebrandt, and sound design is by Ron Jackson. The stage manager is Maria Denholme and production photographer is Dianna Lewis of Creative Memory Studio.

Mary’s Wedding runs January 18 & 19, 24 – 26, 31 – February 2, 2013 at 7:30PM with discount matinees on January 19, 26, & February 2 at 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. Tickets are $20.00 Adults, $18.00 Seniors (65+) & Students, $17.00 Groups (8+) and $12.00 Children (12 & under). Matinees are $15.00 General Admission and $12.00 Children. Tickets can be purchased at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford or by calling 604-852-3701. To order tickets online, or for more information on the show or Gallery 7 Theatre’s 2012/2013 theatre season, please visit their website.

*Please note that this production contains minimal, mild language important to the honest portrayal of the characters.

Annette Reilly and Matt Veenbaas perform in Gallery 7’s production of Mary’s Wedding by Stephen Massicotte. Photo by Dianna Lewis, Creative Memory Studio.

Annette Reilly and Matt Veenbaas perform in Gallery 7’s production of Mary’s Wedding by Stephen Massicotte. Photo by Dianna Lewis, Creative Memory Studio.

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