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News Release

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre
Announces 2005-2006 Season

April 2005



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Montreal, April 2005 – Artistic Director Bryna Wasserman, proudly announces the 2005-06 season. From Berlin to London, Copenhagen to Los Angeles and from Paris to New York, The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre will present a season permeated with the flavour of these cultural meccas.

The season commences with Steven Schipper, Artistic Director of the Manitoba Theatre Centre, at the helm of Cabaret, the legendary, multiple Tony Award-winning, Kander and Ebb musical featuring such notable songs as “Wilkommen,” “Cabaret,” and “Money.” “We are delighted to continue what began with Man of La Mancha, (specifically) providing Montreal audiences with the unique experience of full scale productions of classic musical theatre in an intimate setting,” Wasserman said.

Internationally acclaimed director, Ben Barnes, considers Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest as the greatest comedy of the 19th century, comparing it to As You Like It, The Way of The World and She Stoops to Conquer. Wasserman looks forward to Barnes marshalling his experience, expertise, creativity and fine honed sense of timing to bring new life to this classic comedy.

In 2006, as part of a worldwide commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of Henrik Ibsen’s death, The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre will present A Doll House, adaptated and directed by Peter Hinton. One of English Canada’s most respected directors, dramaturges and playwrights, Hinton currently serves as Artistic Associate of The Stratford Festival. “A Doll House is remarkably fresh, dangerous and immediate, sexual, vibrant and alive,” he says. “It is completely my kind of play - subtle, dangerous and resiliently committed to forging a new life. It is a play that for me is about rebirth: a spiritual 'awakening' within the modern world; its possibility, difficulty and danger.” The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre is delighted to once again be partnering with Equipe Spectra in presenting A Doll House as part of the forthcoming edition of The Montreal Highlites Festival.

In the spirit of fostering intercultural relations through the arts, The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre will, together with THÉÂTRE PàP, present the English Premiere of the 2004 Masque Award Winner for Best Production in Montreal, Everybody’s Welles, a multimedia, solo performance about the groundbreaking theatre, radio and film artist, Orson Welles. The play, conceived by Patrice Dubois and Martin Labrecque, suggests that Welles, like the title character of his most famous work, Citzen Kane, ultimately becomes the tragic figure in the drama of his life.

The English language theatre season concludes with Israel Horovitz’s valentine to Paris, My Old Lady, a play where the themes of compassion, forgiveness and loss are expertly woven into a funny, poignant and moving drama. Horovitz enjoys the honour of being the most produced living American playwright in French theatre history. He is credited with helping to establish off-Broadway in the late 1960’s, through such plays as The Indian Wants The Bronx, which introduced a young Al Pacino despite producers finding him too short and not handsome!

In June 2006, The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre presents Sholem Asch’s chef d’oeuvre, God of Vengeance. A classic of the Yiddish stage, Asch’s play tells the tale of a bordello where a family attempts to attain society’s respectability despite the morally questionable foundation of their lives. Wasserman is excited to be returning to the dramas of the Yiddish theatre canon, after a recent string of highly successful musicals, and hopes that God of Vengeance will enter the company’s dramatic repertoire alongside such unforgettable works as Sheindele, Mirele Efros and the unforgettable masterpiece, The Dybbuk.

“One of the priorities of our theatre is to support the development of the theatre community in Montreal,” Wasserman said. Specifically, The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre will be supporting Gravy Bath’s New Classical Theatre Festival in August and, in December, will also be presenting a new Gravy Bath production in the theatre’s newly dubbed second space, the “Beegal”.

Bryna Wasserman also noted that she is particularly proud of the role the Segal Theatre has played in bringing the public towards a greater appreciation of theatre as a meaningful cultural experience. Thus, continuing the tradition of providing audiences with a “behind the curtain” look at its productions, The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre is proud to partner once again with both CBC Radio and Pratt and Whitney Canada in presenting Sunday-@-the Saidye and Monday Night Talkbacks, respectively.

Beginning just a few short years ago, Sunday-@-the Saidye has today evolved into a must experience event thanks in large part to the partnership established this season with CBC Radio. Together, The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre and CBC Radio have united to take Sunday-@-the Saidye to a whole new level. And for the 2005-06 both parties are working to once again prepare an unforgettable series of lectures to make Sundays a special day of the week.

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre is delighted to continue its longstanding relationship with Pratt and Whitney Canada by providing Monday Night Talkbacks Says Annick Laberge of Pratt and Whitney Canada: “Wherever the company is located, Pratt & Whitney Canada plays an active role in the community by providing support for the arts, health, the environment, education and social events.” In this regard, Monday Night Talkbacks provides an intimate opportunity for audiences to engage up close and personal with the personalities bringing first class professional English language theatre to Montreal.

“In the final analysis,” Wasserman concluded, “we have a vision to produce for each person on both sides of the stage such moments and memories as those that sparked and sustain our passion for theatre….We hope that our forthcoming season brings us a step closer to achieving this goal.”