By Nina Nesseth
A new theatre company has made its home at Thorneloe University. The Encore Theatre Company will be opening its first season on Sept. 10 and it is hoping to bring a new and exciting theatre experience to Sudbury. Its founding members are Thorneloe alumni Callam Rodya, Jocelyn Dotta, and Nicolas Barbeau, current student Richard Barlow, and Thorneloe teacher and alumna Jenny Hazelton.
The company’s season was revealed at their Lights Up! Gala on July 21. The three mainstage plays are a mix of new and familiar works: Québecois playwright Michel Marc Bouchard’s Down Dangerous Passes Road, Arthur Miller’s contemporary classic Death of a Salesman, and Patrick Marber’s Closer. Encore will also be taking over Thorneloe’s playscript series, which fundraises for improvements to the Ernie Checkeris theatre.
Through this season’s works, Encore wants to address the real human and moral trials present in today’s society. “When we say edgy, real, and gritty, it is in terms of subject matter. We want to actually pursue difficult subjects, raw human experiences and emotions,” explains founder and artistic director Callam Rodya.
“We are exploring the stories behind closed doors. As much as we are aware of issues as a society, there is so much that stays unsaid,” adds Jocelyn Dotta.
A large part of Encore’s mandate involves providing a semi-professional theatre experience to Sudbury’s students and community. Their partnership with Thorneloe University is a natural fit – they hope to attract students and members of the local theatre community and provide them with opportunities to learn and to work without having to leave the city.
They welcome individuals from a variety of theatre and performance backgrounds as the founding members themselves bring a kaleidoscope of skills to the company, ranging from traditional theatre performance to clowning and mime.
“Sudbury is on the cusp of this cultural renaissance, and it’s so great to be a part of it through this theatre company,” says Jenny Hazelton.
“We have a wonderful opportunity and niche here in Sudbury. What our students and community need to see is that we are a group of young people taking the reins of our own artistic destinies without leaving the north.”
Encore Theatre Company will be holding general auditions for the 2011/12 season by appointment only on Sept. 19, 2011 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Ernie Checkeris Theatre at Thorneloe University.
For more information, visit The Encore Theatre Company’s website at www.encoretheatre.ca.