CONTRIBUTION · 6th April 2013
Terrace Little Theatre
“See I will not forget you are carved in the palm of my hand.” , says Patsy, AKA Laura Ross, the central character in Judith Thompson’s “Perfect Pie”, a dramatic memory play by one of Canada’s most respected playwrights.
It is the Terrace Little Theatre’s choice for entry to the just-revived Skeena Zone Drama Festival after a five year hiatus.
Thompson’s deeply stirring story is set in a small Ontario town in the 1960s and the turn of the 21st century. Patsy McCann, a farm wife and mother, writes to her long-lost best friend to invite her for a visit. Over the course of an afternoon they share memories and, confront a past that haunts them both.
Laura Ross and Rebecca Counts respectively play Patsy and Marie (the now well-known actress Francesca Prine). Melayna Ross and Erica Wilson bring to life young Patsy Willett who befriends newcomer and outcast Marie Begg.
As the story unfolds small town prejudices and resentments are revealed along with the bonds of family, friendship and gender violence being tested to their limits. Judith Thompson is known for her cutting edge material which includes The Crackwalker”, a play about a mentally challenged young mother struggling to raise a baby on the edges of society, considered one of Canada’s finest pieces of theatre. “Lion in the Streets” follows the violent and cruel impulses from one character to another in a route which the ghost of a young murdered girl, Isobel, uses to track down her killer. Judith Thompson is a professor at the University of Guelph where she teaches acting and playwrighting.
All four actors in “Perfect Pie” are novice performers who have embraced their characters and the grueling process with commitment and fearlessness. The only one with previous TLT acting experience is Erica Wilson who played husband-killer Babe in “Crimes of the Heart”. Melayna Ross taught Summer Drama Days to budding thespians last year and worked backstage at the REM Lee while taking theatre arts at Cal. Her mother Laura runs a children’s entertainment party business, Imaginarium and is active with Toastmasters. Dr. Rebecca Counts had a brief stint as backstage nun on Nunsense II to her credit as well as being active with Northwest Singers and Sweet Adelines Pacific Mist Chorus.
Director Marianne Brorup Weston has teamed up with her award-winning musical director Tim Keenan to create a fluid sound scape for the 51 scene play, and Eryn Griffith to design a collaborative visual experience that is challenging everyone in the show to stretch their creative limits. “The actors just do their thing and the lights and sound will simply follow them”, quips Eryn. “It’s easier said than done”, shoots back Brorup Weston. “Who is chasing who comes to mind”. Not since “Speaking in Tongues” which garnered Brorup Weston a shared Best Actress Award has she experienced such a tightly strung ballet-like production, and from the other side of the director’s chair. “It’s karma”, she sighs.
“Perfect Pie” runs April 25-27, May 2-4 and 9-11 at the McColl Playhouse after which it moves to the REM Lee for the Skeena Zone Drama Festival May 17 – 20th. Tickets are $15 at Uniglobe Courtesy Travel. There is no late seating.
Patrons should note that there are flashing lights and loud noise in the show.