When Patrick Lundeen was 19, he directed his very first show at the Edmonton Fringe: The Particulars, an intriguing third-person play written by his friend and National Theatre School classmate Matthew MacKenzie.
“We ended up getting held over in the Fringe that year, and it was a big success,” Lundeen recalls. “It was really cool for me, this 19-year-old, to have my Fringe play held over. And it was actually in the same venue [where] we’re mounting this show.”
Thanks to funding from the Edmonton Community Foundation, Lundeen is completing MacKenzie’s stylistic triptych of plays by mounting The Other—a story about a middle-aged Alberta woman named Sharon (Amber Borotsik) who reflects on her childhood in India and her tendency to date men who are already in relationships. Just like The Particulars and last year’s Bears, The Other is told in a third-person narrative style, with a principal actor functioning as a narrator.
“What I find really great about [this style] is that it provides the opportunity for the plays to talk about all sorts of different areas of the character’s psyche,” Lundeen says. “The plays are able to travel over epic landscapes, and there’s no boundaries because of the way that it’s written.”
To complement Borotsik’s narration, five performers choreographed by Good Women Dance Collective’s Ainsley Hillyard interact with her and magnify her emotional experiences through their movements.
“The chorus are basically just an extension of her,” Lundeen says. “And they function in different ways dependent on what they are needed to be. … They help to illustrate the pictures of what she’s talking about. And that also illustrates the emotions of whatever it is she’s feeling.”
Sharon’s transformation is at the heart of this story, and Lundeen hopes that his audience will be able to identify with her as she climbs down into the deep dark cave of her memories.
“I would hope that people would follow her on her journey of facing her own darkness, and acknowledge that we all have our own darkness and our own demons inside of us that should be faced … I think there’s always something very inspiring and uplifting about knowing that you can always get a fresh start.”
Thu, Mar 3 – Sun, Mar 13
(8 pm; 2 pm Sunday matinees)
The Roxy on Gateway (formerly C103), $18 – $21