A family of characters will crash each and every final Company C show starting this week in the performance hall at the Canadian College of the Performing Arts. Company C rounds out its season with Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author starting this week in Oak Bay.
“It is a tragic absurdist comedy about a family of characters searching for reality, and their story to be told. Seeing the show is an experience in itself, it makes us think and feel in ways that we don’t every day,” said Sadie Fox. The Saanich resident portrays the mother in the show that “presents concepts about who we are and how we live in an entertaining and thought-provoking format.”
Being 21 with no children, the role of the mother was a challenge.
“As the mother I don’t speak very much, but she’s fairly forefront on stage often … feeling torment and pain and anguish for her children,” Fox said. “I do a lot of thinking from a very different perspective than usual being the mother.”
The 1921 Italian play offers audiences an oddly estranged family who interrupt a local theatre company mid-rehearsal to demand that the director write a play to depict their story.
A favoured part of Fox’s final performance with CCPA is working with the “infectiously positive” director James Fagan Tait.
“The thing that I love the most about it is early in the play we set up this space as a rehearsal in progress so the audience walks into a rehearsal,” Tait said. “From the back of the hall on the street these six characters come in and it’s … from another reality.
“We break the space in that way. Then we try to cope with six characters hanging out.”
Six Characters in Search of an Author runs until Feb. 1 in the rehearsal space at CCPA, 1701 on Elgin Rd.
“It was written by Pirandello in 1921, you have to wonder whether it’s going to fly in 2015. That’s a challenge we put to the cast every day,” Tait said.
He feels it works, and part of the reason is the willingness and freshness of the cast.
“On top of the talent – there’s a ton of talent – they have good will. And they have the good will that comes with being responsible for their own company,” Tait said. “It’s a spectacular way to approach work.”
This marks the final show for the CCPA third-year students that make up Company C, providing the professional experience in their final year at the college. All 14 Company C students are hands-on sewing costumes, focusing lights or balancing spread sheets guided by working professionals.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited before to share a piece with my friends and family and community,” Fox said. “It’s our last show with CCPA and it’s the space we started out in day one year one … most of all it’s an interesting way for us to reflect.”