MONTREAL – Geordie Productions is poised to launch its 30th-anniversary season on Friday with a revamped production of For Art’s Sake at Centaur Theatre.
The company toured schools with a tuck-it-all-in-a-suitcase version of the Colin Heath play eight years ago.
“We toured with four slide projectors,” artistic director Dean Patrick Fleming said. “Now we have all this new technology. It’s so cool what we’re doing. There will be animation onstage.”
The play is about Art, a young boy who is sent to the art museum, with sketchbook in hand, for his 11th birthday. Not his ideal birthday outing. Of course, adventure breaks out once he’s in the confines of the museum.
Geordie veteran Julie Tamiko Manning takes on multiple roles and Jade Hassoune plays Art. (Children will remember Hassoune from his Geordie school tour of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.)
Amanda Kellock (Andersen’s Inkwell) directs and the design team includes James Lavoie (sets and costumes) and Sarah Yaffe (lighting design.)
“For Art’s Sake is about introducing the concept to children that whatever they make up in their heads is amazing,” Fleming said.
“My youngest son chose to take an origami class (at a summer camp) this year. He made an origami robot. It was amazing. Now I have little pieces of paper all over the house.”
In the weeks leading up to the season launch, Geordie invited children to create works of art. Almost 50 paintings were submitted by children ranging in age from 4 to 13 years old.
The art will be on display in the Centaur lobby for the duration of the run. A painting by Grade 6 student Dante Fasula was selected to be featured in the play.
“There were paintings in the mix that I would hang in my house in a second,” Fleming said. “It was a phenomenal response.”
For Art’s Sake is at Centaur Theatre, 453 St. Francois Xavier St., from Friday to Nov. 14. Tickets cost $18, $17 for students and seniors, $14.50 for children. A variety of season subscription packages are available. For information, call 514-845-9810 or go to www.geordie.ca.
Geordie’s 30th-anniversary theme is celebration. For Art’s Sake celebrates art.
MocShplat, an unconventional take on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, celebrates clowning and is at Centaur Feb. 4-13. Alain Goulem directs and is one of the clowns.
“I think teens will think ‘if this is an introduction to Shakespeare, it’s incredible,’ ” Fleming said.
The play retells Macbeth -in gibberish. Fleming stressed that MocShplat is for high-school students and adults and not suitable for younger children.
Geordie’s mainstage season ends with a celebration of music -a lavish retelling of Susan Hammond’s beloved Beethoven Lives Upstairs (May 13-22). Fleming directs, and it will be performed in Centaur’s larger theatre.
The Douglas Cowling play about the young boy who befriend an eccentric boarder (who just happens to be Ludwig van Beethoven) is based on Susan Hammond’s original CD, produced by Classical Kids.
Every year, Geordie selects one play for its Fives for Free promotion, which offers free admission to 5-year-old children. For Art’s Sake is this season’s Fives for Free play.