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Theatre @ York launches its new season with 'The Provok'd Wife'

Theatre @ York launches its new season with 'The Provok'd Wife'

Theatre @ York launches its 2011-2012 season with the world premiere of a new adaptation of John Vanbrugh's English Restoration romp, The Provok’d Wife.

Director Vikki Anderson (left), of Toronto’s DVxT Theatre Company, commissioned playwright and actor Rick Roberts to rework this tragicomic roller coaster ride on the subject of relationships. Witness the rich behaving badly Nov. 6 to 12 in the Joseph G. Green Studio Theatre in the Centre for Film & Theatre at York University.

Lady Brute, the titular wife, is trapped in a loveless marriage with a beastly, gambling, drunken oaf. Should she leave? Should she take a lover? The sharp wit and farcical situations notwithstanding, the play asks a serious question: What to do about an unsuccessful marriage in a society where divorce is impossible.

Keeping the original 17th-century setting and the language of the day, the adaptation reorganizes some of the play’s structure and adds depth to a number of the characters.

Right: John Vanbrugh

"I chose The Provok’d Wife for the intelligence of Vanbrugh’s writing, his contemporary ideas about marriage and his wonderful parts for women," says Anderson. "Rick Roberts was a natural to approach for this project, as he showed an amazing facility with the language and style of the period in DVxT workshops leading up to this creation.

"Restoration comedies are plays about young people and their problems with love and money as they make their way in the world," she says. "So Theatre @ York is a perfect fit, giving rising young performers the opportunity to bring their energy, vitality and passion to these characters."

An award-winning theatre director, designer and producer, Anderson is the founding artistic director of DVxT Theatre Company. To date, her company has earned 12 Dora Awards and 19 nominations. Anderson’s work for DVxT includes the multi-award-winning production of Ibsen’s A Doll's House, adapted by John Murrell, the acclaimed Soulpepper production of Happy Days starring Martha Burns, and most recently, a site-specific production of The Turn of the Screw at the Campbell House Museum. She is the associate director of The Misanthrope at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival this season.

Anderson directs a lively young cast drawn from the Undergraduate Acting Conservatory in York’s Department of Theatre. A talented creative team of undergraduates is handling all aspects of the production design and execution.

Each year, Theatre @ York mounts a challenging and entertaining slate of plays, featuring some of Canada's most promising performance and production talent. Established in the Department of Theatre at York University in 1969, it has been a springboard for a generation of outstanding Canadian theatre artists. Theatre @ York alumni include stage and screen actors Rachel McAdams, Thom Marriott, Tamara Bernier, Patrick Galligan, Melody Johnson, Deborah Hay, Maurice Dean Wint and Christine Horne; playwrights Djanet Sears and Diane Flacks; and directors Richard Rose and Jillian Keiley.

The play previews Nov. 6 and 7 at 7:30pm, opens Nov. 8 and runs until Nov. 12. Performances are 7:30pm nightly, plus matinees Nov. 9 and 11 at 1pm. Tickets are $17, students and seniors $12. Preview tickets are $5.

For tickets, contact the Box Office at 416-736-5888.

Republished courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.