Liberal Arts College Theatre’s Unique Spin on a Classic

Liberal Arts College Theatre Society perform “Six Characters in Search of an Author”

Comprised of students of Concordia’s Liberal Arts College, the Liberal Arts College Theatre Society will mount their own spin on Luigi Pirandello’s 1921 absurdist play 6 Characters in Search of an Author.

“I’m reluctant to use the word ‘amateur,’” said second year Liberal Arts student, director and lead Darragh Mondoux. “But the word ‘amateur’ comes from ‘the love of the craft’ in French and that’s super beautiful.”

For most LACT members, the semester’s production is a labour of love. “A big reason I came to the Liberal Arts College in the first place was the community here,” said student, Sammy Fogel. “This play and this tradition is a huge part of the community that is built here.”

At the beginning of every school year, the theatre society’s members vote on which play they will put on. Some years, the LACTS puts on a play that is part of the curriculum. In fact, just last year, they presented Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, a work taught in the Liberal Arts College’s Modes of Expression and Interpretation II course.

“Last year, when we did a play that was on the syllabus, it helped my understanding of that work,” said Fogel. “In terms of the class, even this year I’m now writing a paper on The Cherry Orchard, because I’ve gained an understanding and admiration for the work that I would not have gotten from just reading it.”

Though works from the curriculum are not chosen to be the play every year, in these cases, performers are able to capture the more nuanced elements of the work, and express that to an audience.

“A very active engagement in classic texts is a great way to find meaning,” said Mondoux.

“People come to class every week with different revelations about how a particular text speaks to them. If we can read some of these texts out loud and embody the text and explore it, you’ll get a more profound understanding of some of these things.”

Knowing how to closely read and critically interpret texts—perhaps the foremost objectives of the LAC—does allow for creative interpretation. Each performer engages with the work, whether it’s in the curriculum or not, the way they would when reading a text for a class lecture. When they find those specific things that stand out to them, they place special emphasis on them when producing the play. With that, a unique and very personal spin is put on each production.

The 2016 edition of the LACTS play will be their unique take on a play from the 20th century. 6 Characters in Search of an Author is an absurdist, metatheatrical play that strongly defines the boundaries between the universes of the characters, directors, actors and the audience. While those groups of people all have the theatre as a common interest, their interactions are all very different. This play will explore that. Of course, expect the LACTS to have its own very unique take on it.

6 Characters in Search of an Author _ // March 17 to 19 // 8 p.m. // Westmount Park United Church (4695 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.) // $10 adults, $8 students, $5 LAC students

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