Make It a Double

Concordia’s Own Michael Martini To Debut Two New Plays This Weekend

Michael Martini as Avery in Will-o-wisps Photo Ariel St-Louis Lamoreaux

This weekend, the MainLine Theatre is playing host to a theatrical double feature with deep Concordian roots.

The theatre will be showcasing two new plays, Ivory Towers and Will-o-Wisps by writer, director and actor Michael Martini, who also happens to be a Theatre student at Concordia.

Although he has a background in acting (Martini plays the princely protagonist in Will-o-Wisps) from a performing arts school in Toronto, Martini said he always held some fascination with the written word, even while studying the craft of performing.

“I would skip class and read plays instead,” Martini said, “I remember specifically reading Lion in the Streets on a whim, and immediately after that I couldn’t stop writing scenes.”

The upcoming weekend is a hallmark event, because although both plays have been written and re-written in years past, this is the first time they will be presented in a more official venue and environment.

“I’ve presented my writing here and there and directed a bit, but never on the scale of a professional show, so this production is definitely a monument for me,” Martini added.

The plays are 20 minutes apiece, and will be put on back-to-back.

Ivory Towers centers around five female linguistics professors in a battle of words, seeing who can draw on the most thesaurus entries. Razor sharp wit required.

Will-o-Wisps takes place on the prom night of a young prince, locked away and waiting for his knight errant to come and rescue him. To keep him company, he has his imaginary friend, Dinah, who just happens to be an Academy Award-winning movie star.

Martini himself isn’t the only Concordian involved, either.

“I’m thrilled that people will see some of my ideas come to my life, but absolutely everyone involved—the actors, the designers—are establishing a presence [as well]. Most of the show’s designers are first year students, and the work they’ve done is incredible.”

Beyond the upcoming theatrics of the weekend, Martini has an eye on continuing to work and contribute to the landscape of independent and student theatre in Montreal.

He hopes that the pieces will resonate with enough meaning to result in both a pleased audience, and fuel demand and excitement over future productions.

“We want to keep the blood of student theatre pumping in the city,” he said, “It’s important for me that Ivory Towers is an ensemble of five female characters, and that Will-o-Wisps has a gay protagonist. This isn’t something we get in the academic setting, and [is] something that I hope our peers will be proud to see happening.”