Taking to the Stage

St. Mary’s University Drama Program set to debut three new productions

For the past three years first-year drama students at St. Mary’s University have created their own work through the collective creative process, while the senior students (second, third, and fourth year students) have performed in a Mainstage production of a scripted play. This year will mark a departure from that formula as for the first time ever the St. Mary’s Drama program is presenting three plays: the fist-year collective entitled “A Walk in the Park”; the second year/student directed play “Green Space”; and the Mainstage production of “Cocktails at Pam’s”.

For director and St. Mary’s University Drama Instructor Joe-Norman Shaw, the decision to select Cocktails at Pam’s was informed by his current cast of actors and a familiarity with the play, and the selection is one that he believes the audience will enjoy.

“This year’s group of senior actors have a bent for comedy,” said Shaw. “In response to their proclivity for comedy I began my play search. I had directed Cocktails at Pam’s previously and remembered it as a crazy romp, an absurd cocktail party where some “colourful” characters gather – and I knew the casting was right.”

What [the audience] can expect is to be highly entertained by this popular and oft produced crowd pleaser. Cocktails at Pam’s is just as it’s billed – an outrageous comedy.

Shaw will also oversee a monumental moment in the history of the St. Mary’s Drama program as current Drama student Belanna Internoscia will lead the first-ever student directed production when Green Space debuts on April 5.

“I have watched Belanna’s growth over the past four years as both an actor and a stage manager,” said Shaw. “Outside St. Mary’s she also assisted on a play with my own company, Rogues Theatre. I knew that she was more than ready for the task. Belanna is a talented and dedicated theatre artist with a vision. She has effortlessly taken the reigns on this production and is doing an excellent job.”

Internoscia credits being a stage manager under Shaw and being able to observe his work over the past few years as helping prepare her for this moment in her theatrical career.

“I feel as though I have worked so hard to finally be in the position to direct a full play,” explained Internoscia. “It’s one thing to direct scenes from a play in class, but to be able to direct a full play is different. Being a director thus far, has been exciting yet challenging all at the same time. It has been an amazing experience being able to work with Joe and to produce my first play, and the cast of Green Space is beyond amazing to work with.”

To Internoscia, audience members can expect Green Space to be a play that is relevant and real.

“I am extremely excited to show the community the hard work that myself and the cast of Green Space have contributed to the production,” said Internoscia. “The play itself is about citizens that come from various areas of the city and gather in the park for different scenes. The park itself is set for demolition on the next day.”

Cocktails at Pam’s will debut at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 29 in the Heritage Centre on the St. Mary’s Campus. Green Space debuts Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. also in the same venue.

To purchase tickets for Cocktails at Pam’s visit www.stmu.ca/cocktails or www.stmu.ca/drama-collective for Green Space/A Walk in the Park tickets.