The Caucasian Chalk Circle

PosterWritten by Bertolt Brecht, translated by Ross Manson

Directed by: Alex Fallis​

Performances: March 15-17 & 22-24, 2007

Venue: Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages Building 

The Caucasian Chalk Circle is one of Brecht’s finest works and acknowledged as being one of the great plays of the 20th century. The play is a unique blend of high theatricality, folk storytelling, music and even dialectical inquiry. This production will be the first full production of a new Canadian translation of the play by the award-winning Ross Manson, and has original music by John Millard. The play is directed by guest director Alex Fallis.

The play tells the story of a young woman, Grusha, who finds a helpless child and gradually becomes the child’s ‘mother’. "Brecht asks us to examine our ideas of motherhood, usefulness, and morality through this brilliantly constructed series of episodes, guided by a group of singers who narrate and comment on the story. We meet many memorable characters during Grusha’s journey — among them her questioning fiancé Simon, the imperious Natella Abashwili, and the extremely idiosyncratic judge, Azdak.

Ross Manson’s translation was straightforward, muscular and Canadian, while maintaining the sly wit and love of ambiguity that is an important part of Brecht’s greatness. John Millard’s music was a witty mix of musical languages, with folk, country, jazz, German cabaret and even the Oktoberfest bands of his Kitchener childhood coming together to make a totally individual and wonderful whole.

Cast:

Michael Albert - Singer, Rider, Cook, Peasant, Husband, Farmer

Whitney Allen - Grusha Vachnadze

John Cormie - Bet, Shalva, Lavrenti, Fugitive, Blackmailer

Lynne Craven - Singer, Woman Trader, Child 3

Amy Cruickshank - Margaret, Natella Abashwilli, Invalid

Gordon Ford - Michael, Child 1

Jason Garramone - Man, Soldier, Yussup

Nathanael Gibbs - Governor, Trader 1, Shauva

Garth Graham - Doctor 1, Architect 2, Young Solider, Party Peasant, Nephew, Lawyer 2

Julie Kern - Singer, Nina, Dust Covered Rider,

Michael Klein - Simon Chachava, Fight Captain

Pater Mabrucco - Walter, Kazbeki, Corporal, Man of Old Couple

Anna McWebb - Michael, Child 1

Jessica Rose - Singer, Young Servant, Child 2, Farmer 3

Marc Rowley - Singer, Stableman, Servant, Party Peasant, Irakli

Karen So - Woman, Maro, Party Peasant, Old Woman, Woman of Old Couple

Johnny Trinh - Singer, Azdak

Jocelyn Urquhart - Young Woman 2, Soldier, Person with Milk, Party Peasant, Trader 2, Movement Coach

Aime Villapando - Young Woman 1, Doctor 2, Architect, Aniko, Person with Limp, Lawyer 1

Sarah Widmeyer - Ruth, Peasant Wife, Party Peasant, Farmer 2

Courtney Wilson - Elisabeth, Masha, Mother-in-Law, Doctor

Creative Team:

Director - Alex Fallis

Musical Director - Anne-Marie Donovan

Set Designer - William Chesney with Scott Spidell

Costume Designer - Jocelyne Sobeski

Lighting Designer - Andrew Lakin

Sound Designer - Fraser Smith

Production

Stage Manager - Amy Tait

Asst Stage Managers - Shelby Barker, Michelle Horel, Brenda Pilatzke

Production Manager - Mel Runhart

Carpentry Crew - Michael Albert, Garth Graham, Alisha Kocher, Derek Lindman, John Wideman, Leonard Zgrablic

Wardrobe Crew - Calla Churchwood, Dan Cristofori, Kelly McNeely, Nick Peppiatt, Jocelyn Urquhart, Janna Youngblut

Props/Scenic Paint Crew - Kendra Marr (Paint Head), Jessica Moore (Prop Head), Miranda Francis, Monty Martin, Ciaran Myers, Heather Muir, Amy O’Grady, Aimee Villapando

Lighting Crew - Steven Chen (Head), Peter Mabrucco, Lexie Mitchell, Katrina Sauve, Travis Sewchan, Carly Verhoeven

Sound Crew - Dave Couture

FOH/Publicity - Kerice Harris, Sarah Widemeyer

Special Thanks:

Richard Greenblatt