By Eve Merriam
Directed by: Robert More
Performances: March 21-24, 2001
Venue: Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages Building
When I was asked to direct The Club, I was immediately excited by the project. A posh Edwardian setting. Seven male characters all played by women. What kind of reality would this create? Should the approach be to ask the actresses to try to become “male”? To what degree should their femininity be allowed to shine through? Playwright Eve Merriam has used this gender-bender structure to create a theatrical world, circa 1903, that brilliantly satirizes traditional male attitudes towards women while entertaining every step of the way. In the end, for all their music-hall bravado, there is a deep sadness to the men of The Club, an emptiness which is offset in the final scene of the play by a moment of pure dignity.
Huge thank you’s to the cast, whose work was infused always with dedication, generosity, and good humour; Musical Director and Maestro, Sharon Adams, whose piano wizardry held it all together; Designers Jenna Pollard and Jocelyne Sobeski, for a wonderful stage world and costumes; Lighting Designer Robin Paterson for such a rich atmosphere; and Anne-Marie Donovan whose inspired vocal coaching is one of the strongest foundations of the show. Heartfelt thanks also to our always-organized Stage Manager, and her always-on-top-of-it Stage Management Team, and to the staff and faculty of the department for their support and encouragement.
What a team! What a “club”!