Playing with time at Unity (1918)

Unity dress rehearsal From November 18 to 20, hundreds of guests attended Unity (1918) at the Theatre of the Arts. Written by Canadian playwright Kevin Kerr, the play depicts what happens when the deadly Spanish Flu hits in a small Saskatchewan town thought to be safe from the epidemic. 
 
The roaring success of last week’s show can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of the team behind it, from the creative and production crews to the all-student cast. 
 
4B Honours Drama major, Jackie Mahoney, played Mary, one of the production’s main characters. As she explains, the actors worked
 around the clock to make the performance come together. 
 
We've spent 2 months rehearsing 3 times a week, plus the time we spend outside of class running lines, researching our characters to get them historically correct, all while keeping a constant journal of our discoveries surrounding the play.
Given the demands of production, the student cast and crew faced a difficult task of balancing their personal and academic lives. Jackie is keen to challenge the myths that students in the arts have an easy life. From sound and lighting to costume and set design, a lot of what goes into a play remains unseen or under appreciated. 
 
Once we reach tech week and show week, all of us basically live at the theatre because of how often we are rehearsing, performing, and working. 90% of us are also students with full course loads, part time jobs, and internships, who give up so much time to bring Unity to life. So the next time someone scoffs at anyone getting their degree in the dramatic arts, they can think about [that]. 
While not all students are destined for the stage, Mollie Garrett – a dramaturg and actor who played Beatrice in the show – has some great advice for her UWaterloo peers in their life journeys:
 
Be yourself. There's so much room in this world for you to just be your authentic self. Make your degree your own, fashion it to your needs and lifestyle. Ask for help, we all need it sometimes. Be kind, do good. And always remember; you have nothing to prove only to share.
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