IN YOUR EYES PRODUCTIONS
“Something is stirring, shifting ground, it's just begun… It's our time, breathe it in.” More than 20 years ago, students were singing those hopeful lyrics, challenging themselves, realizing their dreams, building friendships and exploring vast untapped potential in Theatre SMC’s production of Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along.
This year, that excitement regarding new possibilities for students has returned, as St. Mary’s College (SMC) celebrates the launch of their new theatre at Second Line East with a grand opening ceremony, June 16 at 7 p.m.
The evening features a naming ceremony at 7 p.m.; an In Your Eyes Projects (IYE) presentation of the Tony Award winning play, RED at 8 p.m.; a ‘talk back’ session following the production with Steven McCarthy and Jonas Trottier; and cocktails and appetizers to end the evening from 9:45 to 11 p.m.
Cindy Sawyer, principal of SMC states, “A theatre like ours at SMC gives our students a professional venue to explore, create, and perform.”
Maria Burgess, one of the founders and long-time producer for Theatre SMC is pleased “that the traditions of Theatre SMC she was so proud to participate during her teaching career can now continue.”
Director of Education, Jack Stadnyk, points out that “Sister Mary Sammon once shared with me that, when students perform for an audience, they greatly increase their skill. I am hopeful that this new theatre will provide those opportunities for performance and skill development for our students to enrich their experience at SMC."
Abby Didonato (SMC Alumni Association) is delighted that the students will have further opportunities “to build self esteem and confidence, develop communication skills, including public speaking and listening skills while working in a team environment.”
The IYE production of RED features many people who were instrumental in the creation of the original company and its development into one that has won provincial awards.
The production boasts directors Joseph Lauzon, founder of Theatre SMC; Loretta Durat, long-time collaborator; Thomas Brandstetter, long-time producer; Steven McCarthy, professional actor, director, and musician; and Jonas Trottier. Both Trottier and McCarthy are Theatre SMC alumni.
Trottier, who starred in the title role of Theatre SMC’s award-winning Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead was impressed with the new theatre.
“The first thing that hit me was the scale. It's breathtaking. The walls just go up and up and up; it evokes the tremendous scale of the great gothic cathedrals.”
McCarthy added, “I can’t believe I get to be one of the first people to play in this incredible space. The play develops a theme of passing the torch from one generation to the next and the relevance of that idea is not lost on me. It is an honour that I don’t take lightly.”
“In my discussions with Mr. Stadnyk," Joseph Lauzon explains, “it was clear he holds a deeply felt hope that this new theatre will inspire a new generation of students who will aspire to create and explore. The space is highly impressive, and there is nothing quite like it in the city. With further kind generosity, this theatre promises to be an exciting space that will serve the tremendous creative potential of young people.”
Tickets for the grand opening, Friday, June 16, are available at the Station Mall Box Office, online and at the door.
For more information about IYE production of RED (June 14 – 17), please click here.