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Maid to kill

by Archives October 2, 2002

Get ready for some servants who like to play dirty as Frontrunner Theatre is puts on The Maids.

Although the life of servants was featured prominently in last year’s Gosford Park, don’t expect this inaugural play from Frontrunner Theatre to be anything like it.

“The play is relevant to any society in any period,” explains Artistic Director Rob Kelly. “It is truly a universal theme, both ageless and timeless.”

Kelly founded Frontrunner Theatre in 2002 after studying in both Concordia’s theatre department and with The American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York.

Frontrunner Theatre is a non-profit organization and a member of The Quebec Drama Federation. It is composed of over thirty young professionals who see to the overall success of the operation. Whether it be administrative or artistic, their goal is to produce quality theatre and learn while doing so.

In an organization composed of young professionals, recent graduates figure prominently. Declan O’Driscoll, former Fine Arts Student Alliance president and current student in the theatre department, is the show’s lighting designer. Although the cast is as yet undetermined, one can be sure it will contain many eager young performers.

The Maids, written in the late 1940s by French playwright Jean Genet, tells the tale of two disgruntled servants who attempt to change their fortunes by poisoning their employer. However, not everything goes as planned and tragedy reins as the maids fight with their hatred of the system that imprisons them.

The script being used for this production is the original 1954 English translation of Genet’s dark comedy. As is typical of Genet’s works, The Maids portrays a slightly darker side of society, a reflection of Genet’s own youth.

Kelly believes that The Maids is “a reflection of reality,” and hopes that audiences “will discover feelings within themselves that have been dormant or unconscious”.

The Maids is the first of four plays for Frontrunner Theatre this season and will be followed by Deathsports and Sugardaddies an original Canadian work by playwright Thoth Harris. Rounding out the season will be The Zoo Story by Edward Albee and Genet’s first play, Deathwatch.

Kelly describes his directorial debut as being “unforgettable in it’s boldness and will leave a strong impression on all.” Performance dates have not been scheduled as yet, but have been set for some time in mid November.

Frontrunner Theatre is located at 372 Ste. Catherine West in studio 303.

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