Home Exploring the brain, love, and parallel existence

Exploring the brain, love, and parallel existence

by admin October 19, 2010

Exploring the brain, love, and parallel existence

by admin October 19, 2010

Imagine every time you woke up you could live a different life. Would you change trivial details like the time you said no to that date, didn’t apply for that job, or stayed home from that party? Joyce thinks so. She argues that if given the chance to live multiple lives, most people would never think so far as to consider life as a rock or an insect. Can people only imagine what they can perceive? These are some of the big questions posed in Canadian playwright John Mighton’s award-winning Possible Worlds, which tells the tragic story of romance stretching across parallel universes, while drawing in various elements of science fiction, murder mystery and comedy.

We begin with detectives Berkeley and Williams tracking down a murderer whose signature is stealing his victims’ brains. The crimes seem unsolvable. Not only is there no evidence left at the scenes, but in some cases the door was locked from the inside. All the more perplexing is that all the victims had been of above-average intelligence.

Next we meet George and Joyce in a seemingly unrelated scene — George will awkwardly approach her, claiming they know each other. After Joyce takes a few wrong guesses, George angrily asserts that they were married once. Joyce leaves, looking visibly shaken. This scene repeats multiple times throughout the play, but each time the circumstances and roles are different.

Meanwhile, there are intermittent scenes of a mysterious and eccentric scientist who also changes roles. As the play unfolds, the scenes change more frequently and suddenly. The plot becomes nonlinear and confusing. One begins to suspect that George is completely insane and that his experiences are not based in reality.

The audience is pulled deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole until the play culminates with a shocking and morbid break in the detectives’ case.

The play itself has many layers, but director Liz Valdez feels that ultimately, it is a play that asks questions. “We did our best in telling our possible story, but I think there are many [interpretations].”

The Concordia theatre graduate and professor teamed up with Montreal-based improv and sketch comedy troupe Uncalled For in their first dramatic performance.

Formed in 1999 at John Abbott College in Montreal, Uncalled For quickly gained a following for their creative and experimental improv shows. The group felt a connection with the subject matter and themes conveyed in Possible Worlds and this guided their decision to pursue the play.

“Our last couple of scripted shows have dealt with a lot of very big questions and have talked about science fiction, the dream world and the imagination, so it’s interesting to be layering in the work that we’ve done in the past while we’re in the process of doing this show,” explained Concordia graduate and original cast member Anders Yates.

The production process for Possible Worlds was both experimental and challenging.

Valdez described the process as emotionally charged, while previous Uncalled For scripted shows were intellectually charged. Rather than starting with the analytical scene work, Valdez chose to have the actors work the scene from one line or one word, forcing them to rely on their impulses, instincts, and imaginations. This different way of approaching it eventually led to their own interpretation of the script.

The cast features founding members Yates as the unorthodox scientist, Dan Jeannotte as the universe-hopping George, and Matt Goldberg as the simple-minded Williams. Rounding out the play are Heidi Hawkins as George’s transcendental lover Joyce and Eric Hausknost as the frustrated Berkeley.

Having always written and directed their own award-winning material, the troupe has expanded their repertoire. “We are always looking for the next challenge,” explained Yates.

Possible Worlds runs until Oct. 24 at Mainline Theatre, 3997 St-Laurent Blvd. Tickets are $17 for students, and can be purchased at www.mainlinetheatre.ca.

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Imagine every time you woke up you could live a different life. Would you change trivial details like the time you said no to that date, didn’t apply for that job, or stayed home from that party? Joyce thinks so. She argues that if given the chance to live multiple lives, most people would never think so far as to consider life as a rock or an insect. Can people only imagine what they can perceive? These are some of the big questions posed in Canadian playwright John Mighton’s award-winning Possible Worlds, which tells the tragic story of romance stretching across parallel universes, while drawing in various elements of science fiction, murder mystery and comedy.

We begin with detectives Berkeley and Williams tracking down a murderer whose signature is stealing his victims’ brains. The crimes seem unsolvable. Not only is there no evidence left at the scenes, but in some cases the door was locked from the inside. All the more perplexing is that all the victims had been of above-average intelligence.

Next we meet George and Joyce in a seemingly unrelated scene — George will awkwardly approach her, claiming they know each other. After Joyce takes a few wrong guesses, George angrily asserts that they were married once. Joyce leaves, looking visibly shaken. This scene repeats multiple times throughout the play, but each time the circumstances and roles are different.

Meanwhile, there are intermittent scenes of a mysterious and eccentric scientist who also changes roles. As the play unfolds, the scenes change more frequently and suddenly. The plot becomes nonlinear and confusing. One begins to suspect that George is completely insane and that his experiences are not based in reality.

The audience is pulled deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole until the play culminates with a shocking and morbid break in the detectives’ case.

The play itself has many layers, but director Liz Valdez feels that ultimately, it is a play that asks questions. “We did our best in telling our possible story, but I think there are many [interpretations].”

The Concordia theatre graduate and professor teamed up with Montreal-based improv and sketch comedy troupe Uncalled For in their first dramatic performance.

Formed in 1999 at John Abbott College in Montreal, Uncalled For quickly gained a following for their creative and experimental improv shows. The group felt a connection with the subject matter and themes conveyed in Possible Worlds and this guided their decision to pursue the play.

“Our last couple of scripted shows have dealt with a lot of very big questions and have talked about science fiction, the dream world and the imagination, so it’s interesting to be layering in the work that we’ve done in the past while we’re in the process of doing this show,” explained Concordia graduate and original cast member Anders Yates.

The production process for Possible Worlds was both experimental and challenging.

Valdez described the process as emotionally charged, while previous Uncalled For scripted shows were intellectually charged. Rather than starting with the analytical scene work, Valdez chose to have the actors work the scene from one line or one word, forcing them to rely on their impulses, instincts, and imaginations. This different way of approaching it eventually led to their own interpretation of the script.

The cast features founding members Yates as the unorthodox scientist, Dan Jeannotte as the universe-hopping George, and Matt Goldberg as the simple-minded Williams. Rounding out the play are Heidi Hawkins as George’s transcendental lover Joyce and Eric Hausknost as the frustrated Berkeley.

Having always written and directed their own award-winning material, the troupe has expanded their repertoire. “We are always looking for the next challenge,” explained Yates.

Possible Worlds runs until Oct. 24 at Mainline Theatre, 3997 St-Laurent Blvd. Tickets are $17 for students, and can be purchased at www.mainlinetheatre.ca.

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