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Students learn to act from ACT

by Mina Mazumder January 30, 2018 0 comment

The university’s student-run theatre club casts for their second production

Autodidacts Concordia Theatre (ACT) held three auditions from Jan. 23 to 26 for students interested in being part of this year’s student-run play. According to Zoë Bujold, ACT’s co-president, the purpose of the club is to allow students from a range of disciplines to take part in a theatre production. “[It’s] a means for students to express themselves,” she said. “People can act, write or work backstage.”

When the club was first founded in 2016, it primarily hosted weekly workshops “that focused on different aspects of the craft, such as acting, stage presence, voice, projection, improvisation and dance,” said Alexander Luiz Cruz, the club’s treasurer and assistant director.

Last year’s student-written and student-produced performance, titled Swimming Solo, combined comedy and drama, Bujold said. This year’s play, however, will be more serious, centred on life, death and moving on.

“Twelve different souls try to make their way to the afterlife or away from it while stuck in an otherworldly limbo,” Cruz explained. “It’s basically a meditation on the human experience, memory and the finite nature of life, with a dash of hilarity. It’s something that we’ve never done before, so we are really excited.”

According to Cruz, all the proceeds from the performances will go to the Theresa Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps grandmothers and orphaned children of AIDS victims in Malawi. This includes providing funds for school bursaries, wells, bedding and medicine, among other necessities, according to the organization’s website.

“It’s about giving back to the community, not only in Montreal by helping students acquire theatre skills but also a world-wide community,” Cruz said. Last year’s performance raised about $1,200 in ticket sales and donations, he added.

Matias Rittatore, the club’s secretary and assistant stage manager, said ACT is an opportunity for students to prepare themselves for the professional theatre world. “It’s one of those things where you need to get experience to get experience, so we offer people an opportunity to get that first step,” he said, adding that the club gives participants the chance to learn and make mistakes in a low-stakes environment.

“It’s more accessible,” added Dexter Lavery-Callender, the club’s co-president and assistant director. “We hold each other’s hands, and we guide you.”

The Autodidacts Concordia Theatre production will be performed from Wednesday, May 16 to Saturday, May 19 at 8 p.m. at the Mainline Theatre.

Photo by Kirubel Mehari

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