Lights up on Pith!
BHTC production is about the power of imagination and destructive nature of hope
The Black Hole Theatre Company presents Pith! Jan. 17-27, 2018 at the John J. Conklin Theatre at the Gail Asper Performing Arts Hall.
The show is written by Winnipeg-born playwright, Stewart Lemoine. It takes place in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1931. Ten years prior, Virginia Tilford lost her husband Weldon to a silver-mining expedition in South America. No one knows for certain what happened to him – or if he’s still alive. With the help of a young sailor named Jack and her devoted housekeeper Nancy, they embark on a journey to find Virginia’s husband… all while never leaving her living room.
“It has been such a great learning experience working on this show,” said Daphne Finlayson, University of Manitoba alumna and director of the play. “This is the first full-length script I’ve ever worked with. Learning how to combine so many different elements and liaising with all the different departments (lights, costumes, set, props, etc.) has been an important step for me in learning how to direct larger-scale productions. I definitely feel I’ve grown more as a director, learning how to work with so many different people to form one cohesive vision for the play.”
Finlayson has previously directed two Lunch BHAGG sessions with the Black Hole Theatre Company. She also directed Praised Be The Playwright! for the 2016 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. She says the most rewarding part of working on this play has been watching the performers progress from the audition room to now.
“Through the past two months of working together – trying new things, finding better things, figuring out a new source of comedy, and allowing themselves to be unabashedly silly – it all culminates in the incredible work they’re putting forward on that stage,” she said.
Finlayson says there is an important trust that comes from working on a show together: being vulnerable in front of an audience, listening to each other to find the best interpretation of a line or the character, and knowing that you can take changes and laugh together if they don’t work out.
“As an alum of the University of Manitoba, it’s such an honour to be one of the first (former) students to direct a mainstage solo in our new theatre,” said Finlayson. “Through my time at university, majoring in theatre with a focus on directing, I finally get to put everything I’ve learned to use on the big stage!”
For show times and ticket information for Pith!, visit the Black Hole Theatre Company’s website.