In November, over a dozen final-year George Brown Theatre School students will bring the characters
of J.M. Barrie's play The Admirable Crichton to life for their Fall 2010 opening.
The play focuses on the household of Lord Loam, who
disregards social castes of the time and hosts gatherings in which his household servants socialize with his
elite guests. This causes discomfort among all, in particular his butler Crichton who believes the hierarchy
of social classes should remain intact. When the family and the servants become marooned on a desolate
island, a series of touching and outrageous events follow.
Playing the title role is Andrew Perun, who calls the
play “simple and heartbreaking, and very funny.” He lauds the play’s director, the notable Jennifer Tarver,
and offers praise for all of his colleagues and classmates.
As the date of the first Nov. 10 performance looms,
Perun admits he is slightly nervous and says it is “daunting as the days go by,” but an overwhelming tone of
enthusiasm can certainly be gleamed from his energetic voice.
The culmination of the students’ hard work during
rehearsals will be worth it as industry agents and artistic directors are set to attend performances of the
play to see the talent that George Brown has to offer.
James Simon, the artistic director of the Theatre
School, says that the play chosen caters to the skills of the class collectively, to best showcase the
students’ abilities and talents to the industry.
Based on a classical approach to theatre acting,
George Brown’s Theatre School’s text-based program focuses on five main skill sets: voice, speech, movement,
dance and music. The students are taught storytelling, improvisation and even clowning, among other courses
belonging to the diverse program.
There are four full-time faculty members who still
remain active in the industry. The rest of the faculty are working professionals who constantly provide
students with industry contacts.
Also adding to George Brown Theatre School’s
outstanding reputation in the professional community is its partnership with Tarragon Theatre and Soulpepper
Theatre Company. It is with the latter that George Brown decided to collaborate to create a unique venue
where education and performance would intertwine.
This venue is the Young Centre for
the Performing Arts, located in Toronto’s Distillery District, which opened in January 2006 and has since
hosted numerous plays and performances.
The Young Centre is the campus for the Theatre School,
their rehearsal grounds and finally their stage on performance nights.
Perun calls the play “hefty but exciting,” a statement
certain to be true of their performances. The intricacy of the shows will be telling, and exhilaration will
surely be felt by the performers and audiences alike.•
The Admirable Crichton runs from Nov.10 to 20 at
the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Tank House Theatre. Visit youngcentre.ca for more information
on the play and tickets.
Ryan Bondy and Laura Schutt perform in The Way of the World. Photo credit: Andrew Oxenham.