Love and power collide in funfilled physical comedy at Marilyn I Walker
A new play opening soon at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts promises a mix of live music, physical hijinks and acrobats that will make for a fun trip to the theatre. Pantalone’s Palace, a new script by Brock University Department of Dramatic Arts faculty member Mike Griffin, runs Oct. 27 to Nov. 3 in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in downtown St. Catharines.The plot involves hardworking Columbina who simply wants to enjoy the majestic Wooers’ Woods in peace after a long day’s work, but the greedy business tycoon Pantalone is scheming. When Columbina discovers his plot to build the biggest casino in the world, she knows she must take action. Armed with her wits and her lovesick friends, she aims to set things right in this fun-filled, fast paced, physical comedy that explores the meeting of contemporary life and classical Commedia dell’Arte.This is the style of theatre that invented slapstick comedy, put improvisation on the map and has influenced comedy and other forms of theatre for generations. Pantalone’s Palace explores a blend of classical and contemporary, shedding a focal light on some important topics of today such as workplace conditions, gender equality and sexuality. The production is a unique blend of classical elements shaken up and reframed to make sense in an ever-evolving world.Written and directed by Griffin, the sets and costumes for Pantalone’s Palace were designed by Brock instructor Kelly Wolf. Lighting was designed by Chris Malkowski and sound designed by Dramatic Arts alumnus James McCoy, who recently graduated from the National Theatre School in Montreal.The production showcases the talents of students in the Department of Dramatic Arts undergraduate program. Helena Ciuciura is the assistant director and Allie Aubry is the stage manager. Dramatic Arts student performers include: Isaac Brown, Matt Burt, Mark Dickinson, Leah Eichler, Juan-Carlos Figueroa, Mackenzie Kerr, Adrian Marchesano, Sarah Marks, Michelle Mohammed, Sarah-Jane Quinn, Naomi Richardson and Kaylyn Valdez-Scott. Other contributing artists include Gina Bastone, Mask Maker and Jenna Rodgers, Dramaturge. The public presentation program of the Department of Dramatic Arts is an integral part of the Marilyn I. Walker school’s mandate to contribute to regional cultural development and build community connections by engaging audiences with the breadth of talent and creativity of the students, staff, guest artists and faculty of Brock University.Pantalone’s Palace runs Oct. 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. and Nov. 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. A sold-out show for high school students is also taking place Nov. 3 at 11:30 a.m.Tickets for the show are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. There’s also a $10 group rate and a $5 eyeGo high school program rate available. Tickets are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office at 905-688-0722 or on the PACwebsite.