Billed as “two gripping marital mysteries by two playwrights who helped bring modern drama to America,” the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lakes, Ontario, presents Glaspell’s Trifles on the same bill as Eugene O’Neill’s A Wife for a Life from May 29 to October 12 at the Court House Theatre as part of their “lunchtime one-acts” program.
Now in its 52nd season, with 10-12 productions each year performed in four theatres for an audience of more than 250,000, the Shaw Festival is a Canadian cultural icon, producing a diverse mix of plays from the past and present, performed by their talented Acting Ensemble. This production is directed by Meg Roe and designed by Camellia Koo, with lighting designed by Louise Guinand and music composed by Alessandro Juliani. It features Kaylee Harwood as Mrs. Peters, Julain Molnar as Mrs. Hale, Benedict Campbell as Mr. Hale, Jeff Irving as the attorney, and Graeme Somerville as Mr. Peters.
Comments from Daina Giesler, a theatre director who saw Trifles and A Wife for Life:
“At the Shaw, the set was the same for both plays (an artistically old, grey, dim cabin, very bare) with only small prop changes. It was in one of the smaller theatres with a 3/4 thrust so the audience could feel like they were inside. The plays worked quite well together — both with characters in isolated areas and with secrets, and because the main focus of both was ‘the wife’ that was spoken of and yet never seen, except by the description of others who seemed not to really know “her”… The actors were excellent and so was the response, but it seemed to me they were both shorter than I remembered them — with only 50 minutes for the two.”
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