posted on Nov. 13: Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre opens Nov. 18 at Robinson Theatre


Bursting onto the theatre scene in more ways than one, McMaster University's School of Art, Drama & Music's production of Pericles is sure to do more than just delight and teach its audiences.

The production, which opens Saturday
Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. and runs nightly between Nov. 21 and 25, packs not only the punch of live performance, but adds video footage, digitally edited multimedia projections, as well as live music. This results in the telling of a story that is as much about the ways that we as 21st- century audiences perceive truth as it is an attempt to find the truth of this traditionally maligned and rejected of Shakespeare's plays.

Paul Rivers, a professor at McMaster as well as the play's director, likens his approach to staging this play to “an archeological dig.” The idea of continually looking beneath surface meanings of words and of stories that are told time and time again – sometimes centuries apart – is certainly pertinent in an age where what we learn of the world is almost always “filtered.”

Through field reporters, camera lenses, editors and news anchors we, as cultural consumers, are often guided on several levels towards certain conclusions about what exactly might be going on in our world. Similarly, Pericles utilizes a careful balance of edited footage(courtesy of Jordan Hall and the McMaster Multimedia Program), live performance (brought to you by the cast and musician Jay Hodgson), and sometimes simultaneous versions of both,
in order to navigate us through this tale of a sailor named Pericles.

The sailor sets out in search of love and adventure, loses his family through cruel twists of fate, but eventually finds himself delivered once again into the arms of family.

As a play that is sure to delight and teach audiences with multiple media and an engaging storyline, Pericles, via director Rivers, has also brought professional artists from the community in on the action. Stage manager Erin
Fitzgerald and costume designer Jane Mallory are two such professionals brought in to share their own first-hand experiences, and to talk with students about the methods they use in the professional theatre industry.

Fitzgerald and Mallory's McMaster counterparts – students Julia Coe and Beth Zdriluk – were at first “a little overwhelmed” with the wealth of knowledge that these two artists brought to bear on the production scene.

As producer, Meaghan Stovel – another student team member, along with Coe, Zdriluk, Hall and McCord – puts it: “Many aspects of the School of Art, Drama & Music have come together to add their angle on the story, their musical, visual, historical take on the story of Pericles. The result is a show that is really bursting with information about McMaster's potential for creating multi-faceted presentations.”

Rivers agrees. “The production effectively opens a dialogue between different disciplines. The balance is still weighted in this case towards drama. But that's clearly not the last word. Certainly the original score composed for the music in the show and the
original digitally edited footage that makes up the play's multimedia
component suggests that there is still a lot of exciting and uncharted
territory for the School to investigate.”

For more information or for tickets to the performance, contact the box office hotline at ext. 27116. The show opens Saturday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. and
runs nightly at 8 p.m. from Tuesday, Nov. 21 to Saturday, Nov. 25.