James’ Brand New Blog

The Easter Egg & I

- October 5th, 2012

A couple of people have been in touch recently to congratulate me on writing a play certain to be a JBNBlog highlight of the 2012-2013 season. As always such encouragement is really good to experience . . . in this case, the praise is for my dad’s The Easter Egg & I know he is up there somewhere excited about ace AlvegoRoot Theatre producing it next spring. Details follow.

November will mark The Easter Egg’s 50th anniversary. Ten years ago, Toronto theatre ace & James Crerar “Jamie” Reaney (1926-2008) champion David Eden directed a terrific production at UoT which later played the McManus.

JBNBlog still blushes to recall how the fertility/infertility dialogue & issues dad gave to the Ira Hill MD embarrassed the 12- or 13-year-old (age approx) me when it was produced here during the 1960s. JBNBlog recalls a rehearsed reading at Middlesex College & then a full production, likely at the old Talbot Theatre, a few years later. Correct details & better memories, as always, are appreciated.

For now, I am sending these good thoughts & congratulations your way, dad. The Easter Egg is back!

(Here are AlvegoRoot details about auditions):

Productions and roles for which auditions are being held-both productions are at The ARTS Project:
THE EASTER EGG by James Reaney
Directed by Jason Rip

May 24,25,29,30,31 June 1 at 8pm
May 25 June 1 at 2pm
————————–
Roles
Bethel Henry: A power obsessed women, who has climbed the social ladder into the high society.
Ira Hill MD: A moral doctor, the foil to Bethel.
Polly Henry: The stepdaughter of Bethel, a compassionate person who’s goal is to teach her step brother to speak.
George Sloan: Engaged to Polly and a seminarian. He is cruel underneath his Christian appearance.

(Here are the Toronto details from about a decade ago):

The Graduate Centre for Study of Drama presents:

THE EASTER EGG
by
James Reaney
The Graduate Centre for Study of Drama (U of T) presents award winning
playwright James Reaney’s absurdist comedy The Easter Egg, directed by
David Eden, at the Robert Gill Theatre September 5th to 8th. (2002, if memory serves)

Social-climber Bethel Henry’s dinner party is starting in just two hours
and her house is in an uproar.  Her stepson Kenneth, traumatized by his
father’s suicide fifteen years earlier, is starting to recover his wits
and won’t stay hidden away in the attic any longer.  Her stepdaughter
Polly has quit librarian school to announce her engagement, unless
Bethel can stop it.  And it looks as though Bethel’s bootlegging mother
might leave her shack in the woods and crash the party.  What will
Bethel do?  Reaney’s dazzlingly theatrical comedy puts a gothic spin on
the social aspirations of a group of misfits in a small university town.

Best known for his trilogy The Donnellys, James Reaney’s work
has been performed on stages across Canada as well as Britain and the
US.  Among his most famous plays are The Killdeer, Listen to the Wind,
and Colours in the Dark (commissioned by the Stratford Festival for the
Canadian Centennial Year).  Reaney is the recipient of three
Governor-General’s awards, a Chalmers’ award, and is a member of the
Order of Canada.  Largely neglected in recent years, Reaney’’s work is
long overdue for a revival and re-examination.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of The Easter Egg.  The first
production, by Alumnae Theatre in November of 1962, generated great
critical controversy; a high-profile production was seen at the National
Arts Centre in 1970 starring Amelia Hall and the Stratford Festival
company.  This will be the first Toronto production of the play in over
thirty years.

The cast includes Jessica Gardiner, Eve Wylden, Jay Chellew, Dallas
Worthy and Glenn Walsh.

The design team includes sound by Dario Del Degan, sets by Claudia Kada,
costumes by Aleksandra Podbereski, and lighting by Alexandra Prichard.

Categories: Entertainment

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2 comments

  1. Nat James says:

    The Easter Egg played the NEW Talbot Theatre, July 4-7, 1967, directed by Pamela Beckwith, designed by Martha Mann Southgate, and featuring Nancy Kerr as Bethel. I was stage manager and design assistant and thrilled to be associated with your father.

  2. james.reaney says:

    Wow. Thanks for this, Nat . . . JBNBlog thinks there is a programme from that production somewhere about the house. It will fun to see how the cast of 2013 matches up with the 1967 stars. Write any time & go Easter Egg.

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