Nostalgic Comedy Revisits 1960s

Cast of The Whole Ninth Floor“. . . I cannot, and I mean CAN-NOT do this play!!”— excerpt from Richard Seff’s play, The Whole Ninth Floor, presented by UWinnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film

WINNIPEG, MB– The University of Winnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film will present Richard Seff’s, The Whole Ninth Floor, from November 27 to December 1, 2012 at the Gas Station Arts Centre. The hilarious retro comedy, where “West Coast Hollywood Suits” come to tell the “East Coast Theatre Boys” what’s what, is free to the public.

The play’s protagonist is George Wilson, a non-conformist talent agent who bucks the politics of his employers in his passionate and persistent desire to do the right thing — even as he struggles up the corporate ladder. George exists in a world of “Ten Percenters” where a secretary “is still a toy”, “boys will still be boys”, and love is in the air. Nostalgia abounds with the play’s references to stars of the time, advice from women’s magazines, and movies of the day such as Peyton Place.

Rueful, wise, and with an ear for comic witticisms, playwright Seff captures the trials of working in a 1960s-era New York talent agency, using first-hand knowledge.  One scene — in which George influences a hesitant film star’s return to the stage by talking to her as a real person —  was inspired by Seff’s own friendship with actress Rosalind Russell.

Director Shelagh Carter says “it’s so much fun introducing our young actors to life in the 60s. They are embracing their research of the decade with great enthusiasm and panache.  Looking back at these seemingly uncomplicated times before assassinations and Vietnam took the headlines, the nostalgia of this period reminds us that along with humour comes insight, humanity, and acceptance.”

The Whole Ninth Floor’s set is designed by Kelsey Noren and costumes are designed by Abigail Myers — both UWinnipeg alumni. Lighting design is by Tim Babcock, UWinnipeg’s Chair of Theatre and Film, with the assistance of student Jacqueline Robertson.

Performances are Tuesday, November 27 through Friday, November 30 at 8:00 pm; as well as Saturday, December 1 at 1:30 pm (matinée) and 7:00 pm at the Gas Station Arts Centre, 445 River Avenue. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended. For tickets or more information, call 204.786.9152 or visit http://theatre.uwinnipeg.ca.

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Based in the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film at The University of Winnipeg, the Department of Theatre and Film offers areas of study in Acting, Design, Drama in Education, Filmmaking, Playwriting, and Production/Stage Management. Our classes are small and our approach is practical. Our faculty is comprised of highly respected and award-winning professionals who are experienced teachers and remain active in their disciplines, bringing relevant and up-to-date instruction to our students.

For more information, please contact:

Patty Hawkins, Department of Theatre and Film
T:  204.786-9489 E:p.hawkins@uwinnipeg.ca  

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