UWinnipeg actors perform “The Love of the Nightingale”

Students in Hope McIntyre’s third-year honours acting class at a rehearssal for an upcoming performance of The Love of the Nightingale ©UWinnipeg

The University of Winnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film presents The Love of the Nightingale, by Timberlake Wertenbaker, February 11 – 15, 2020.

It has been more than 30 years since this powerful play was written and 20 years since it was performed at UWinnipeg, yet it remains as relevant as ever. This searing adaptation of an ancient Greek tale is directed by new faculty member Hope McIntyre, artistic director of Sarasvati Productions, and a writer and director of profound, socially-relevant, provocative plays. The show runs at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film from February 11 – 15.

The Love of the Nightingale is an adaptation of the myth of Tereus, Procne, and Philomele, from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Wertenbaker resets the story of the rape and silencing of Philomele by her brother-in-law, Tereus, and allows the female characters to actively break the cycle of violence.

“It is unfortunate that this story continues to need to be told,” said McIntyre. “The myth that the play is based upon goes back to 8 AD. Wertenbaker updated it in 1988 to not just explore gender power, but depict how countries silence other countries in war. Thankfully with recent movements, more and more people are talking about the reality of gender violence, yet many leaders continue to get away with grave abuses of power.”

This production uses a contemporary setting to highlight its relevance. The show features a passionate ensemble of 11 actors from UWinnipeg’s third-year honours acting class, who bring this important story to the stage through puppetry, electronic dance music, powerful drama – and offer a message of possibility. Ultimately, the play gives a stage to those who are being silenced and offers hopeful transcendence.

This provocative production features set design by student designer Courtney Jensen, costume design by resident costumer Lauren D. Martin, and lighting design by long-time production faculty member Tim Babcock. All technical work is done by both junior and senior production students.

Based in the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, at The University of Winnipeg, the Department of Theatre and Film offers concentrations in acting, design, drama in education, film making, play writing, and production/stage management. Classes are small, and faculty are comprised of highly respected and award-winning professionals who are experienced teachers, and remain active in their disciplines, bringing relevant, up-to-date instruction to their students.

The Love of the Nightingale runs Tuesday, February 11 to Friday, February 14 at 8:00 pm, and Saturday, February 15, at 7:00 pm, at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film (400 Colony Street, enter from Balmoral Street). Admission is free, but reservations are recommended.

To reserve tickets, call the 24-hour reservation line at 204.786.9152. For more information, call 204.786.9152 or visit UWinnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film website

Content warning: The play gives voice to those who are affected by violence, however the material may be triggering for some audience members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Hope McIntyre, Department of Theatre and Film, University of Winnipeg
T: 204-786-9957, E: h.mcintyre@uwinnipeg.ca

Christopher Brauer, Department of Theatre and Film, University of Winnipeg
T: 204-786-9006, E: c.brauer@uwinnipeg.ca

Melinda Tallin, Department of Theatre and Film, University of Winnipeg
T: 204-786-9955, E: m.tallin@uwinnipeg.ca

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