Switching Styles’ very own Dylanna Fisher is reviewing Mary’s Wedding. Put on by Edmonton’s very own Citadel Theatre, “Mary’s Wedding” is a fantastic and sensory experience.
Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Excerpt From the Charge of The Light Brigade by Lord Alfred Tennyson
Emotional. Exhilarating. Immersive. That’s how I’d describe “Mary’s Wedding”. The Canadian classic itself was fantastic. The actors were tugging at the heartstrings throughout the entire play. Tai Amy Grauman and Todd Houseman provided a breathtaking and emotional performance.
The Cast and Crew
“Mary’s Wedding” was originally by Stephen Massicotte and adapted by Tai Amy Grauman, who also plays Mary to bring together a tale of beautifully woven woe.
Jann Rodgers directed the entire play highlighting her strength as a director. Granted, the actors didn’t’ need much directing. As a two-actor play, it was dynamic. With any play with limited cast members, there’s a high chance for a repeated and monotone performance. This was certainly not the case with Tai Amy Grauman and Todd Houseman.
The cast and crew list include so many different people. Thank you to all of those that participated and gave to this project.
There’s such a profound impact that live theatre has on the senses. This is something that can’t be replicated in film or streaming services. I promise you.
Now for one of the most impressive aspects of the play. The audio was fantastic. Each sensation and emotion were multiplied by the audio in the background. Not just the music but the sound effects and background audio created an immersive environment.
The play started with the imagery of a field full of flowers, then a storm. That storm sound effects carried a great deal of symbolism.
Thunder symbolized a flurry of emotions for both characters but more so for [the male]. “One one thousand two one thousand three one thousand four one thousand, five one thousand,” was repeated throughout the performance driving home the symbolism during highly emotional scenes. This symbolism is connected to emotions such as fear, anxiety, foreboding, and panic. This symbolism was continued within the war scenes, flashbacks, and present-day with Mary.
With Sound Design by Dave Clarke and Original Music by Kathleen Nisbet, they combined their skills to make for a beautiful soundtrack to the play.
Not only was it a quality performance thanks to everyone involved, but it had such a poignant message for Canadians. The context for this play is very sociological and political. Combining the efforts of the cast, the stagehands, and the overall crew, made for an amazing time. The team at the citadel brought forth an emotional love story with a historical context of Canada’s role in WW1.
Charlie wasn’t considered a Canadian despite living in Canada his entire life. He fought and died for a country that didn’t see him as an equal. He fought and died for a country that still doesn’t acknowledge him or his family ties. If that wasn’t emotional enough, it tied into a love story. Arguably, he didn’t fight for his country, at least not really. He was fighting for Mary. That’s what made it so much sadder.
The context of racism was very poignant. Stephen Massicotte wove together a story that won several awards: Alberta Literary Award for Drama 2003, Alberta Playwriting Competition 2000, and Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play 2002.
Logistics Of Live Theatre
The Citadel Theatre provided an amazing experience during a Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout Canada, live performances are struggling to keep afloat. Whether that’s musicians, comedians, lifestyles speakers or actors, it’s been hard all around.
Using the Shoctor Theatre specifically, this two-actor play provided a show full of wonder, sadness, and love. Performing between august 28th and September 12th of 2021, “Mary’s Wedding” was a play to view for sure.
As with many other performances from The Citadel Theatre, this was a beautiful experience. The Citadel Theatre is one of Edmonton’s most prominent live performance venues.
The Citadel Theatre explains on its website that it, “is committed to seeing our artistic community thrive. Learn about our many opportunities through auditions, play development, mentorship programs, and other artistic programming”.
For more information about “Mary’s Wedding” and other performances, check out citadeltheatre.com/.