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Studio Theatre kicks off season with God's Ear

For the last month, St. Albert actress Sarah Ormandy has spent her days in the surreal landscape of God’s Ear.

For the last month, St. Albert actress Sarah Ormandy has spent her days in the surreal landscape of God’s Ear.

A fourth-year Bachelor of Fine Arts student at the University of Alberta, she is one of seven student actors opening the Studio Theatre season with God’s Ear. It runs Oct. 13 to 22 at the Timms Centre for the Arts.

American playwright Jenny Schwartz has designed a play about the unbearable – two parents trying to cope with the death of their drowned son.

In this case, after the tragedy they disconnect. The stay-at-home mother Mel is the parent dealing with the hospital. She’s the one that frantically tries to reach her travelling husband Ted.

The grief surrounds the parents almost choking them and they deal with the trauma in different ways. Mel is in a great deal of turmoil and is clouded by grief.

“She’s at home with her young daughter and relies on her for support,” said Ormandy.

Ted, on the other hand, copes in a very detached way by having an affair with Lenora, a woman he meets at an airport lounge.

In this fractured world, where reality and unreality blend into one, Schwartz also introduces two unlikely characters – the Tooth Fairy and a G.I. Joe.

“A lot of the text is very poetic. It’s a play about grief and grief doesn’t follow a rhyme or pattern. It’s the way you experience it and in this case it goes all over the place,” said Ormandy, who portrays Lenora.

Lenora too is carrying a load of grief.

“She’s pretty out there. She’s pretty crazy. She’s an alcoholic and has also experienced loss in life. She’s looking for love. Ted is looking for an escape and they’re both in the same situation.”

“I see her as a professional loiterer. I look at her as existing in an airport. She has experienced heartache and loss and has no place to go.”

To lighten the heavy mood without detracting from the serious subject, Schwartz has incorporated a few karaoke musical numbers.

“It’s a very different piece of theatre and it’s important in the way people deal with grief. It really connects on an emotional level regardless of what people go through.”

Preview

God’s Ear<br />Studio Theatre<br />Oct. 13 to 22<br />Timms Centre for the Arts<br />87 Ave. and 112 St.<br />Tickets: $12 to $25. Call 780-492-2495 or at ualberta.ca/artshows


Anna Borowiecki

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