New voice, fresh stage for 'Until June'

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Play will be first to run in renovated LSPU Hall

The first show to take the stage at the newly renovated LSPU Hall in S. John's will be an original - "Until June," by Newfoundland playwright Jane Maggs is set to open on Thursday.

It will be the first staging of "Until June" since showing at the Summerworks Festival in Toronto and the first performance, for the since re-worked play, in this province.

From left, Mark O'Brien, Sue Kent and Jane Maggs will perform Maggs' play "Until June" at the LSPU Hall starting Thursday. - Submitted photo

The first show to take the stage at the newly renovated LSPU Hall in S. John's will be an original - "Until June," by Newfoundland playwright Jane Maggs is set to open on Thursday.

It will be the first staging of "Until June" since showing at the Summerworks Festival in Toronto and the first performance, for the since re-worked play, in this province.

A new voice: Jane Maggs

"It's about a younger sister who's kind of stuck in a rut with her slacker boyfriend," Maggs told The Telegram following a rehearsal at the Arts and Culture Centre's Basement Theatre last week.

Maggs plays the younger sister, named Lily.

"Her (older) sister left kind of abruptly in the night four years ago and this is about what happens when she comes back."

Maggs said the "mystery" of the play might be the question of what went wrong the night the older sister, Monica (played by Sue Kent), disappeared.

"Things are sort of leaked out as you go along, as you see, I guess, flashbacks of what their life was like growing up," said Maggs.

Still, the meaning or message comes from the reactions to and results of the older sister's disappearance, Maggs said - the affect on the younger sister emotionally and psychologically.

"I think it will work for anybody. I really do," said Kent of the script, calling it "incredibly smart, incredibly funny and incredibly beautiful."

"She's really a one of a kind writer," said Kent.

As Sam, the "slacker boyfriend" to Maggs' Lily, Mark O'Brien agreed.

"It's really courageous," said O'Brien.

O'Brien said Maggs' creativity shines through in the characters of Lily, Monica and even Sam.

"He's in a rut as well, but he's become almost complacent in that rut," said O'Brien. It's the kind of hole where it would be too hard to dig yourself once you've gotten yourself into it, he said.

"I think it could easily have been done in a clichÉ kind of way ... You see the deadbeat boyfriend or the older sister who kind of teaches her everything. But there's a lot of details in this," he said.

"Until June" is being produced by White Rooster Theatre and East of Reason, in partnership with the Resource Centre for the Arts Theatre Company. The show is being directed by Sherry White.

A sneak peek at the Hall

Meanwhile, the play will make the history books for the Resource Centre for the Arts (RCA) as it opens at the renovated LSPU Hall.

The Hall - with all of its bells, whistles and new equipment - will not officially open until October, said Resource Centre for the Arts (RCA) theatre company's artistic animateur, Amy House.

Even so, the bulk of the construction is complete, House said, allowing RCA to experiment with the space as final touches are completed on the building and the new equipment arrives and is installed.

In this way, "Until June" will be a chance for a "sneak peek," House said.

"It will be a great opportunity for people to come and see and experience what's been done at the Hall," she said.

Following "Until June," RCA will continue to break in and test the new space and an event on April 19 will provide government representatives and sponsors with a formal introduction to the new theatre building.

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

Organizations: The Telegram, Resource Centre, Basement Theatre White Rooster Theatre Arts Theatre Company Amy House

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Toronto

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