Next week, the SMUS Student Theatre Society will launch its third production. Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) is a comedic play from Canadian playwright and novelist Ann-Marie MacDonald that features both Shakespearean and modern-day characters.
“Everyone agreed that Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) had all of the elements required for the group: it allowed for a large cast; it was intellectually rigorous; it contained stunning language; it was fun and most of all it was a challenge,” says Jennifer Fraser, the staff producer.
The play, written in 1988, is centred around Constance Ledbelly, a timid assistant English professor who has a theory that Shakespeare’s tragedies, Othello and Romeo and Juliet, were originally comedies. When her boss announces he’s marrying a rival of hers, Constance retreats into her subconscious where she comes face-to-face with Desdemona and Juliet.
The play is a student-run production, so the students produce, direct, design sets, act in, and promote the play themselves. “They do the lights and sound. They design and make the set. They find props. They choose costumes and do make-up,” explains Ms. Fraser.
Ann-Marie MacDonald received the Governor General’s Award, the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award and the Canadian Author’s Association Award for the play, which has been called “one of the wildest and woolliest feminist reappraisals that theatre has seen, and one of the most intellectually ambitious” by the Globe and Mail.
The SMUS production will run from November 21 to 24, with all performances in the Copeland Lecture Theatre at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $5.00 for students and $7.00 for adults, and will be available at the door only.