Ottawa School of Theatre’s Orléans Old Player class tapped
into their inner comedian on Saturday to deliver a pair
of Anton Chekov short stories in the Richcraft Theatre at
the Shenkman Arts Centre with truly hysterical results.
first of the two productions was The Proposal featuring
Chantal Burtt as the suitor, Louis Richard; Jowita Wilk
as the object of his affection, Marjorie Josephine; and
Bard Cram as Marjorie Josephine’s mother, Marion Mildred.
The play also included appearances by Francine Hopley as
the maid and Robb Corrigan as the mower.
|The Orléans Older Players production of 'The
Proposal' features Chantal Burrt as Louis Richard (lef),
Barb Cram as Marion Mildred and Jowita Wilk as Marjorie
Josephine (right). Fred Sherwin/Photo
Proposal was written as a vaudevillian farce. Louis
Richard is a hypochondriac who has come to ask Marjorie
Josephine for her hand in marriage, not because he loves,
but because he is getting older and is in need of a wife.
he first gets permission from her mother, Marion Mildred,
Marjorie Josephine enters the room, but before he can pop
the question they get into an argumemnt over the ownership
of a piece of land known as the Oxen Meadow.
it to say that Louis Richard is convinced the property is
his, while Marjorie Josephine is equally convinced it is
hers. Soon Louis Richard is oblivious to his original intention
for his visit and he leaves in a huff, upset that the ladies
will not recognize his claim of ownership and suffering
from a variety of maladies including heart palpitations
and numbness in his leg.
not until after he’s gone that Marjorie learns of his original
intention from her mother. Hysterical, she demands that
her mother bring him back.
back in the house, they begin to argue again and this time
Louis Richard gets so worked up he collapses on the sofa
sending Marjorie Josephine, thinking he’s dead, into hysterics
once again. He eventually comes to and finally proposes
to Marjorie Josephine with the help of her mother who gets
them to seal their union with a kiss.
three performances were wonderful, but Chantal Burtt was
especially on point as Louis Richard. She delivered her
lines with aplomb and she was physically very funny.
second production, entitled The Wedding, involved
the entire class. The play revolves around a family of modest
means whose daughter has been promised to be betrothed to
a man whose only interest appears to be her dowry.
part of the wedding, the groom insists that his friend,
the General, be allowed to give a speech. During his dissertation
he begins to start rabbling about what happens when a sailing
ship is in distress.
it turns out, the General is actually a captain who the
bride’s mother thought she paid $25 for as an appearance
fee. He never received the money, which was given to an
agent, and the ensuing scandal ruins the proceedings.
entire cast and especially Rob Corrigan and Francine Hopley,
who play the captain and the mother of the bride respectively,
Ottawa School of Theatre offers several adult classes throughout
the year which culminate in a staged prodcution. You can
find out more by visiting their website at www.ost-eto.ca.