Cape Breton University’s Boardmore Theatre is set to open its 52nd Season of Plays on Tuesday, November 21. This year’s lineup will include four feature plays as well as the popular One Act Play Festival in March and the Youth Festival in April.
“This season is a stellar example of the experimental and educational type of theatre the Boardmore has been producing for the past five decades,” says Boardmore Theatre’s Artistic Director, Todd Hiscock.
Starting off the season is Photograph 51, written by Anna Zieglar and directed by Holly Schaller. Photograph 51 is a humorous and moving portrait of Rosalind Franklin, one of the great female scientists of the twentieth century, and her fervid drive to map the contours of the DNA molecule. A chorus of physicists relives the chase, revealing the unsung achievements of this trail-blazing, fiercely independent woman in a play about ambition, gender, isolation, and the race for greatness.
For director Holly Schaller, Photograph 51 provides an opportunity to explore the gender differences in Rosalind Franklin’s life. To emphasize this idea, Schaller has cast many of the male roles using female actors.
“This play is a really great conversation piece,” says Schaller. “It brings up not only an important piece of history in a new light, but we are telling this story in a way that makes us ask important questions about representation and gendered thinking in all other situations."
“The rehearsals are busy and exciting,” Schaller continues. “This play has given me the opportunity to work with so many talented CBU students and community members—some I've worked with before but many I'm working with for the first time!"
The cast for Photograph 51 includes Michaela Ryan, Kate Devoe, Jodi MacKinnon, Amal Sabu, Sasha Young, and Anaya Singh with set design by Cheryl Bray, light design by Ken Heaton, and costume design by Diana MacKinnon-Furlong. Maggie Musgrave is stage manager with Keagan MacInnis operating lights and Anja Lanz taking care of sound.
Over the course of its history, the Boardmore Theatre has provided opportunities for students and community members to hone their craft in the theatre as actors and directors. In the process, it has introduced the magic of the stage to the community at large and instilled a love of theatre in generations of audiences and future performers, writers, directors, stagehands, and technicians.
“The Boardmore is very proud of its relationship with Cape Breton’s public schools, having had more than 75,000 Cape Breton students attend productions over its 52 years,” Hiscock adds. “That tradition will continue when Photograph 51 opens its six-performance run with a viewing for three hundred visiting high school students on November 21.”
Photograph 51 continues on November 22, 23, 24, and 25 at 7pm, and November 26 at 2pm.
The November 24 performance is Pay What You Choose, or Food Bank Donation. Following Photograph 51, Boardmore Theatre’s 52nd Season of Plays continues with Yellowface (January 16-21), T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral (February 13-18), The One Act Play Festival (March 14-17), the Youth Festival (April 2-7), and wraps up with Tree Boy (April 22-28).