All families have a history – ours has laughter, tears, and original music
At family gatherings over the years, theatre director Barbara Larose was entertained by her aunts’ and mother’s tales of life during the Great Depression. Filled with drama and the excitement of growing up in challenging times, the stories provided natural material for Larose’s first play, Life in the Raw, which premieres at the George Ignatieff Theatre as part of the 2012 Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival.
Working with playwright and composer Rick Jones, the husband and wife team has created a series of dramatic scenes punctuated with musical “arias”, monologues set to music. “The tales were compelling, and it was important for me to preserve them. So many life lessons handed down, but also great stories that had us in laughter and tears”, explains Larose. “I think they’d be happy with the way we’ve used their history as the basis for our play.”
“It seemed natural to add songs”, adds Jones. “We had these great character-driven sections filled with emotion, and we wanted to provide them with as much impact as possible. What better way to achieve this than to set some of them to music?”
A cast of 5 portrays the poor but proud Whitaker family, struggling to survive in 1930’s Montreal. The three daughters, played by Rielle Braid, Kaitlin Lane, and Brianne Tucker, were cast from over 100 actors who requested auditions. “We were overwhelmed by the amount of talent we saw”, Larose admits, “but I think when you see the three sisters together on stage you’ll know we made the right choice”. Jones tackles the role of the father, partnered by Fringe veteran and Daughter of The Rock songstress Denise Norman as the mother.
LIFE IN THE RAW at George Ignatieff Theatre
15 Devonshire Place (just south of Varsity Stadium)
Thursday July 5, 2012 – 10:30 pm
Saturday July 7 – 12:30 pm
Sunday July 8 – 12:30 pm
Monday July 9 – 4:15 pm
Wednesday July 11 – 9:45 pm
Thursday July 12 – 2:15 pm
Saturday July 14 – 9:45 pm
TICKETS: $10 cash at door or online at www.fringetoronto.com • No latecomers admitted