Burl-Oak Theatre Group launches 2009 with Jitters, a marvelous and witty Canadian backstage” comedy where hilarious setbacks, bruised egos and vicious critics all add to opening night jitters. David French’s popular comedy follows the trials of a dysfunctional Canadian theatre troupe through previews to the morning after opening night of their
brand new play.
Burl-Oak’s Jitters is on stage at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts from Thursday to Saturday, January 8 to 10 and Wednesday to Saturday, January 14 to 17. Tickets at $27 are available through the Box Office at 905.815.2021 or toll free 1.888.489.7784 or online at oakvillecentre.ca. Curtain at 8 pm. Seniors and students are half price at $13.50 on Wednesday, January 14.
Perhaps Canada’s most successful playwright, David French is best known for
dramas like Leaving Home and the other plays in his Mercer trilogy about
Newfoundlanders trying to make a go of it in Toronto. Jitters brings to life
the early days of Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre where all the playwright’s
plays were first produced.
The comedy recalls not only the slightly quarrelsome family atmosphere of
many theatre companies, but also the deep insecurity Canadians often feel
about our place in the larger cultural landscape. Success, many believed,
could only truly be written in red, white and blue.
French, the theatre craftsman, clearly sympathizes with all his characters.
We recognize his affection for the role of George as he directs the new play
through turbulent battles of ego, self-doubt and sheer eccentricity. While
French himself makes fun of actors’ sometimes childish antics, he clearly
admires their talent and courage. It is they who must “go out there every
night and be good.”
For Burl-Oak’s Jitters director Ken Stern, half the fun for everyone in the
production was finding themselves inside a play within a play about
themselves. “It is uncanny how often in our rehearsals we found ourselves
laughing at David French’s truthful insights into our own process of
bringing this play to life”.