Heartwarming Holiday Theatre Events In and Around Westmount

2 O’clock Series – A Presentation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations

 

Organizers of the 2 O’clock Series at the Westmount Library have prepared a particularly fun event for the holiday season. On Wednesday, December 6 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Westmount Room, Westmount resident Andrew MacDougall will present a reading of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, dressed in full Dickens’ attire as if Dickens himself was presenting.

Great Expectations was Dickens’ thirteenth novel, first published in serial form between December 1860 and August 1861. The novel is about a humble orphan who becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Shortly after completing the novel Dickens tried to adapt it for public reading (maximum two hours) but could not complete it. MacDougall has attempted to complete the daunting task – you can judge how well he has done. The reading will last about two hours, including a short intermission.

Tickets are available to Library members 4 weeks prior to the event on a first-

come, first-served basis. Remaining tickets will be available to the general public one week prior to the event. For more information 514.989.5299

 

(pulled from Andrew MacDougall’s website:

Charles Dickens Reading by Andrew Macdougall

Charles Dickens was as much a performer as a writer; in fact towards the end of his life he made much more money from his “readings” in England and the US than he did from his writing.

For these readings he chose extracts from his books (or stories he had written) to which his audience would strongly react emotionally, and adapted them for performance.

Dickens had a repertoire of twelve such readings. Andrew Macdougall provides re-enactments of all these Dickensian performances with one exception: A Christmas Carol.

Andrew MacDougall was born in England in 1945 where, aged 10, he read The Pickwick Papers, and cried when he’d finished. In Canada, after retiring early as a Computer Engineer, he spends his time performing with the Montreal West Operatic Society, singing with the Montreal Welsh Male Choir, driving streetcars at Exporail (the Canadian Railway Museum), and moderating Canadian Literature and Railway History courses at the McGill Community for Lifelong Learning. He has been a Scout leader for 32 years, and recently received a Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee medal.

 

MacDougall can be reached at 514/937.5527 or andrewmac@videotron.ca_

 

The Montreal Dickens Fellowship

Are you a Dickens aficionado? Learn how to become a member of the Montreal Dickens Fellowship by contacting Ellie Clavier-Rothstein at clavroth@sympatico.ca or attend one of our monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of the month, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Westmount Library, 4574 Sherbrooke West.

Annual membership is $20 or $30 for a family membership. There is no charge for first time visitors. Without membership, the charge is $5 per meeting for subsequent visits.

Members receive a reduced rate on special events/outings, receive newsletters and have access to the lending library.

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Dramatis Personae Performs Bits From the Bard

Westmount’s Community Theatre Dramatis Personae fall production is Bits from the Bard,  a tapestry of scenes from Shakespeare’s plays which Producer Ann Elbourne says the group thinks will amuse and delight the audiences.

The highlight of the evening will be Twelve Minute Night, a parody of Twelfth Night by British playwright John Owen Smith which condenses the play into twelve minutes. Bits from the Bard is directed by Christopher Moore.

The performances will take place in Victoria Hall, 4626 Sherbrooke Street West on Friday, December 8 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, December 10 at 2 and 5 p.m., and Monday, December 11 at 8 p.m.

Reservations www.theatrewestmount.com

Information 514 486 7423 or 514 484 2016

Dramatis Personae

Dramatis Personae, Westmount’s Community Theatre, was founded by Ann Page in 1985 and has been performing regularly ever since.  In its early years the group performed  in the Atwater Library then in 1988 affiliated with the City of Westmount recreation department. The first play performed in Victoria Hall was a series of vignettes based on stories by O. Henry.

Dramatis Personae is a not-for-profit group funded by membership fees and generous donations from its audiences.  They are a diverse group from all walks of life and welcome new members.  Some acting experience is helpful, but enthusiasm is even more important. The group also needs people with all types of creative or organizational skills.

Rehearsals are every Monday evening at 8 p.m. in Victoria Hall, from September through to June.

Typically Dramatis Personae produces two shows each year. The fall production is a series of short plays tied together under a common theme.  This allows all members, new and old, to have a central role in at least one of the short plays.  The spring production is a full-length play.

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Westmount playwright Arthur Holden will be part of the play readings and audience talkbacks at Infinithéâtre’s The Pipeline December 8 to 10 at Espace Knox, 6215 Godfrey Ave. in NDG.

The Pipeline returns with four plays in three days, including prize winners from this year’s Write-On-Q! play writing contest, for readings and talkback with the playwrights and the audience.

Infinithéâtre’s mission is to develop, produce and broker new Québec plays to ever-widening audiences. Every year Infinithéâtre presents Québec’s newest discoveries in The Pipeline, an annual series of free public play readings where the audience takes centre stage, offering valuable feedback that furthers script development and helps choose future seasons. Guy Sprung, Infinithéâtre’s artistic director, invites the public to be part of the excitement and share their views.

Arthur Holden was born, raised and still lives in Westmount, with his wife author Claire Holden Rothman. In addition to the Centaur Theatre, Holden has had three plays produced by Infinithéâtre: Father Land (2010), Ars Poetica (2012) and Battered (2016). He joins The Pipeline roster for the sixth time with his newest play, The Past. winner of the 2017 Theatre BC National Playwriting Competition.

“The Past deals with alcoholism, a complicated and painful subject,” says Arthur. “I hope it also conveys a sense of optimism in its portrayal of characters who, however damaged they may be, haven’t lost their capacity for irony, compassion and love.”

The Past, directed by Shawn Campbell, will be presented Saturday, December 9 at 7 p.m. To view the full list of plays visit www.infinitheatre.com

Admission by donation/$10 suggested. Seating is limited. To reserve 514.987.1774

 

 

 

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