5 November 2009

New play, new director



When the curtains draw back at the Ron Maslin Playhouse for the opening night of Having a Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Her, first-time director Tania Carriere will be waiting eagerly in the wings back-stage to hear the audience's laughter.

"I'm sure it will be absolutely .delightful to watch the audience respond to the energy created and see their reaction," said Carriere.

Having a Wonderful Time. Wish You Were Her, which opens on Nov. 10, is Carriere's debut as a director at Kanata Theatre, the place she has called home since graduating from Earl of March Secondary School.

Carriere acted in her first Kanata Theatre play in 1989, playing a 19th-century shop boy in On the Razzle.

Since then she has been in many Kanata productions as an actor and working behind the scenes, but has never tried her hand at directing until now.

"I've finally branched into this whole new opportunity." she said, adding that directing a play is a very different challenge than acting in one.

It's like launching a new restaurant rather than cooking the meals, she said. Both are absolutely essential but as a director, you have to look at the overall vision for the play."It's not just being in a character but developing the whole story for all the characters, the vision for them," she said.


Carriere said making the transition between acting and directing went really smoothly be­cause of the supportive environment at Kana-ta Theatre.

"The one thing that made me feel really confident is the nature of our theatre. We are a very tight, close knit family," she said. "Everyone was fantastic. Everyone was sup­portive. It's the type of place that if you need something, someone will step up and help you."


The time commitment has been the biggest challenge for Carriere in this production.
"Even as an actor I didn't understand how much time a director has to put in to a pro­duction," she said. "It would be really inter­esting to actually total the number of hours invested in a show."

Since she took on directing the play, Carriere said she is thankful for her husband's patience because he has been basically living like a bachelor with the lack of home cooked meals.

The most rewarding part of directing for
Carriere is helping actors discover the char­acters they are trying to create.


Having a Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Her opens at the Ron Maslin Playhouse on Nov. 10 and runs until Nov. 21.

It's a comedy about three couples whose af­fairs are all intertwined. They end up spend­ing a weekend getaway at the same country home which leads lo all kinds of problems as each of them try to cover their tracks.

"I can't imagine that people will leave without having a really good laugh," said Carriere. "The script is written in a way that it is one thing after another."

Carriere said that each audience member is sure to identify with at least one of the char­acters in the play.

"It's funny in that sense when you recognize something of yourself in the play," she said.

Tickets for the play are $15 and can be bought at the Kanata Theatre box office, 1 Ron Maslin Way, Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Tickets can also be purchased at the door on performance nights. Contact 613-831-4435 for more details.

jennifer.burden® metroland.com

This article is reproduced
by kind permission of the author, Jennifer Burden