The University of Winnipeg’s Fourth-Year Honours Acting Class Performs Middletown for Final Production
By Sarah Vandale
When trying to describe plot of Middletown, Kinsey Donald and Devin Lowry have to take a moment to think.
“It’s about life in an average small town, except sometimes you’re in outer space,” Donald said. “Which is correct, but it’s not the whole story. It’s hard to talk about it without giving too much away.”
Donald and Lowry, both 22, are fourth-year Honours Acting students at the University of Winnipeg. They have been rehearsing for their final production as a class, which begins performances this week.
Lowry said the play modestly depicts everyday life.
“It talks about the simple things that can be so enjoyable, like staring out a window for an hour or two,” Lowry said. “Just observing the beauty that’s around you that you just kind of take for granted.”
For both actors, the biggest challenge of working on this show has been being authentic.
“We’ve been going through that process of just being a person and just standing there and having a conversation with somebody,” Lowry said.
The play deals with darker themes, and shows what people are going through, no matter what façade they put on every day.
“That’s not to say the whole play is going to be dark,” Lowry said. “It definitely depicts humanity on stage.”
Donald said the class has lucked out with sets, lights and costumes for the three shows.
“The crew does so much work in creating this environment we just get to go and live in,” Donald said. “We’re going to make someone fly with the use of lighting.”
Donald said Middletown would be more difficult if the class had not performed Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in past years.
“It’s different from Shakespeare, because he gives you a map for the words with stresses and beats, whereas Eno doesn’t so much,” Donald said.
She said playwright Will Eno’s writing gives the actor a big idea that should be said in a simple, yet meaningful way.
“I think it’s a beautiful note to end on,” Donald said.
Middletownruns from April 2 to 6 at the Gas Station Arts Centre on 445 River Ave. You can reserve your tickets for free at 204-786-9152, or at the University of Winnipeg Department of Theatre and Film’s website: theatre.uwinnipeg.ca.