Canadian Consulate Sponsors Off-Broadway Habitat Talkback May 31

News   Canadian Consulate Sponsors Off-Broadway Habitat Talkback May 31 Epic Theatre Center, an Off-Broadway company, will present something old and something new May 17-June 22 when it offers, in repertory, new productions of Ibsen's Little Eyolf and contemporary Canadian playwright Judith Thompson's Habitat.

The two shows will be staged at Theatre 3 (311 W. 43rd Street). Ron Russell will direct the Ibsen, Julia Gibson the Thompson. The casts for both productions are: Melissa Friedman, Teri Lamm, Michael Reid, Craig Rovere, Rebecca Schull and James Wallert.

The 2 PM May 31 performance will be followed by a discussion and reception sponsored by the Canadian Consulate. Thompson and Len Berkman, a Professor of Playwriting and Dramatic Literature at Smith College who often teaches Thompson's work, will participate. Admittance is free with your ticket to the production. Those interested in just attending the discussion and reception pay just $5.

Ibsen wrote Eyolf during one of his most creative periods, at a time when he was creating The Master Builder and John Gabriel Borkman. The drama tells of a married couple, Alfred and Rita, whose fragile union is tested further by the death of their young son in an accident. Ibsen uses the incident to examine the nature of love and marriage, why we marry and what keeps us apart. Shaw and William Archer considered the work among Ibsen's greatest achievements. Still, since the famed Russian actress Nazimova performed in the New York premiere of the play, the play has been attempted only seldomly in the U.S. The Epic adaptation of the work has it cut down to 90 minutes.

Habitat, meanwhile, concerns a mother and daughter who live on an idyllic community—idyllic, that is, until a group home for troubled adolescents is opened on their street.

Tickets are $35 for one show; $40 for both. For tickets and more information go to Smart Tix: www.smarttix.com or (212) 206-1515.