Sarah Orenstein Will Star in Tarragon World Premiere, Wild Mouth, in Toronto

News   Sarah Orenstein Will Star in Tarragon World Premiere, Wild Mouth, in Toronto
A grieving mother seeks solace on the Canadian prairie during World War I in Maureen Hunter's Wild Mouth, getting its world premiere Jan. 2, 2008, at Toronto's Tarragon Theatre.

RH Thomson will direct a cast that includes Sarah Allen, Oliver Becker, Ian D. Clark, David Fox, Shaw Festival veteran Sarah Orenstein (as a mother who has lost her son to the Great War), Simon Rainville and Brenda Robins.

The official opening is Jan. 9 at Tarragon's Mainspace. According to the respected resident Equity troupe devoted to contemporary voices, "In 1917, as the Great War rages across the Atlantic, Anna (Sarah Orenstein) flees the bustling city for the tranquility of the prairies. Like so many others, she is mourning the death of her only son and seeks comfort in her family. She joins her brother, Logan (Ian D. Clark), struggling to maintain his farm on the outskirts of Standfast, Saskatchewan. Frustrated by her family and country's entrenched patriotism, Anna becomes obsessed with the life of the soldier in all its gritty detail. To that end, Anna pursues the enigmatic Bohdan (Oliver Becker), who has just returned wounded from the war, for the answers she so desperately needs."

The creative team boasts set and costume designer Yannik Larivée, lighting designer Michelle Ramsay, sound designer Todd Charlton and stage manager Alison Peddie.

Playwright Hunter's work has been produced extensively on Canada's major stages, as well as in Britain and the U.S., and by CBC and BBC Radio. It has been nominated for two Governor General's Awards and two Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Outstanding New Play), as well as for the Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre. Her most recent plays are Vinci, premiered by the National Arts Centre, Ottawa, in co-production with Manitoba Theatre Centre in 2002; Atlantis, premiered in English by MTC/Theatre Calgary in 1996 and in French by Theatre de la Manufacture, Montreal, in 1999; and Transit of Venus, which received its Canadian premiere at MTC in 1992 and a year later became the first Canadian play ever staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company of Britain. It received its U.S. premiere in 1998 at the Berkshire Theatre in Stockbridge, MA.

Wild Mouth is her eighth full-length play. She just recently completed a libretto based on her play Transit of Venus, which premiered as a full-length opera this past November at Manitoba Opera. Hunter was raised with five brothers on a farm near Indian Head, Saskatchewan. Performances of Wild Mouth continue to Feb. 10, 2008.

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