The more I write for Jano Lapin, the more I discover the amazing depth of the Montreal arts scene. Actually, if you look only a little bit below the surface of what you think you know, there appears a colorful world chock-full of talent and creativity in places you would not expect. For example, I recently discovered Dramatis Personae (a.k.a. the Westmount Community Theatre). As of next week, they are presenting the eccentric play “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind: 30 plays in 60 minutes” by Greg Allan at the historic Victoria Hall.
Too Much Light – Origins
Too Much Light has its roots in the Chicago and New York theater scenes and has been going on since 1988. This play has quite a unique format. More specifically, it is like a game show/choose-your-own-adventure performance where the actors are on a sixty-minute timer and the audience chooses which two-minute play they see next! All in all, each performance is a totally different experience from one representation to the other. This will be the first play of this type that I see and it sounds like a whole lot of fun! Audience participation in theater? I’m on board!
“Too Much Light was chosen for its variety and its oddity! All two-minute plays are different in the way in which the audience is made to perceive and think” – Ellen Rubin, actress & co-coordinator of Dramatis Personae
Dramatis Personae, a Community Theater
Dramatis Personae is Latin for the list of characters in a play. The theater troupe has been around since 1985. The team works as a community where all the actors also do their part in creating the shows (PR, costume design, set design, etc.) Currently, they are composed of 9 members, one technician and a professional director. Additionally, every year some actors depart and new ones join the group.
Furthermore, everything is put together on a shoestring budget mostly from membership fees and the generous donations of audience members at the shows. As you can see, creativity for Dramatis Personae is found in all aspects of their work.
Let the Games Begin!
In conclusion, I am looking forward to experiencing the quirky oddity of Too Much Light. Recommended to anyone interested in experiencing something out of the ordinary. The shows are taking place on June 8th (2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.), June 12th (7:30 p.m.) and June 15th (2 p.m.). The shows themselves are free and a 15$-20$ donation is suggested. And you know I’m all about supporting Montreal arts! Please note that there is very limited seating at Victoria Hall, so it is highly recommended to reserve your seats in advance by clicking here.
Lastly, for more local art with a twist, check out our article on the Casteliers Festival!
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JMSB alumna with a business mind and a creative heart. Prefers any environment where she can combine the two. World traveler who is at her happiest in airports/train stations/bus stands because that usually means she is on her way to explore a fascinating new destination. Curious about the process and history of creators such as Gaudí, Dalí, and Chanel to name just a few. Montrealer who loves discovering art and stories that set the soul on fire, making them all the more exciting to share!