Honours Performance Series 2014

McMaster's School of the Arts' Honours Performance Series features work of students from the graduating class of the Theatre and Film Studies program working in collaboration with third year students designers. Each year the HPS productions reflect the interests and creativity of the current generation of McMaster students. With support from the "Tribute to Theresa Elspeth Pierrynowski Fund."

Honours Performance Series 2014 Poster

An Original Play by Phil Krusto and Hannah Wayne-Phillips
March 13, 2014 – 12:30 p.m. & 9:00 p.m. and March 14, 2014 – 2:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Robinson Memorial Theatre – CNH 103

Lighthouse is the story of people trying to survive in a world that is actively fighting their every effort. Ferdinand and Piper have only known a life of darkness and decay, scavenging to survive any way they can. Except Piper sees hope in the form of a hanging rope and a bright light that shines down from it. Where this rope leads is unclear, but it must be better than the life they’ve been living, right? Taking inspiration from absurdist theatre and traditional clowning, Lighthouse presents a world where injustice and despair are as common as dirt, where big ideas and big egos collide, and where the people that live there must fight to build a better and more just world.


Therac 25: Therac 25
A Play by Adam Pettle. Directed by Zoe Blenkinsop and Graham Caldwell
March 13, 2014 –2:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. and March 14, 2014 – 12:30 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.
Robinson Memorial Theatre – CNH 103.

Pettle’s sense of humour and his unflinching honesty puts us on the edge where comedy and tragedy fuse in a dance like fire… One of the most powerful, most liberating experience of live theatre I’ve lived through.” – Halifax Chronicle-Herald
Alan and Moira are young, in love, and facing death. Each with their own story, their own sickness and their own fears, they meet in the corridors of the Princess Margret Hospital. A chance meeting starts a kindred friendship where they explore the limits of their mortality. This is a play about two young people whose lives have been interrupted by disease that NOW Magazine calls “Edgy and moving… filled with humour and tenderness.”


Simon Says:Simon Says
An Original Play by Hannah Bickle, Jesse Horvath, Hanah Itner and Julie Lane.
March 20 – 21, 2014 – 12:30 p.m. & 8:00 p.m..
Robinson Memorial Theatre – CNH 103.

Simon Says is a production that outlines the common human struggle of maintaining one’s sense of identity as he or she moves through the various steps of life. In a society obsessed with grooming for success, and with very specific rules for how to achieve that success, it is easy for a person to become trapped within the rigid processes that are laid out for us at an early age. The protagonist is one who has done just that and in doing so has abandoned the qualities in him that make him who he is. Simon Says posits the notion that the widely accepted model of a successful person, and the steps taken to attain that position, do not favour many learning styles and can cause a person to neglect their passions and dreams. Using physicality and intense visual imagery, Simon Says creates a beautiful world of imagination and expression that stands in opposition to the life of monotony that many people become trapped within.

Unidentified: [insert culture here]:
An Original Play by Sophorn Chum, Nastazja Palonka and Bart Ronde
March 27, 2014 – 12:30 p.m. & 9:00 p.m. and March 28, 2014 – 2:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Robinson Memorial Theatre – CNH 103.

You are invited to the apartment complex of Lord Grey Place, a rather old building with a culturally diverse set of tenants living within! Enter a world that welcomes everyone of all colours and backgrounds, with a friendly cast of characters who live harmoniously under one roof and are occasionally completely racist! Wait a second – racist? Did we really just say that? Unidentified: [insert culture here] is a satirical comedy that questions a seemingly ideal multicultural society. The story centres around mid twenty-somethings, Leom and Maya, who deal with issues of workplace racism and interracial dating. This show explores how cultural stereotypes and identities are influenced by the perceptions of people around you. We challenge you to question and find humour in how characters on stage can be perceived in relation to their culture and race – do you see them for their racial appearance and agree with the stereotypes that are shown? What is the line between offensive and acceptable? The show blends an absurd type of humour with satire, and draws upon elements of Brechtian theatre. Join us in laughing together as we ask you to look at the humour in cultural and racial stereotypes, questioning the things you think in your head but never actual say out loud.

The Bell Ringer:The Bell Ringer
An Original Play by Taryn Crankshaw, Cameron Love, Jessica Marshall and Concetta Roche
March 27, 2014 – 2:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. and March 28, 2014 – 12:30 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.
Robinson Memorial Theatre – CNH 103

A modern adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame that explores the discourse and ideologies surrounding disability and male body image in today’s society. Blending the original gothic text of the classic tale with newly devised dialogue, The Bell Ringer investigates the physical and social integration between bodies of different shapes, sizes, and abilities. The directors of this work were inspired by mediated forms of entertainment that exploit individuals with disabilities and a lack of recent narratives that discuss the male sex in relation to body image and appearance. By re-imagining the story through the perspective of a modern lens, this production asks audiences to inquire how and why the dark themes of Hugo’s 183 year old work are still relevant to today’s standards of the human body.

COGS: Cogs Web
An Original Production by Emily Gallomazzei and Peter Sirisko
March 27 -29, 2014 – 6:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.
118 James Street North
* Reservation required. Please e-mail cogshps@gmail.com to reserve seats.

COGS is a surreal journey through the mind and through those memories that, pieced together, create our identity. Those we have loved, those we have lost, fit together as the working cogs of the unique machine that is our mind. Through interactive design and experimental movement, the audience will freely explore the imaginatively rich and diverse spaces we create for ourselves from unforgettable experiences. As the main character confronts the turmoil and darkness present in their history and identity they will learn what it means to find belonging in others, space, and the self. COGS is truly a unique performance experience with which audiences will be deeply connected through the use of in-ear audio, intimate narrative, and immersive environments.