art and entertainment

The Goodnight Bird opens at Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Arts & Entertainment

ANTIGONISH – Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre is preparing to add a third play to its Main Stage repertory with The Goodnight Bird by Governor General’s Award winning playwright Colleen Murphy. The show opens on August 8, with a pay-what-you-can preview on August 7

The play is a dark comedy about old love and new courage. It revolves around the mundane lives of a middle-class couple. Lilly is retired. Morgan, her husband, isn’t ready to call it quits. One night, their normal bedtime routine, complete with bickering about how to floss without spitting on the mirror, is interrupted by a loud thunk from outside. A younger, homeless man has fallen (or jumped?) onto their condo balcony. His intrusion is the catalyst for Morgan and Lilly to examine their lives, their regrets, and their relationship. What begins as a comedic, lighthearted play takes a turn towards the unexpected, the strange, and the sorrowful, before the light of a new day dawns.

The play contains mature themes and strong language, and is intended for an adult audience.

The play stars Wally McKinnon (as Morgan); Henricus Gielis (as Parker) – both MacKinnon and Gielis can also be seen on stage in the epic comedy Ben-Hur – and acclaimed actor Mary-Colin Chisolm in the lead role of Lilly. This is a return to “home” for Chisholm who also starred in the very first season of Festival Antigonish where she wrote sketches for, and acted in, It’s the Berries! and also acted in Carol Sinclair’s Idyll Gossip.

Playwright Colleen Murphy was born in Quebec, and grew up in northern Ontario. Her play, The December Man, won the 2007 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, the Carol Bolt Award for Drama, and the 2006 Enbridge playRites Award. Other plays include Beating Heart Cadaver (nominated for a 1999 Governor General’s Literary Award), The Piper, Down in Adoration Falling, and All Other Destinations are Cancelled. She has won awards twice in the CBC Literary Competition. Colleen’s distinct award-winning films have also played in festivals around the world.

Tickets are available online (any time) and at the Bauer Theatre box office, (902) 867-3333.

Festival Antigonish will also host a “Meet the Playwright” event with Colleen Murphy on August 9 – 3 pm at Red Sky Gallery on Main Street. Colleen will read from a selection of her works, and take questions from audience members. Admission to this event is free.