Can I get an Encore?

Can I get an encore?

Theatre Projects Manitoba kicks off their season with a crowd-pleasing play by a bad boy playwright

Brittany Thiessen, The Uniter

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The English-language debut of a play by the self-proclaimed “bad boy of Franco-Manitoban theatre” kicks off Theatre Projects Manitoba’s season this week.

Written by Marc Prescott, Encore is a romantic comedy that follows a couple from their first meeting to their 50 anniversary.

The play “goes across all different categories,” Prescott said, adding it appeals to men and women of all ages because the subject matter is easy to relate to: relationships.

In Encore, a couple played by Arne Macpherson and Monique Marcher is shown on six of their anniversaries. Each time, they say the exact same things to one another.

Even though they’re saying the exact same thing every time, the words take on different meanings as time passes and the characters age, Prescott explained.

The subject matter is a departure for the self-described “bad boy,” whose material typically includes sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Prescott, who is also an actor, director, designer and humour columnist, originally wrote the play in French. After successful performances by professional theatres in Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal, Prescott translated the play into English.

“I don’t feel as if I lost anything,” Prescott said when asked if any aspect of the play was lost in the translation. He added that the French language has a certain romantic quality English doesn’t quite have, but that the play is just as strong in English.

Ardith Boxall, artistic director for Theatre Projects Manitoba, said beginning the season with a “crowd-pleasing play” like Encore, allows the company – which is dedicated to the development and production of Manitoba plays and artists – to perform edgier material throughout the rest of the season.

After Encore, the company’s season continues in March with Age of Arousal, which is, according to Boxall, a “big sexy Victorian party.” The season concludes in May with In the Chamber.

Boxall said that Encore is the most “tried and true play” of the season.

Encore runs from Oct. 30 to Nov. 9 at the Rachel Browne Theatre (211 Bannatyne Ave.).