Playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald’s twist on Shakespearian theatre, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), cranks up the comedy, as portrayed by the students of the Canadian College of Performing Arts. The play runs Dec. 11-14. Facebook

CCPA actors fall down a Shakespearian rabbit hole

Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) makes for chaotic theatre fun

By Felicia Santarossa

Monday Magazine contributor

Get sucked into Shakespeare, Dec. 11-14 as the Canadian College of Performing Arts takes audiences down an Elizabethan rabbit hole with the Ann-Marie MacDonald comedy Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet).

Audiences follow modern-day doctoral student Constantine Ledbelly arguing in her thesis, that Othello and Romeo and Juliet are not meant to be tragedies, then watch her drawn into the worlds of those works. Once Constance finds herself in this other universe of Shakespeare’s plays, she even begins to speak like the Bard’s characters.

Guest director Janet Munsil calls the Canadian College of Performing Arts version of Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) “silly fun with what we think of as Shakespearean theatre.” Photo courtesy CCPA

Chaos ensues as the increasingly Shakespearean comedy progresses.

“There’s disguise, and they eavesdrop on one another, it’s quite presentational in the style,” says guest director Janet Munsil. “It’s a really smart play, but it’s really goofy and fun to work on. It’s got a nice balance of ideas on authorship and identity, but also kind of silly fun with what we think of as Shakespearean theatre,” she adds.

The cast of seven second-year CCPA students play 16 characters, many of whom appear in the modern world then reappear in slightly altered form in the Shakespearean world.

Munsil appreciates the students’ boundless energy and dedication to their work. “It makes it really fun to work on a fun play, they’re really able to explore this in a playful way, but also investigate the script in a deeper, more analytical way.”

The story presents many surprises and clever threads to follow, she says.

“I’m uncovering things all the time as I read it, which I think is why this play is such a popular piece and it’s been around since the late 80s,” she says. “I think that’s because it has enough interest and depth to it, even though it feels like on the surface it’s a silly comedy.”

Goodnight Desdemona plays Dec. 11 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the CCPA performance hall, 1701 Elgin Rd.

A relaxed performance, open to all but accessible for patrons who may find the regular theatre setting challenging, is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.

Tickets for all shows are available online at eventbrite.ca.



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Live theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

The Sid Williams Theatre marquee is once again proudly displaying upcoming events. Photo supplied
Courtenay’s Sid Williams Theatre reopening in a limited capacity

Theatre has been closed since March due to COVID-19

Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

Nanaimo-based ceramic artist Joe Lyons is presenting his first solo exhibition, ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts from Oct. 26 to Nov. 12. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-based ceramic artist showcases variety of bottles in first solo show

Joe Lyons presents ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Toronto poet Robert Priest is presenting an online reading on Oct. 24. (Photo courtesy Allen Booth)
Nanaimo spoken word society presents online reading by prolific Toronto poet

Robert Priest to dip into 40-year catalogue for upcoming Zoom reading

Nanaimo singer Elise Boulanger releases her new single, ‘Cigarettes et rosé’ on Oct. 11. (Photo courtesy Laura Baldwinson)
Nanaimo singer releasing new single inspired by overheard conversations

Elise Boulanger to unveil ‘Cigarettes et rosé,’ accompanying ukulele tutorial video to come

Lee Porteous will be one of the performers at the Duncan Showroom’s storytelling event later this month. (Photo Submitted)
Duncan Showroom hosts storytellers series

Monthly shows will be broadcast live on YouTube

The 2020 City of Victoria Youth Poet Laureate Neko Smart will give up her seat for the next young poet in January. (Contributed/ Jeremy Loveday)
Nominations open for Victoria’s 2021 Youth Poet Laureate

Honourary one-year term reserved for region’s emerging poets

Joëlle Rabu and Nico Rhodes present No Regrets, a live-streamed and in-person show featuring the songs of French singer Édith Piaf at the Port Theatre on Oct. 17. (Photo courtesy Vital Image)
Nanaimo mother-son duo pay tribute to Édith Piaf in Nanaimo

Vocalist Joëlle Rabu and pianist and arranger Nico Rhodes present ‘No Regrets’ show Oct. 17

Most Read