50 Reasons to Go See A Play – curious arts

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the University of Alberta’s Department of Drama, the Curious Arts blog is sharing 50 Reasons to Go See A Play throughout the 2015-16 season.

Here’s our first in a series of 50 Reasons to Go See A Play, by Beyond Therapy guest director and UAlberta alumna Glenda Stirling (’97 BA). U of A Studio Theatre kicks off the 2015-16 season Oct. 15 through 24 with Christopher Durang’s outrageous 1980s comedy, Beyond Therapy, about two singles looking for love and penning personal ads with the help of their wacky psychiatrists.

Reason 1: Go See Beyond Therapy To Find the Funny

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Glenda Stirling

Directing Christopher Durang is exhilarating and tricky.

One of the tricky bits is finding the funny, without playing the funny. By this I mean letting the comedy emerge from a situation that is in no way funny to the people involved, but is hilarious when you are not the person in the middle of the madness. For every character, each challenge, relationship and situation is completely real, completely urgent and completely serious. But in navigating these relationships and situations the characters all too often end up acting in an absurd manner. Isn’t that just like real life?  When the stakes are high, and you are falling in love or falling apart there is always an element of the absurd – even if you can’t laugh about it until you are safely on the other side.

For me one of life’s glorious and joyful absurdities has been being able to come back to Studio Theatre nearly 20 years after I graduated, to create work with a group of exciting new actors about to embark on their own professional careers.

It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to be part of their journey.


About Glenda Stirling
Glenda is based in Calgary, has worked her way across the country, directing, choreographing and writing. She has had the pleasure of working at Ship’s Company in Nova Scotia, the Shaw Festival in Ontario, the Calgary Opera and Alberta Theatre Projects in Calgary, and many others in between. On the way she has earned a Bachelor of Arts (University of Alberta), a Masters in Fine Arts (Theatre Studies, University of Calgary) and a C.M.A. (Certified Movement Analyst, Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, NY).

Glenda taught in the acting program at Mount Royal University for a decade, and in the professional acting training programs at Red Deer College, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge and University of Alberta.

Presenter: U of A Studio Theatre
Event Title:Beyond Therapy by Christopher Durang
Dates: Oct. 15 – 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinee Thursday, Oct. 22  at 12:30 p.m.
$5 preview performance on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
No show on Sunday, Oct. 18.
Venue: Timms Centre for the Arts, University of Alberta
Single show tickets: $12 student, $25 adult, $22 senior, available online now at TIX on the Square and at the Timms Centre box office one hour before each performance.

For full cast, creative and production team details see: https://uofa.ualberta.ca/events/beyond-therapy

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