Mary's Wedding

by Stephen Massicote

Performed November 2012
(November 6-10 & 13-17)
at the Ron Maslin Playhouse
(10 performances: part of the regular season)

Directed by Wendy Wagner


CAST

MARY Emily Walsh
FLOWERDEW Emily Walsh
CHARLIE Nicholas Maillet

PRODUCTION STAFF

Acting Coach Guy Buller
Production Manager Anne Marie(Davies) Smith
Stage Manager Katie (Betts) Buller
Assistant Stage Manager Meghan Duncan
Brian McCullough
Set Design Karl Wagner
Set Construction Jim Holmes
Construction Assistant Kendrick Abell
Jim Clarke
Dean Flockton
Tony Francis
Brooke Keneford
Brian McCullough
Earl McLaughlin
Richard Thibodeau
Karl Wagner
Andrew Williams
Scenic Artist Carolyn Johnstone
Set Painter Ruth Davie
Emma Hopwood
Allison Howieson
Katie King
Lucille Lacelle
Susan V. Phillips
Richard Thibodeau
Gerry Thompson
Karl Wagner
Wendy Wagner
Andrew Williams
Erin Wormald
Linda Wormald
Set Decor Ruth Davie
Tracey Gardner-Doyle
Susan V. Phillips
Wendy Wagner
Lighting Design Karl Wagner
Lighting Assistant Alan Bauld
Jandra Drodge
Ron Francis
Paul Gardner
Jared Wagner
Sound Design Robert Fairbairn
Sound Assistant Tracey Nash
Composer Rob Mitchell
Composer Assistant Megan Mitchell
Continuity Paul Behncke
Margrit Cattell
Julie Clayton
Ann Williams
Military Consultant Ron Dearing
Properties Tracey Gardner-Doyle
Properties Assistant Dave Anderson
Costumes Sandy Wynne
Costumes Assistant Katie King
Sylvia Ralphs-Thibodeau
Seamstress Sylvia Ralphs-Thibodeau
Make-up Martha Johnstone
Make-Up Assistant Tania Carriere
Katie King
Hair Styling Carol Walkey
Choreographer Tracey Nash
Green Room Manager Nancy (Warner) Cormier
Green Room assistant Sheryl Bell
Christine Walton
Publicity Susan V. Phillips
House Manager Patrick Kay
Refreshments coordinator Nancy Baker
Whynn Bosnich
Programme Wendy Wagner
Box Office Gordon Marwood

HISTORICAL NOTE

The German Spring Offensive began on 21 March 1918 with a thunderous artillery barrage. Despite valiant resistance, the British forward positions held by 3rd Army were overrun. The only reserve was the Cavalry Corps with a strength of three divisions. Suddenly the Cavalry became vital to the survival of the British.

By the morning of the 30th March, the Germans had established themselves on Moreuil Ridge and occupied Moreuil Wood. Moreuil Wood and the nearby Rifle Wood had considerable tactical significance as they commanded the approaches to Amiens, 12 kms away.


At 0830 hrs on 30th March, General Seeley, commander of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade, met with General Pitman, Commander of the 2nd Cavalry Division. The Germans had captured Mezieres and were advancing on Amiens. General Seely was to, as quickly as possible “engage and endeavour to delay the enemy”.

The Brigade order of march that morning was the Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD) leading, then the Lord Strathconas Horse (Strathconas), the Machine Gun Squadron then the Fort Garry Horse (FGH).

As they neared the wood, the rifle and machinegun fire increased. Seeley had information from the French that the Germans were in the wood in strength and the Brigade was outnumbered at least two to one. In spite of his orders to delay, Seeley attacked, ordering the RCD to ride to and enter the West and North faces of the wood. “A” and “B” Squadrons of the Strathconas entered the North face reinforcing the RCD “A” Squadron. “C” Squadron of the Strathconas were given a crucial task…. To ride around the North face then South, down the East side of the wood to cut off German reinforcements.

Lt Flowerdew, in charge of “C” squadron, detached a Troop under Lt Harvey VC into the North East corner of the wood to provide a foot on the ground for his turn south.

When the three remaining troops of “C” Squadron rounded the wood they found scores of Germans dismounted and facing them. Flowerdew didn’t miss a beat and immediately ordered a charge with the words….”It’s a charge boys". He drew his sabre and charged into the combined fire of twenty machine guns and at least a hundred rifles…. His soldiers followed him into a storm of small arms fire.

DIRECTOR'S NOTE

Mary’s Wedding is full of sound and light, heart and soul, tender passion and gut-wrenching sorrow. I have been dreaming of directing this play since I first read it five years ago. The script literally exploded inside my head and heart and it has been aching to get out every since.

It is the sort of play that comes along infrequently and challenges everyone on the team: director, actors, and designers. Mary’s Wedding is a beautiful gem and each member of the team must polish a different facet to make the finished product shine. I have been fortunate to work with, and depend upon, many talented individuals throughout the course of this production. The show you watch tonight would not have been possible without their dedication and months of hard work.

In Mary’s dream we travel back and forth through time and in and out of memory as it mixes with both the real and the imagined. The fluidity of the script demands a certain freedom of the actors. They are first in one place and time and then in another - often in the blink of an eye. It also demands much of the audience. Do you see the battlefields of World War I?

Stephen Massicotte wrote the play in 2000 and it was first performed at the Alberta Theatre Project in 2002 where it won the Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play. It has since won numerous awards, been produced all over the world and, was most recently adapted for Pacific Opera Victoria.

For the ATP premiere presentation of Mary’s Wedding he wrote, "… [Mary’s Wedding] was going to be a war play. However, I was in love when I wrote it and I thought it was more of a love to end all loves. This is not that love story but the more I loved her, the more Mary and Charlie loved each other. The more I longed to return to her, the more they longed to return to each other. So the war play became a love story. I wrote it to forget her and to get her back and to remember her and to let her go."

I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to love this play, to work on it with so many gifted people, and to now let it go so that you may experience it and, perhaps, fall in love too. Enjoy the dream!

Please join us for a brief "Talkback" after the show if you wish to speak to the actors and designers.