KordaZone packs a one-two punch with Never Swim Alone and This is a Play
overs of movie marathons will be able to enjoy a marathon of live laughs and acting when KordaZone Theatre presents two one-act plays back-to-back this month.
Never Swim Alone and This is a Play make for a great Canadian arts show- case. In addition to local talent putting on the productions, the plays themselves were written by award-winning Nova Scotia playwright, actor and director Daniel MacIvor.
Both plays are being directed by Jeff Bastien of Theatre Windsor, who is directing at Korda for the first time. “I love to dig deep into the characters and find their motivations,” he said, “and no matter how absurd the situation may be, I like to find the tone that rings true for the scene and for the play.”
He likes the setup of the two seemingly dissimilar plays being put on one after another. “Because of the thematic connections, it made sense to do the two of them together,” explained Bastien.
The plays are very different from each other, however. “One is a very black satire and the other one is fairly comical … The themes and tones of the play really match the themes and tones that Korda already deals with.”
Never Swim Alone is a play about two businessmen dealing with situations from their past and feelings of regret, loss, and that fake veneer that many businessmen wear. Lyssa Meloche, a graduate of the Walkerville Fine Arts program, plays the female role in Never Swim Alone.
“This is one of my favourite plays … I used to get to see it all the time and never be a part of it,” said Meloche. “I’m really excited. I think it’s a fantastic play, it is very dark, which is something that I like a lot. I really can’t wait.”
Meloche faces a daunting challenge being one of only three actors in the play. “It is very different to not have a large ensemble to lean on, so it almost feels like it’s the three of us against an audience, which can be very large … Usually it feels like an army. There are a lot of you and there’s always someone to fall back on.”
But Meloche also enjoys the intimacy of being a part of a small cast lineup. “I feel really close to my cast members and it’s been really great to work with such a small group because they have a lot of feedback and it’s very easy to work off each other when it’s so small.”
This is a Play also features just three cast members.
“This is a Play is about a play, and is also about what actors really think when they’re on stage, and their own insecurities,” said Bastien.
Being the more light-hearted of the two, This is a Play will be performed last. “I definitely feel I’d rather have an audience leave smiling than frowning and thinking too heavy on the way out. Kind of like when you have a heavy steak first and a light dessert at the end.”
This is a Play and Never Swim Alone run Aug. 17, 18 and 23-25 at 8 p.m. and Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. at KordaZone Theatre. Tickets are $15 and $10 for seniors/students.