Audiences return in record numbers to drama production at Mount Allison
In 2020, due to the pandemic, all drama productions at Mount Allison were moved online. While some shows began happening in person in 2021-22, others were postponed or performed online — and audiences were limited. With the first production of the 2022-23 season The Wolves by Sarah Delappe just wrapping, it was clear actors and audiences alike had missed live theatre at Mount Allison.
Part-time lecturer and The Wolves director Valmai Goggin (’06) says while there is a place for digital theatre in the artistic landscape, gathering together is an essential piece of the performing arts.
“There is no replacement for a live audience,” says Goggin. “And while we continue to navigate risk, we have found ways to safely share space again in theatres. It was hugely meaningful to see our theatre full again — on stage and in the audience. Theatre has always represented community and this is particularly true with the Drama Program at Mount Allison.”
Goggin graduated from Mount Allison in 2006 with a degree in English and Drama and after living in Iqaluit, NU for a few years, completed her MFA in Directing at the University of Calgary. She then worked in professional theatre and live events for more than a decade and returned to Mount Allison last year as the 2021 J.E.A. Crake Fellow in Drama. This year, she moved to a position as part-time lecturer and The Wolves director.
“When I was a student I took every chance to get involved on stage and off. I had the opportunity to act, direct, work as stage crew, and even create my own work as a playwright, “ says Goggin. “Coming back to Mount Allison has been somewhat of a full circle moment.”
The Wolves had originally been planned for last theatre season, but was postponed due to the highly physical nature of the show with close contact between actors. This year performers remained masked in rehearsals until just a few days before the show opened. The entire production team was vaccinated and all audience members were masked while in the theatre.
Goggin says the show was one of the best-selling productions in recent history at the Motyer-Fancy Theatre.
“We were so pleased to start the 2022-23 season with this timely and impactful show,” she says.
Read more about the upcoming shows in the Motyer-Fancey Theatre: mta.ca/current-students/drama-studies-program/motyer-fancy-theatre/motyer-fancy-theatre-current-season
Please note that masks remain mandatory in University buildings for this academic year.