Apr 09

Alberta Theatre Projects’ ‘Glory’ is glorious

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

 

Kate Dion-Richard, Gili Roskies, Katie Ryerson, Morgan Yamada, and Kevin Corey in GLORY. Photo: Barbara Zimonick. (Set & Lights: Narda McCarroll. Costumes: Cindy Wiebe)

“Girls don’t play hockey. Who wants to watch a bunch of dolls tossing a puck around?”

This is the kind of mentality the women of the The Rivulettes are up against. It’s the 1930s, and the Rivulettes have just finished up their baseball season. They decide that they want to start a hockey team but there are many obstacles in the way. They have to find a sponsor, a coach, and enough players to field a team. They also have to beat the odds and continue to persevere even when the world says that girls aren’t meant to play hockey.

Alberta Theatre Projects’ world premiere presentation of Glory by Tracey Power in association with Western Canada Theatre is a varied and dynamic look at a team trying to fight for love of the game. Director James MacDonald has guided the story to unfold on stage with grace. It is a empowering story, both fun and refreshing.

The play tells of the Rivulettes, Helen Schmuck (Kate Dion-Richard), Marm Schmuck (Gili Roskies), Hilda Ranscombe (Katie Ryerson) and Nellie Ranscombe (Morgan Yamada) who start a women’s hockey team. They convince Herbert Fach (Kevin Corey) to be their reluctant coach. They practice at all hours, when the men don’t need the ice time. War is brewing in Europe and everyone is struggling to find jobs. Hockey is an escape as much as it is something that brings everyone together.

Narda McCarroll has created a set that can be shifted to be the ice rink, or a train, or a dressing room. It is simple and elegant with pillars on either side of the stage that are lit by beautiful lights, also designed by McCarroll. Cindy Wiebe’s costume design dates the play in the time of the 30s with the hairstyles and outfits.

Kate Dion-Richard, Gili Roskies, Katie Ryerson, and Morgan Yamada in GLORY. Photo: Barbara Zimonick. (Set & Lights: Narda McCarroll. Costumes: Cindy Wiebe)

Steve Charles’ sound design is something to fall in love with. Coupled with Tracey Power’s choreography, when the ladies are on the ice playing Canada’s game, they move and play to jazz music and it’s enthralling to watch. McCarroll’s lighting design also allows these games to light up the stage.

Each of the women are measured and dynamic in their performances. Ryerson stands out as the hockey expert and the most determined of the bunch. Yamada brings a lot of nuance to her role. Corey is gruff and solid as Fach, providing a great contrast to the enthusiasm of the ladies.

Glory is refreshing. It tells a story from women’s perspective that isn’t about motherhood. It’s very relevant to today, as we’re still fighting on the same fronts. The first half runs a bit long and the whole play could use a bit of tightening up, as the story has a lot to say. But overall, Glory is a game worth watching.

Alberta Theatre Projects’ world premiere presentation of Glory runs until April 21st. More information is available online.

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