The curtain went up at the Citadel Theatre this past summer, ending a year-long COVID-19 hiatus. But, the mainstage series is set to be-gin Nov. 6 with The Fiancée, a comedy set at the end of the Second World War. Three men go off to war, and, unbeknownst to each other, all ask the same woman to marry them. She accepts all three proposals. The war ends, and she learns that all three vets have survived and will be arriving on the same evening.
The play is directed by Citadel artistic director Daryl Cloran, and is written by Holly Lewis.
“It’s going to be thrilling to be in a room again with live actors, creating something for a live audience,” Cloran says of getting back to work after a rather unwelcome break. “It’s why we do what we do.”
During the pandemic, Cloran says those involved in the theatre tried “to keep the art alive anyway we could” through digital experiments and workshopping plays via Zoom. But he admits that brought its own challenges.
“Workshopping a musical through Zoom is really tricky. There were all kinds of Zoom mishaps. Like, we’d be doing a reading on Zoom and then someone’s cat would walk into the middle of the screen, or someone would get kicked out of Zoom, bad connections.”
The Royale, a play about racial segregation and boxing — and inspired by the life of Jack Johnson, the first Black heavyweight champion of the world, runs Feb. 5-27, 2021.
Peter Pan Goes Wrong
Peter Pan Goes Wrong is a family-friendly madcap tale of, well, a production of the J.M. Barrie classic that doesn’t go according to script. Expect to see an out-of-control flying Peter. First star on the right, and straight on till morning — see it Feb. 26-March 20, 2021.
Cloran will direct play-wright Erin Shields’s adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë classic, Jane Eyre, March 19- Apr. 10, 2021.
The Herd goes from Apr. 2- 24; it looks at the spiritual significance of the birth of twin white bison on a First Nation ranch.
9 to 5: The Musical
Dolly Parton’s philanthropy came to light during the pan-demic, and her music carries the famous office-politics romp, 9 to 5: The Musical. It finishes the season, running from Apr. 30-May 29, 2021. Patrons will need to be double- vaccinated to attend.
Meet the New Boss
Sarah Pocklington took over as the Citadel’s new executive director at the end of August. The University of Alberta grad returns to Edmonton from Vancouver Island, where she was the arts program manager for the First Peoples’ Cultural Council.
She has composed music for film and television and has been a member of the internationally recognized ASANI Aboriginal Women’s Vocal Trio since 1998. Before leaving for British Columbia, she’d worked as the arts development consultant and coordinator of the Alberta Future Leaders Program.
“It feels incredible to be joining the fabulous Citadel team, and I’m thrilled to be working alongside the exceptionally talented Daryl Cloran,” Pocklington said in a release when her hiring was announced. “The Citadel is such a pivotal arts hub in Edmonton and I’m so delighted to be a part of this amazing organization.”