What do we mean by “forgiveness” or “redemption”? Prodigal, written and directed by Paolo Santalucia currently being presented by the Howland Company at Crow’s Theatre asks us to consider just that. It’s a curiously structured play. On one level it’s a black comedy about a seriously dysfunctional elite family but there’s an intro to each act in which a preacher exegises on the Parable of the Prodigal Son and the Parable of the Lost Sheep. We are invited to compare the characters we are about to see with the dramatic personae of Christ’s teaching. But are they really comparable?”
A version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters opened last night in a collaboration between Hart House Theatre and the Howland Company. It’s described as “Adapted and directed by Paolo Santalucia after Chekhov” . What this means is that is given a contemporary Canadian setting with changed character names and so forth. The structural purpose of each scene, pretty much each speech, remains the same but the words are not a literal translation. And, Alex Vershinin is a woman lieutenant colonel in the RCAF which gives a very different spin to her “affair” with Masha.