Play features commedia dell’arte pageantry and steam punk

Posted: March 25, 2015 9:15 a.m.

The King Stag cast members Ligbo Monegbo (front) and Julian Nelson (back) all set for the big shows
The King Stag cast members Ligbo Monegbo (front) and Julian Nelson (back) all set for the big shows Photo courtesy of: U of R Photography.

A magical 18th century fairy tale with some unusual twists comes to life on stage at the University Theatre.

The King Stag is presented by the Theatre department at the University of Regina March 25 to March 28. 

“This has been a learning experience for the students because they’re working on a newly devised adaptation  as opposed to and tried and true script,” says director Joel Tremblay, who graduated from the U of R’s Theatre Department in 1987 and is a distinguished alumni.

“I’ve been totally impressed with their fearless willingness to go on the arduous journey of staging a brand new piece of theatre. It’s their complete ability to play and to embrace the unknown that has made this project a labour of joy.”

This version of The King Stag is an update on the 18th-century commedia dell’arte play by Carlo Gozzi that brings to the stage a colourful and energetic mix of steam punk and pageantry. 

“We wanted something playful and modern but with a historical reference so we looked to Steam Punk as a point of departure. It’s a modern take on Victorian costumes. The costumes very much achieve what we set out to do. I love them.”
All of the actors are university students who were chosen through an open audition and have had the opportunity to learn from Tremblay, a veteran director and actor.
“This has been a really great experience, especially to work with Joey,” says Landon Walliser, a fourth year Theatre student
“Joey is such fun to work with and he does such interesting work. His style is very off the wall and it is very musicalesque - even if we are not doing a musical.”

The King Stag is a fairy tale that appeals to all ages.

“Ultimately the play is about the great joy of invention,” says Tremblay.

The director is also quick to point to the University Theatre’s unique stage, a classic proscenium arch theatre, makes it a perfect setting for the King Stag.

“It’s been a great opportunity to have access to this incredible theatre and one that has all of the bells and whistles that we can access,” says Tremblay.

Event: The King Stag
Date:   March 25 to March 28
Time:   7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
University Theatre
Riddell Centre
Main Campus - U of R
Adults $15, Seniors/Children $10
U of R Students free with student card
Theatre Department