Windsor's Theatre Ensemble makes their Theatre Ontario Festival debut tonight with their presentation of Dennis Kelly’s Orphans. Theatre Ensemble (formerly Theatre Intrigue Society) is celebrating its 15th year as a non-profit theatre organization. Throughout this time, they have developed from a small local theatre group to that of a vibrant production company that has toured across Ontario, and developed new commissioned work. They have recently re-branded to better describe their focus as “an ensemble of cast and crew working together towards a common goal.”
Working on Orphans was one such collaboration. When one actor had to drop out, the director stepped into the role, and the cast directed each other. Crew were invited to all rehearsals, providing feedback to the actors as well. It was rehearsed in church basements, and they rented the Capitol Theatre for their performances.
Theatre Ensemble’s focus is two-fold working with young people and developing original works. In the summer, the youth wing will be presenting Shakespeare In The Park, and they have received a grant to perform an original War of 1812 musical at three re-enactments this summer.
In Orphans, Helen and her husband Danny's night in is interrupted by Helen's brother Liam, who arrives covered in blood claiming to have found a young lad injured on the street. When Liam's recollection of the event begins to change under questioning, suspicions are aroused followed by increasing concern that he may have been more involved than first thought. This play premiered at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is described as a riveting and violent exploration of urban fear and a moral dilemma.
At the Western Ontario Drama League, Theatre Ensemble received the D. Park Jamieson Memorial Award for Best Production in Festival, awards for Outstanding Ensemble Work and Outstanding Direction (The ensemble), and nominations for Outstanding Technical Achievement and Outstanding Visual Production.
Read more about Theatre Ontario Festival 2013 on our website