Gallery 7 Theatre in Abbotsford presented a collection of live-streamed dramatic readings of plays from the medieval and Elizabethan era, starting Nov. 20.
The Pageant Wagon Theatres features dramatic readings of three plays performed from the Abbotsford Arts Centre stage as live-streamed events over two weekends.
Everyman and The Second Shepherd’s Play will be performed as a double feature on Nov. 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m., and Macbeth by William Shakespeare will be performed on Nov. 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m.
“COVID forced us to close a significant chapter of Gallery 7 Theatre’s history,” said Ken Hildebrandt, the theatre’s executive/artistic director.
“We were forced to regroup and take a look at how we might keep the community engaged and the theatre in semi-operation. We thought performing dramatic readings of plays from the annals of history that explored matters of faith and spirituality was particularly fitting. Without us being able to perform inside a theatre, we thought bringing theatre to the people, just like they did in Medieval days, albeit with cameras and computer screens, would be a fitting celebration of our roots as a theatre.”
In Everyman by Anonymous, Everyman is representative of all human kind, and is suddenly called to give a reckoning before God for the life he has lived.
Inviting mystical characters such as Fellowship, Good Deeds and Knowledge to accompany him on his pilgrimage, Everyman soon realizes that in the end, when he stands before God, all he has left to offer is his good deeds. This is a rare reading of this 15th century masterpiece, considered by many to be the greatest morality plays of all time.
The Second Shepherd’s Play, adapted to modern English by Ian Borden, tells the story of a group of shepherds who attempt to rescue a missing sheep from the clutches of a rapscallion sheep-stealing couple who will go to great lengths to conceal their thievery.
The Shepherds know that a holy announcement from the Heavenly hosts is forthcoming that will change their lives forever. One of the most famous mystery plays from the Wakefield Cycle of the 15th century, the play promises plenty of laughs and will help set the stage for the Holiday season.
Macbeth is a Scottish general who is enticed by a prophesy from three witches, who predict he will become the King of Scotland.
Spurred on by his ambitions and his determined wife, Macbeth murders his way to a usurped throne. Wracked by guilt and paranoia, Macbeth’s reign descends in to bloody tyranny until forces led by Thane of Fife restore peace and light in the kingdom.
A tragedy first performed in the early 1600s, the play explores the destructive nature of political ambition and misaligned allegiances.
Everyman and The Second Shepherd’s Play will be performed by Jacob Bernardin, John Dawson, Mikayla Froese, Laura Ruth Mackenzie, Miranda Martin and are directed by Ken Hildebrandt. The stage manager is Brittany Suderman.
Performing Macbeth are Angel Duran-Heon, Laura Kehler, Arnie Larsen, Jenn Mamchur and Cara Straforelli under the direction of Nicola Shannon. The stage manager is Nelly Fargeon.
Scenic design for Pageant Wagon Theatre is by Matt Piton, sound design is by Andrew Potts and the live-stream editor and producer is Gabe Kirkley.
Tickets are “pay what you can,” starting at $15 (or $30 for both weekends). Visit gallery7theatre.com to order tickets or for more information.