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Culture Briefs

All the school is a stage

While most students are buckling down for term papers and finals right now, the actors, directors and theatre nerds among us are busy putting together a week-long whirlwind of student-written plays. The 21st Annual McGill Drama Festival kicked off last Wednesday, and continues through April 6. This year’s festival is aptly named “Clash”; not only does each individual production explore the tension between various theatrical dichotomies (form and content, light and dark, real and imaginary), but the pairing of the six plays into three double bills initially appears discordant. Michael Bick and Valerie Lippman’s Law (According to Clown), a comedy about humour in the courtroom, is playing alongside Tyler Rumi’s A Snake Eats its Tail: A play on 9/11; Amal Masri’s Sahtayn, a story of alleged plagiarism and theft in a Jordanian girls school is billed with Murteza Khan’s Friends for Rent, a dark comedy about a “special” friend service; and Erica Smith’s look at a mother-daughter relationship in In Conversation with Megan’s Mother is paired with Katie McMillan’s Genie’s Big Adventure, which deals with the blurring of imagination and reality.

The overarching “clash” in the festival seems to be the one between the comic and the dark. This is not an altogether novel theme, but the originality of the stories is sure to take the idea in new directions. The coupling of seemingly disparate plays is sure to open the dialogue between these opposing elements, and the other ones working within the productions. Either way, it offers the chance to catch two student efforts in one sitting – an opportunity that everyone should capitalize on, regardless of end-of-semester stress.

– Claire Caldwell

A very Canadian story, for better or worse

This Tuesday’s Cinema Politica McGill will be screening Be Smile: The Story of Two Urban Inuit, a tale of friendship, memory, and cultural survival in the urban Montreal environment. What’s more, the film’s director, Robert Lewis, will be coming in to discuss the his work and to answer questions. This one is not to be missed. The screening will take place on Tuesday April 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Arts W 215. Donations will be accepted at the door.

– Simon Lewsen