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Culture Brief

The McGill Drama Festival

The McGill Drama Festival runs this week until April 9th, showcasing seven plays over ten days at Players Theatre. The plays are entirely student-produced, relying on writers, directors, and performers from the McGill community.

The university has no fine arts programs in playwriting or directing, but according to festival coordinator Dane Stewart, there is no shortage of students willing to become involved in theatre. His call for written submissions to the festival in October yielded 27 plays, and over 100 students came out to audition for them. Stewart suggests that McGill’s lack of programs isn’t as much of a disadvantage as one might assume. “That’s kind of what’s spurred all of the student-run theatre around campus,” he says, adding that McGill has more student-run theatre than most schools. The festival contributes original productions to McGill’s theater secene, as well as the chance for the typical audience member to take in three plays instead of one. With no thematic link between the plays on any given night, the festival-goer’s experience is rather like that of the TV watcher who changes channels every half hour. The possibilities for comparing and contrasting the plays, however, are endless.

The one-act plays in the 24-year-old festival run from 25-40 minutes and free wine and cheese will be served after each opening night. Can’t decide which plays to go see? On the last day of the festival, each show will be performed throughout the day, interspersed with musical entertainment and other performances. Each play stands on its own with plots ranging from the meeting of two arch-enemy superheroes at the end of the world to a bro who falls in love with himself. “They’re very intriguing pieces of work,” Stewart says. 

Student tickets are $5 and can be reserved online or by calling 514-398-6813. A festival pass is also available for $13.