Five years on, Ignition Theatre is building its legacy

Ignition Theatre is diving into its fifth season with six new productions that will challenge both actors and audiences.

Matt Grue-

Ignition Theatre is diving into its fifth season with six new productions that will challenge both actors and audiences.

The local professional theatre company is known for being edgy and provocative — but artistic director Matt Grue believes Ignition is more than that.

For every “f-bomb” that’s exploded on The Matchbox stage and for every bit of nudity seen in the production of Red Light Winter, Grue states that Ignition Theatre has also staged emotionally satisfying fare, such as Tuesdays with Morrie and Marion Bridge.

The company has done musicals, such as Tick, Tick . . . Boom! and stimulated the audience’s intellect with plays such as Proof. It’s also just plain entertained with quirky fare such as Dreamland Saturday Nights and Deathtrap.

“It occurred to me, Ignition Theatre isn’t about one word definitions and the boundaries of genre but about compelling and rewarding live theatre experiences,” states Grue in his introduction to the 2009-2010 season.

In that light, the company is ready to plumb new depths of emotion in what Grue calls its “little bit of everything season.”

The first production, which runs Oct. 22 to 31, is The Drawer Boy, by Canadian playwright Michael Healey. The winner of the 1999 Governor General’s Award for Drama is about a self-absorbed young actor who arrives on a small farm to research a role about country life. But his rural stay proves life-altering for the actor as well as the two middle-aged farmers he’s rooming with, as “art attempts to imitate life and the line between truth and fiction is crossed.”

Rather than having Red Deer residents travel to Edmonton or Calgary for heart-warming Christmas-time entertainment, Ignition Theatre will present the beloved story of George Bailey, It’s a Wonderful Life, as adapted by Tony Palermo. It will be performed on stage as a live radio drama from Dec. 10 to 19.

The company will then put a cruel twist on Valentine’s Day when The Shape of Things, by Neil LaBute, runs Feb. 4 to 13. When a shy, insecure student falls for a sexy aggressive artist, their intense affair veers into dangerous, even shocking territory.

Ignition is launching the world premiere of Fertile Choices from March 25 to 27. The local play about a woman’s decision not to have children was adapted by Grue and Glynis Wilson Boultbee from Boultbee’s poetry/sculpture exhibit with Michele Dupas. It will be the first time Ignition is tackling a locally written production, but Grue intends to make this a season staple.

The Last Five Years, an intimate musical about a New York couple, by Jason Robert Brown, will be staged May 20 to 29. The winner of the 2002 Drama Desk Award tells the story of young people falling in and out of love in an unusual way. The woman tells her story backwards, while the man tells it chronologically. Grue said the production will challenge the audience’s perception of how powerful, poignant and rewarding musical theatre can be.

Finally, the company will again stage Bohemian Rhapsody, a multidisciplinary arts festival celebrating theatre, film and visual art from July 7 to 17, after positive feedback and a warm audience reception to this summer’s festival.

Season tickets to the full complement of Ignition Theatre productions are $99 and can be purchased from The Matchbox/Ignition Theatre, call 403-341-6500.

The Signature Series, which provides admission to three plays — The Drawer Boy, The Shape of Things, and The Last Five Years — are $59.

Individual tickets can also be purchased for each show for $22 ($18 for students and seniors) from Ticketmaster.

Just Posted

Cruel and sadistic: Central Alberta dog rescuers believe there are dog fighting rings in province

With the increased number of stolen dogs, some central Alberta rescuers are… Continue reading

Red Deer hospital expansion recognized in throne speech

Society for Hospital Expansion in Central Alberta calls for more details

UPDATED: “I want to be your premier again”: Rachel Notley

Premier Rachel Notley makes announcement on Tuesday morning

Mixed Nuts revue presented Saturday to kick off first Carole Forhan Theatrical Scholarship

Broadway songs, comedy skits are part of the Red Deer Players production

Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man… Continue reading

Want to help bees? Plant flowering herbs

Herbs are among the most useful plants in nature. They can tantalize… Continue reading

UN: Gene editing for human reproduction is ‘irresponsible’

GENEVA — A panel convened by the World Health Organization said it… Continue reading

Photos: Three moose spotted in Red Deer Tuesday

Three moose were spotted in Red Deer Tuesday morning. Red Deer resident… Continue reading

Andreescu rockets to No. 24 in WTA Tour rankings after Indian Wells title

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has rocketed to No. 24 in the WTA Tour… Continue reading

Canadian figure skaters looking to reach new heights at world championships

Nam Nguyen, Alaine Chartrand and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro all have… Continue reading

Man linked to largest art heist in history freed from prison

HARTFORD, Conn. — A reputed Connecticut mobster who federal authorities believe is… Continue reading

Florida Georgia Line, Glorious Sons headline concert series at Canadian Open

HAMILTON — Florida Georgia Line and the Glorious Sons will headline a… Continue reading

Most Read