Award-winning Canadian playwright Carole Fréchette's eloquently impressionistic drama Helen's Necklace began previews Sunday at the Shaw Festival's Studio Theatre. Translated from French by celebrated playwright John Murrell and directed by Micheline Chevrier, it is the first Canadian play to be produced as part of The Shaw's Studio Theatre contemporary Shavian series.
A simple question, "You didn't happen to see a small pearl necklace?", begins Fréchette's delicate play and Helen's (Tara Rosling) journey through the heart of a chaotic war-scarred Middle Eastern city. Aided by taxi driver Nabil (Sanjay Talwar), Helen attempts to retrace her steps to recover the necklace and comes face to face with the realities of life in this war-weary country and its myriad of loss.
Costumes and set for Helen's Necklace are designed by Judith Bowden, with lighting design by Michelle Ramsay and original music and sound design by John Millard. The stage management team includes Stage Manager Beatrice Campbell and Assistant Stage Manager Ivory Seol.
Helen's Necklace began preview performances Sunday, July 15, opens Saturday, August 11 and plays in repertory until Friday, August 31. Helen's Necklace is generously sponsored by Paradigm Capital Inc.
Le Collier d'Hélène premiered in Damascus in April 2002 and toured to Beirut and Lebanon. It opened in Paris at the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale on April 8, 2002, directed by Nabil El Azan. In Canada, it opened at Montreal's Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui on March 9, 2004, directed by Martin Faucher. Helen's Necklace had its English premiere on October 7, 2003 at the Tarragon Theatre (Toronto) directed by Eda Holmes, starring Susan Coyne and Sanjay Talwar. Tarragon remounted it the following year with Susan Coyne and Raoul Bhaneja.
The Shaw Festival's season began April 10, runs until October 28 and proudly features 11 productions presented on the Festival's four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages. For more information on our season, performance schedule and ticket information, please visit www.shawfest.com.