This Could Be Our Chance, a new play by Canadian playwright Thomas Weiss, will be performed in a staged reading at Stong College tonight. The play is a musical comedy about taking a chance on love for a second time. Directed by Bunmi Oyinsan, York PhD candidate in Women’s Studies, together with assistance from Professor Michael Marcuzzi of the Music Department, Faculty of Fine Arts, the staged reading offers an intimate version of the play.
"The play’s main character is Clara, a widow who decides to consult a marriage broker and find someone new despite her fears and misgivings. She ends up having to cope with, and choose between, two suitors, Frank and Pete," explains Professor Modupe Olaogun, master of Stong College.
Left: from left, Director Bunmi Oyinsan and Stong Master Modupe Olaogun
"One is clearly suitable, the other is just as clearly not. Meanwhile, Clara’s friend Maryann is a divorcee and has become a bitter and inhibited person because of her own lost love.
"Can these two women rediscover love in their later years and overcome the obstacles presented by family, friends, and their pasts?" says Olaogun. "The characters reveal their hopes and concerns through songs as well as dialogue as they strive to renew their lives with each other."
The third in a highly-popular series of readings presented by Stong College, Olaogun and Oyinsan say the intimacy offered by a staged reading allows for an informal appreciation of the work and wordplay by some of Canada’s newest talents. Each reading offers a simple setting with characters reading their lines from scripts. The audience is given the opportunity to enjoy the dialogue without the distractions of a set, costumes and a stage, says Oyinsan.
"What makes a staged play reading is that it is participatory," says Olaogun. "There are many different generations involved. Older people and younger people are involved in the story and in presenting the reading. It also gives the writer an opportunity to test his play on an audience."
"My focus will be to bring out all of the elements of the play. Even though it is not a full-fledged production, the reading brings out all of the positive elements of the play and leaves people wanting more. We are hoping to whet people’s appetites," says Oyinsan.
A true interdisciplinary activity, the actors who present the readings are drawn from all areas of the York community. The beauty of this kind of presentation, says Oyinsan, is that anyone can participate. You don’t have to be an actor," she says, "you just have to be enthusiastic."
This Could Be Our Chance will be presented tonight following the annual Stong Fellows Dinner. The reading is free and open to all members of the York community. It will take place at 6:30pm, in the Stong Master’s Dining Hall, 101 Stong College, on York’s Keele campus.
A Fellow of Stong College, Weiss is the father of Stong professor Allan Weiss. When the call came out for new plays, the senior Weiss offered This Could Be Our Chance for the staged reading. "This is its first public outing," said Olaogun. "We are very excited about presenting it."
For more information on this reading and other activities at Stong College, visit the Stong College Web site.