Odyssey Theatre presents The Game of Love and Chance

As North America’s only professional mask theatre company, it’s no wonder Odyssey Theatre has found great success in Ottawa’s Strathcona park for twenty-five years. This year, they’re presenting Marivaux’s The Game of Love and Chance, adapted and directed by Andy Massingham, an 18th century play whose powerful themes still resonate today.

Actor Chris Ralph and Director Andy Massingham on why you should see The Game of Love and Chance:

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Odyssey Theatre presents Marivaux's The Game of Love and Chance.‘The Game of Love and Chance will delight audiences with its tantalizing and witty exploration of love and class prejudice. Prospective young lovers Silvia and Dorante reluctantly give the game of love a chance, but not before they attempt to turn the odds in their favour. Their servants are conscribed into the scheme - each disguising themselves as the other to see servant become master and vice versa - resulting in unforseen hilarious results.This enthralling play, imbued with sensuality, intrigue and disguises, deals with subtle psychological explorations of love in relation to forbidden passion.

An intrinsic part of what makes Odyssey Theatre unique in Ottawa is their use of Larval masks and ‘half-masks’ to produce mask theatre. Director Andy Massingham and actor Chris Ralph had the following to say when asked about the particular appeal of mask theatre:

Chris Ralph: The great thing about mask theatre for me, is that it just releases the physical. You can’t just put a mask on and not help becoming someone else. It’s unbelievable. It just starts to shape the body, and it starts to shape the voice, and it’s just transforming. That’s the most amazing part about it for me.

Andy Massingham: There’s a great line about mask, which is “to put one on is to drop one” so physically it cancels the editing process. Physically we watch the body, the body never lies, words can do that, but the mask releases pretense from performance and makes it actually much more human.

Chris Ralph: You hear about a mask show, and you think it’s zany, you know clown/comedy and there’s a lot of that but there’s just amazing moments of stillness as well. We’ve really learned over the last few weeks that a lot of it is precision. Just turning your head this way — it evokes all kinds of emotions and moods. It’s remarkable.

Odyssey Theatre has also arranged a series of “Talk Back” sessions to take place after the show including “The Music of Moulin Rouge” on August 16th, teaching the audience to Can Can on August 23rd and special guest speaker, Clinical Therapist and Syndicated Talk Show Host, Sue McGarvie who will explore the realities of today’s dating world with the audience.

“The show, and Sue’s discussion afterwards, will cover such topics as how women, who are financially independent, wrestle with reordering their values as it pertains to courting, how to avoid common mistakes in the dating game (often perpetrated by men), and how parents, who are living longer, figure into the mix (i.e., parents of boomerang generation kids).”

The Game of Love and Chance is directed by Andy Massingham and stars Stephanie Izsak, Jody Stevens, Daniel Briere, Evan Dowling, Chris Ralph, and Zach Counsil.

The show runs from July 26th to August 26th, 2012.  All shows are performed at Strathcona Park in Sandy Hill. Visit Odyssey Theatre online to purchase tickets and for showtimes.  Tickets are $24 (Adults), $19 (Students/Seniors), $9 (Children).  Saturday and Sunday matinees are pay-what-you-can.

Other Media

The Production Ottawa review of The Game of Love and Chance
Massingham Meets Marivaux! (Capital Critics Circle)
Mix and Match or Mismatch? (Capital Critics Circle)

(If you know of any press not listed here, leave us a comment or send us a note.)


The following gallery of photos was taken by Production Ottawa photographer David Pasho. For a full gallery of thirty-six photos, please visit our Facebook page.

Article prepared by: Allan Mackey and Reena Belfrod
Video produced by: Allan Mackey
Photographs by: David Pasho 

Allan Mackey

About Allan Mackey

Allan Mackey is editor-in-chief of Production Ottawa, which, really, is too fancy a title. He also acts as show producer for Should You See It, making sure you get your answer in just about two minutes every time. He writes stuff and occasionally turns that stuff into movies. Keep being awesome!

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  1. [...] Game of Love and Chance runs until Aug 26th, 2012. Check out our preview (including photo and video) or the Odyssey theatre website for all the info you could [...]

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