The Great Canadian Theatre Company presents The Secret Mask

Written by by Rick Chafe, The Secret Mask kicks off the Great Canadian Theatre Company’s 2012-13 season. It’s a play about an estranged father and son who get to know one another after the father has a stroke. The Secret Mask runs until September 30th. 

Actors Paul Rainville and Michael Mancini talk about The Secret Mask along with director Ann Hodges:

Trouble with the video? Watch directly on YouTube.

The Secret Mask, running at the Great Canadian Theatre Company in September.The Secret Mask is the story of an unexpected reunion between a father and his son.  George was a toddler when Ernie walked out on his family. Thirty-eight years later, George is contacted out of the blue to come help his father. Ernie‘s stroke left him with aphasia (a speech disorder) and as a result he struggles with memory loss and frequently substitutes words with perplexing and often comical results.

“It’s not often that ‘heartbreaking’ and ‘very funny’ are used together to describe a play. But, that’s the best way to describe Rick Chafe’s brilliant, semi-autobiographical play”, says director Ann Hodges.

The Secret Mask runs at the Great Canadian Theatre Company from September 11th until September 30th. It stars Paul Rainville, Michael Mancini, and Kate Hurman. It was written by Rick Chafe and directed by Ann Hodges. Tickets are $45 with discounts for seniors and students. They can be purchased at the GCTC box office on 1233 wellington or online at

While you’re there, be sure to check out the Fritzi Gallery on the 2nd Floor of the GCTC. The exhibit curated for The Secret Mask (on display Sep 11-Oct 28) features works from sculpter and painter, Bruce Garner.

Sculpture by Bruce Garner

Sculpture by Bruce Garner, part of the collection on display through Oct 28th at the GCTC.

Ottawa scuplter and painter Bruce Garner knows what it’s like to feel trapped. While his speech is stifled and his ability to move thwarted, he still finds release through his paintings.

Bruce Garner’s work gives us a poignant glimpse into that world of entrapment and a resonation with the play, “The Secret Mask” by Rick Chafe.

“Being trapped in a body is something Bruce shares with the father in this play,” says his wife, Tamaya Garner. “His paintings reflect the torment of an illness that can rob you of your ability to speak or walk.But the irony is that in some ways, Bruce’s work since he became ill has a new depth, a greater sensitivity and great beauty.”

Other Press

Production Ottawa reviews The Secret Mask (plus audience rating)
The Secret Mask: Compelling in its Familiarity (Apt 613)
Secrets and Masks (The Visitorium)
Review: (Ottawa) The Secret Mask (Charlebois Post)
The Secret Mask: Excellent Performances Give… (Capital Critics Circle)
The Secret Mask: An Alternately Hilarious and… (Capital Critics Circle)
The Secret Mask by Rick Chafe a Strong Opener… (Capital Critics Circle)
The Secret Mask: Powerful Punch Given Greater… (Capital Critics Circle)

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


The following photos were taken by Production Ottawa photographer, David Pasho. A larger gallery can be found on our Facebook page.

What do you think? Have you or will you see the show? Join the discussion in the comments below.

Preview article prepared by Allan Mackey.
Video preview produced by Valley Wind Productions.
Producer: Allan Mackey
Photographer: David Pasho 

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