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Alberta Theatre Projects revamps classic piece

By Ally Baharoon, September 8 2016 —

Waiting for the Parade had its world premiere 40 years ago at Alberta Theatre Projects. After making a victory lap around the world, the play returns to Calgary, its hometown and the setting of the story.

Artistic producer of Handsome Alice Theatre Kate Newby brought the play back to represent the current Canadian landscape. She says the play maintains its funny and nostalgic themes with only a change in cast.

“Calgarians are very excited to see the play back in town. It is a nostalgic piece about many of our grandparents’ generation,” Newby says. “It is also important historical piece of Calgary and a piece that is really powerful for women, which we rarely see on stage.”

Newby received her BFA in acting at the University of Alberta and her MFA in directing from the University of Calgary. She comes from a military family. Her grandfather fought at Vimy Ridge in WWI and her father was a prisoner of war in WWII in Stalag Luft III, the location of the famous Great Escape.

The play is about five women who struggle to survive in WWII, while in Calgary they faced challenges of acceptance during the war.

“Stories being told from the female perspective during wartime are rare,” Newby says. “We think we are an inclusive community but there are times when people are still being excluded and judged. We have a ways to go but we are trying,” she says.

Newby is a proponent of stories from female perspectives and what it means to be female. The tagline of her theatre company is ‘unleashing the female voice.’

“Our world is driven in a masculine corporate way, so to be able to give a perspective in a female point of view is essential,” she says. “We live in a world where there is war around us and the fear of war. We still haven’t progressed in that regard. The world is driven by the war machine with history repeating itself. We are still seeing refugees and people being misplaced.”

Waiting for the Parade will run September 13 to October 1 at the Martha Cohen Theatre. Tickets are available online.

For more information, visit atplive.com

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