Opening night for this Globe Theatre play is actually tomorrow night. Set in apartheid-era South Africa, The Syringa Tree is an autobiographical one-woman play by Pamela Gien that explores the inhumanity of racism through the eyes of a white South African named Elizabeth Grace.
Directed by Jillian Kieley, The Syringa Tree stars Regina actor Amy Matysio (pictured). Probably best-known for her long association with the General Fools Improv Troupe, Matysio is an accomplished performer with a number of film and TV roles to her credit including the hit comedy Just Friends, the indie feature Mulligans, Corner Gas, Little Mosque on the Prairie and Redemption. Matysio has also performed in several main stage plays at the Globe, most recently in the holiday show Peter Pan, and she’s currently in development with Mind’s Eye Entertainment for a half-hour comedy based on her 2009 webseries inSAYSHAble.
When The Syringa Tree opens Elizabeth is a six-year girl in the care of a black nanny named Salamina. She comes of age during the apartheid-era and must wrestle with her own feelings of guilt about being born into privilege in a country that, in the eyes of most of the world, is a pariah because of its racist ideology. In addition to Elizabeth, Matysio plays 22 other characters. Not surprisingly, she describes it as the most challenging acting job she’s ever had.
The Syringa Tree runs at the Globe until April 3.
Today, of course, also happens to be St. Patrick’s Day. For anyone looking to celebrate, here’s four gigs that I know of. First off, at O’Hanlon’s Pub there’s ???? . Let There Be Theremin is at the Fainting Goat Restaurant. At Bushwakker, Crofter’s Revenge and the Fraser Pipe Band are playing. Finally, at McNally’s, Celtica and Squeeze of Scotch are playing.
For something a little more sobering, there’s a screening of A Chemical Reaction at the University of Regina Education Auditorium at 7 p.m. It’s a harrowing documentary by Brett Plymale on the danger posed by pesticide and herbicide use in the lawn care industry. Following the screening, the film’s executive producer Paul Tukey will be available for a Q&A session. Here’s the trailer. (YouTube)