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Shatterbox invites you to The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs

Prince Edward County’s Shatterbox Theatre will offer a new twist on a gothic fairytale this weekend.

The troupe opens its second season at the Regent Theatre with the thrilling production
The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs, by award-winning Canadian playwright Carole Fréchette, May 24-26.

“It’s a reimagined telling of Charles Perrault’s 1697 tale of Bluebeard,” said director Georgia Papanicolaou. “The Small Room at the top of the Stairs follows the story of Grace, a young woman who finds herself irresistibly drawn to the mystery of a room her husband has forbidden her to enter.

“She stumbled into a fairy-tale marriage, complete with her own Prince Charming and resplendent mansion, but it could all come apart if she chooses to defy his wishes. Will she let her curiosity get the best of her and encounter the secret life of the man she loves?”

Papanicolaou said the play was chosen to start the season off with a show that would showcase Shatterbox’s style of theatre.

“We like to present fresh, inspired and engaging material to our audiences and The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs fits that very nicely. It’s contemporary, the writing is haunting and beautifully balanced and the play is full of surprises. It takes the simple premise of the original tale’s cautionary moral of curiosity getting the better of you and puts a very, very powerful and unique spin on it.”

Those familiar with the tale of Bluebeard may think they know what is going to happen, but they will be pleasantly surprised to find out that isn’t the case, said Papanicolaou.

“This play is full of intrigue and suspense and just when you think you’re starting to figure things out, we have you questioning yourself again.”

All of the play’s actors and crew are from the County and Quinte area and are volunteers. Shatterbox is also currently mentoring four students behind the scenes, learning set design, set construction, lighting and stage managing.

Actors include:

Robin Snip, who plays Grace and is a theatre graduate. Her last role in the County was with the Marysburgh Mummers in the production of Nunsense. She also participated in the Night at the Library readings. This is her debut with Shatterbox.

Julie Lane, who works as the IT coordinator at the Picton Public Library is also a theatre graduate and plays Grace’s husband Henry. She was also in the Nunsense production and this is her debut with Shatterbox.

Shelley Zebedee, a registered yoga instructer and counsellor plays Grace’s mother Joyce. She is new to theatre, this is the first time she has ever been on stage.

Papanicolaou, the artistic director and co-founder of Shatterbox, plays Grace’s sister Anne. Her last role on the Regent Stage was Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show. She also most recently played Nurse Ratched in a production of Cuckoo’s Nest.

Fiona Dodsworth, a peer support worker, plays Henry & Grace’s Maid Jenny. She took the stage as Marianne in Shatterbox’s first production, of Constellations.

Shatterbox Theatre debuted at the Regent last year in March with Constellations and in November donated all ticket proceeds – $5,000 – from its production of Armstrong’s War to The Regent Theatre Foundation honouring its 100th anniversary.

“For our second season, we will be donating a portion of our ticket proceeds from all of our shows to the foundation. We want to ensure that this important historical venue can continue to be a cultural and artistic hub for our youth and our community,” Papanicolaou added. “It’s really important that we give our young people the opportunity to access buildings like The Regent and engage in the arts.”

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