Photo courtesy of Nouveau Théâtre Anglais
by Clare Byrne
The central character, Howard, is a domestic tyrant who rails against
the failings of all things, including other people, insects and inanimate
objects in a tragicomedy that visits our world and then leaves
it behind. Theres mention of bicycle rides, and balloons tied
with the wishes of children, of a woman who waters her flowers in the
rain and inappropriate flirtations.
Its adventurous, Morison admitted.
Harry Standjofski, a familiar figure in the citys theatre scene
and one of the few Quebec actors to perform in both English and French,
plays Howard. Michael Springate, former artistic director of Playwrights
He and Standjofski go back a long way, all the way to Concordias
theatre department in 1980, when they were both students. Theirs was a
good year. The fact that a whole whack of us are still doing it
[theatre] testifies to that, said Standjofsky, who has been teaching
acting and playwrighting at Concordia since 1986.
Indeed, the Still Once team positively teems with Concordia connections.
Kathryn Cleveland, the production stage manager, and Stéphane Zarov,
who plays Howards anxious neighbour Vern, are both former students.
Michael Springate has also taught acting at Concordia in the past.
This is the first chance they have had to all work together, and their
enthusiasm is palpable. Its a family thing, said Standjofski.
We can almost finish each others sentences.
Still Once promises originality on several levels.
Finally, the production itself is in the hands of a new English theatre
company. Founded by Thomas Morison and Michael Springate, it goes by the
tongue-in-cheek name of the Nouveau Théâtre Anglais.