Theatre Xtra explores Muse Control

Muse Control starts Sept.30. Photo by Richard Amery

For many years, Theatre XTra  has been an outlet for students who want to put on their own plays, however,  to begin their season this semester, they will actually be putting on a play one of the students wrote themselves.


“Muse Control,” written by James Wade, won first prize  in the University of Lethbridge Plays and Prose Competition, March 18, will take the stage at the David Spinks Theatre, Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” said  Wade.


“I just like the concept of  the muse. The Greeks used them pretty seriously,” he continued adding we don’t hear much about muses inspiring  art and music in modern times.

“It’s a pretty simple concept — a muse who inspires creativity. I thought if I made the muse an actual creature, it would make for a pretty funny play,” he continued.


Director Katheryn Smith, wanted to direct the play as soon as she read it.


“Basically it’s about a struggling artist named Roy who is in his  early 20s whose best friend is an artist who gets all of his inspiration for creativity  from a  creature called a muse,” Smith said  as actors Brett Gortley, Devon Brayne and Camille Pavlenko ( who also appears in locally shot films, “Dilemma” and “Hoodoo Voodoo”) run through a scene.

“He goes in search of his muse, which changes his life, mostly for the worse,” she continued, adding it will be her debut directing a performance.



She said it is also the first time she can recall Theatre Xtra producing a students’ play. It is also a more light-hearted Muse Control starts Sept.30. Photo by Richard Ameryproduction than many of Theatre Xtra’s more darker themed productions.


“Theatre Xtra is a great jumping off point for students who want to do a production on a very little budget,” the third year drama student continued, adding the cast of six including four male and two female actors, have been rehearsing since September for this production.


 Theatre XTra is a completely student run and initiated drama series, though faculty are on hand to give advice and lend a hand if needed. Sometimes they even act in the productions like Jay Whitehead did in last year’s production of “ Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love.”



“I read it and I found it just wonderful. I just looked at the stage directions and saw all of the humour and I thought it would be a lot of fun to put up on stage,” she said, adding the actors are enjoying working on the play.



“There is definitely a process involved. The biggest challenge has probably been finding  these multi-cloured unitards on a budget of $50,” she continued adding the muses will be dressed in colourful unitards.

“The faculty has been  great for helping us find solutions to problems and the stage manager has been really good to work with,” she continued adding things are coming together well for opening curtain on Sept. 30.

 The show starts at 8 p.m. each night.

— Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

A version of this story appeared in the Sept. 29 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times 

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