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UWindsor actors Daniela Piccinin (l.) playing the dual roles of Mary Chalmers and Gordon Flowerdew and Erik Helle (r.) as Charlie Edwards, during WHIRLIGIG theatre company’s premiere performance, Mary’s Wedding.UWindsor actors Daniela Piccinin (l.) playing the dual roles of Mary Chalmers and Gordon Flowerdew and Erik Helle (r.) as Charlie Edwards, during WHIRLIGIG theatre company’s premiere performance, Mary’s Wedding.

Grads and professor raise the curtain on professional theatre company

WHIRLIGIG, Windsor's newly established professional theatre company, provides a perfect platform for School of Dramatic Art grads and alumni to enter the theatre profession here at home.

WHIRLIGIG came to life about six weeks ago through the talents of six BFA graduates and current students. The group’s premiere performance, Mary’s Wedding, by Stephen Massicotte, is a moving love story about two young Canadian lovers caught in the vortex of World War One.

Company Founder, Artistic Director, and Associate Professor of Drama Gordon McCall says that when BFA acting students graduate, they typically head to Toronto to attempt to begin their careers in a highly saturated and competitive theatre market. He calls that move a daunting challenge for emerging theatre artists.

"The company is a rare opportunity for recent grads and alumni to have professional work opportunities here at home where there is less market saturation and their network is already established. The company’s intention is to always hire UWindsor BFA and BA grads and alumni.”

The company also holds professional status from the Canadian Actors' Equity Association. Although the artists are not yet full members, being part of an equity company will give them entry to the profession, McCall says.

McCall says the name WHIRLIGIG came from, “Thinking of sitting in a chair suspended in mid-air - whirling in circles at the end of a rainbow rope. That is the theatrical journey we strive to achieve at WHIRLIGIG - it is a little daring, a little dangerous, a lot of fun.”

He says the group’s mission is to produce provocative and engaging plays that speak to the human condition with humour, insight, compassion and bold theatrical expression, all reflected in the company’s first production.

Mary's Wedding is a powerful, poignant love story of Mary and Charlie, two country kids caught in the vortex of The Great War and the super-charged passion of their love.

UWindsor actors Daniela Piccinin; Erik Helle; Margaret Parkhill; Eric Branget; Erika Downie; and Rocky Russo appear in the play under the director of McCall.

Mary's Wedding  runs 90 minutes without intermission and has four performances remaining - June 5,6,7 with two performances on June 7 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., at Mackenzie Hall, 3277 Sandwich Street East.

For tickets, please call Daniela at 519-819-5905 or the Mackenzie Hall box office at 519-255-7600