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St. Lawrence College Music Theatre – Performance season kicks off with provocative and timely production


(Brockville, September 14, 2009) As the world braces for the coming flu season, St. Lawrence College Music Theatre – Performance students will present an historic play that will feel all too relevant to today’s audience.

Unity 1918, written by Kevin Kerr and winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, opens at the Brockville Arts Centre on October 23, 2009. The play explores the events of 1918, when a world ravaged by four years of war was suddenly hit by a mysterious and deadly plague -- The Spanish Flu. More people died of this epidemic than had been killed in battle during the First World War.

As fear of the flu begins to fill the town of Unity with paranoia, drastic measures are taken. The town is quarantined in an attempt to keep the illness out. Trains are forbidden to stop, no one can enter and the borders are sealed. Mail from overseas is burned. But when all the precautions fail the citizens of Unity begin to turn on each other as they attempt to find a scapegoat for the crisis.

Serious, yet "painfully funny," according to the Globe and Mail, Unity 1918 features the graduates of 2009-10. The students had the unique experience of working on a theatrical piece that reflects both the past and the present.

"By exploring the past and our country’s reaction to a disturbing and catastrophic event, the students begin to understand their own mortality and the nature of their existence," said Michael Bianchin, director and program coordinator. "They have also begun to realize the importance of theatre and how it mirrors our lives in profound ways."

"There will always be events, like the swine flu, happening all over the world. I am very excited to work on Unity, as it brings these crisis situations out in the open makes think about what is going on around you, and not just in your own backyard," said third year student, Shannon Kearns.

Unity 1918 is playing October 23 and 24 at 8 pm.

The complete 2009-10 line-up includes:
Little Women
December 3, 4, and 5 at 8 pm
December 6 at 2 pm

New Faces 2010
March 5, 2010

April 15, 16, 17 at 8 pm
April 17, 2 pm

Season sponsor is 1000 Islands Community Development Corporation, Media Sponsors, 104.9 JR FM and The Recorder and Times.