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Talking with WEST on "Talking With..."

T. Collins / Oakville News
T. Collins / Oakville News

This weekend, the West End Studio Theatre (WEST) is ready to talk. More specifically, "talking with" 11 actresses ready to present a famous play for audiences at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts.

WEST is mounting Jane Martin's 1982 classic play Talking With..., opening tonight and running until May 13, 2023.

The play is told through nearly a dozen monologue vignettes, each showcasing the work of a new character portrayed by one of 11 actresses, nearly all of them local Halton talents.

Jane Martin’s play is "a showcase of eleven extraordinary monologues involving idiosyncratic characters who amuse, move, and frighten, always speaking from the depths of their souls."

An official show description reads, "The play deals with the personal ordeals of each of the female characters. Many of them are very touching; a few are even intensely emotional. They're also quite comical. Even the funny ones, however, have an underlying depth to them that gives a sensitive insight into each of the characters involved."

In all, there will be four performances this weekend:

  • Thursday May 11 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday May 12 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday May 13 at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday May 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Director Yo Mustafa says the play "is very different - there are 11 monologues and 11 different stories delivered by these very powerful women."

"The play is attractive because it's raw theatre. We have limited props, costumes and set, so the show is totally focused on the performance."

Since the Oakville Centre reopened from the pandemic in fall 2021, WEST has been specializing in studio drama through their projects in the Oakville Centre's studio space, including last spring's acclaimed The Laramie Project and last fall's Art.

Now, after that all-male production in September, the theatre is moving on to this next show featuring the talents of local women.

"I love the space and the intimacy of the theatre," says Mustafa. "I'm absolutely thrilled to be working with these 11 women. Every week it just gets better and better; it's a great collaboration and there's a wonderful camaraderie in the cast."

WEST has yet to announce their next show, but both Mustafa and fellow WEST director Paul Groulx have teased a full slate of three productions for the studio theatre for 2023/24, with a possible announcement as soon as next month. This summer they will focus on their arts day camps and current fundraiser for their North Service Road studio.

In the meantime, go spend some time talking with a fabulously talented ensemble.

Talking With...

By Jane Martin.

Directed by Yo Mustafa.

Now playing at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts until May 13, 2023.

All tickets are $28 and are available here with the Oakville Centre box office. 

Starring Nectaria Bogdanis, Alexandra Chappell, Esther Chung, Dina Dametto, Lisa Drupsteen, Eileen Elkam, Lucy Ellis, Aimee Kessler Evans, Dia Gupta Frid, Linda Spence and Zakiya Toby-Erwig.

Audiences should be advised the show is recommended for those aged 13 and up, and it contains both mature language and subject matter.

West End Studio Theatre
West End Studio Theatre


Tyler Collins

About the Author: Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is the editor for Oakville News. Originally from Campbellton, New Brunswick, he's lived in Oakville more than 20 years. Tyler is a proud Sheridan College graduate of both Journalism and Performing Arts.
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