New Theatre Company Comes To St Andrews

A new theatre company will be launching in St Andrews, New Brunswick this summer under the direction of one of the world’s most famous Neanderthals.

Jody Racicot, known for his role as a Neanderthal in the Night At The Museum movies (also a career actor of a hundred film, stage and theatre credits, but did we mention being in a movie with Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais and Robin Williams?) is helming the project.

“I started in theatre, went away, made a living doing television and film for a lot of years in Vancouver, Toronto, and Los Angeles. Now I’m back living on the east coast. I’m mostly doing theatre now (I still occasionally run away to do television) but producing and directing, and acting in theatre.”

Jody explains that he fell in love with St Andrews as a tourist. Though he spends his Winters in Charlottetown, he feels that St Andrews is past due for a serious theatre company. “I just fell in love with St Andrews when I came here as a tourist. What I realised is that there’s a very deep cultural arts community, and a very savvy audience here, and there was a lack of a fully running professional theatre company here. There are some great local groups doing limited runs, but there isn’t that one company that’s doing a show six nights a week all summer long, so that was the void I thought we could fill.”

For the course of their ten-week run, the newly formed St. Andrews Theatre Company will be taking up residence at the W.C. O’Neill Arena Complex Theatre. Their first performance will be June 23rd and will run until Labour Day, six night a weeks, with eight performances of two different plays.

Their two big productions this season will include ‘Souvenir’ and ‘Shipwrecked!’. Racicot explains he was looking for plays with depth, but still suitable for entertaining summer theatre while living up to his own standards. “My criteria is that these plays can’t suck. That was it. You start with great writing. Start with good writing. Put good actors in good writing, and point lights at it, and you’ve got a pretty decent formula.”

‘Souvenir’ is a story about Florence Foster Jenkins, one of the world’s most notorious opera singers, a woman with a great love for music, but absolutely lacking the talent to pull it off. Ironically, Sally Dibblee, one of Canada’s top sopranos will be filling the role, accompanied by pianist and funnyman Ostap Soroka.

‘Shipwrecked!’ is the incredulous tale  of the adventurous Louis de Rougemont starring Kevin Burnette as Louis and Jody Racicot as Bruno. “I will be playing the coveted role of Bruno the dog. When you’re the producer you give yourself the best roles.”

“My favourite thing about these plays is that they’re about dreamers, and they’re about eccentrics.  I think the audience will be able to relate. The dreamer in them I hope will be triggered by the people who have these grand illusions in themselves; certainly Florence Foster Jenkins. She had this great quote, ‘People may say that I can’t sing, but they’ll never say that I didn’t sing.’ So it was this wonderful affirmation: a woman who got up and sang her heart out, and sounded horrible, but didn’t care. It’s a really nice story.”

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