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Mustard Seed theatre challenges stereotypes

Adapting the classic Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, members of Calgary’s homeless community are ready for their stage debuts.

Adapting the classic Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, members of Calgary’s homeless community are ready for their stage debuts.

The Mustard Seed Drama Club, in conjunction with Verb Theatre and The PBC Collective, has been rehearsing five times a week for the past few months to prepare its play Oedipus Evolving for four upcoming shows.

Artist in Residence Aviva Zimmerman has been teaching drama to Mustard Seed guests since November 2008. In January, she secured funding from the Calgary Foundation to help the club continue to evolve.

The group is challenging perceptions and stereotypes that many Calgarians may have regarding the homeless population, says Zimmerman. “Feedback has been very positive.”

However, the play is not intended to place poverty on show.

“This is an actual effort from a real community who are serious about this,” says Nigel Kirk, playing the role of Oedipus.

Drama is a tool Zimmerman uses to develop self-expression and communication skills in a safe space. “It gives me a chance to get out of my life and be someone I’m not,” says Sherry Love, playing Queen Jocasta.

Although the actors are not classically trained, Zimmerman says “there is a lot of heart involved.”

Oedipus Evolving will be performed at the Mustard Seed on May 7 and at the Epcor Centre’s Motel from May 13 to 15.

More information can be found at thepbcsite.info or by calling 403-604-3476.

 
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