Alphonse is a remarkable boy with a huge imagination.
When he goes missing, his parents, friends, teachers and even the police go in search of him.
Meanwhile, Alphonse is perfectly fine, walking along a country road inventing the extraordinary adventures of the fictitious Pierre-Paul René.
In Encore Theatre's rendition of the Wajdi Mouawad's production, audiences can expect to “jump into a multi-layered tale that bounces back and forth between the search for Alphonse and the fantastic quest of Pierre-Paul René.”
“In the process, we experience a powerful reflection on the joy and pain of being young and what is lost in crossing the threshold to adulthood.”
Jenny Hazelton, a founding artist at Encore, directs the piece.
“I immediately fell in love with the style and journey of this story and the way that Wajdi Mouawad and (translator) Shelly Tepperman have woven the poetic text together,” said Hazelton.
“It is a much less clichéd coming-of-age story, which I found I related to when thinking about my own struggles growing up as a free spirited creative-type.”
Hazelton also serves as lighting and set designer for the production. Callam Rodya, Encore’s artistic director, serves as producer and sound designer, and Rebecca Beith is the stage manager.
Technicalsupport is provided by the Cambrian College Theatre Arts Technical Production Program and Ken Salah, the program’s director, serves as the technical director for the production.
France Huot, a well-known member of the Francophone theatre community, makes her English-language debut as the solo performer in the production. Alphonse. Huot is tasked with playing some 25 characters during the 90-minute show.
“There are so many elements to this piece that excite me,” said Huot. “As an actor, it’s great to have a script with so much imagery, metaphor, characters, and different realities.
“The story itself is a joy to tell. Its simplicity and its complexity at the same time is what makes it so beautiful.”
Alphonse is on stage at the Ernie Checkeris Theatre at Thorneloe University Jan. 17 to 26, except Monday.
The show begins at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. pay-what-you-can-matinee on Sunday.
Otherwise, tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and $20 for students. They can be purchased from www.encoretheatre.ca or at the door.