The CCC awards will be presented on Nov. 14 at Live! on Elgin. Photo courtesy of André Perrier.
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André Perrier, Pamela Feghali open up about nominations for “Best student production”

The Capital Critics’ Circle (CCC), made up of theatre critics from various news publications in the Ottawa region, are known for their scrutinizing of plays in the nation’s capital.

What started as an informal website critiquing local plays, grew into a formal, sponsored awards ceremony over time, offering cash prizes and commemorative certificates to award winners.

For this year’s ceremony, two University of Ottawa students from the Department of Theatre made the shortlist for the “Best student production.”

Pamela Feghali got nominated for Mark Ravenhill’s Pool (No Water), while André Perrier was recognized for directing Les Reines, originally written by Norman Chaurette.

The play Pool (No Water) revolves around the life of an artist, who explores the extent of her sacrifices and her willingness to exploit other people’s pain in order to become a real master of her craft. It is a reflection about the sacrifices made by one for the sake of art.

For Feghali, this nomination means a lot. She claims that she worked on this play nearly 24 hours a day, reading and re-reading the play to ensure that her interpretation of the story was logical and made sense from every possible angle. 

What made the show Pool (No Water) more impressive was that the actors performed the whole show on a slanted structure, which was the pool.

To Feghali, the risks she and her production team undertook during the whole process ultimately paid off in the end, especially now that the uniqueness of this show is being recognized.

“For all the creative energy that was poured into this production, and all the new grey hairs on our heads, having this validation from our peers would be rewarding,” she shared.

Photo: Courtesy of Pamela Feghali.

Perrier stated that accolades for his work on Les Reines were also welcome.

Perrier believes that Chaurette’s decision to reinterpret Shakespeare’s Richard III from a female perspective really resonates in today’s society and raises the question about the absurdity and futility of living.

Through his show, Perrier attempted to put the actors back at the centre of the creative process. His intent was to give weight to the characters, and to lend originality to the production.

“We got this nomination because of the highly collaborative effort we all put into this production. We worked hard but always with a tremendous amount of pleasure.”

In the wake of this nomination, Feghali gives the Department of Theatre at the U of O credit for providing her access to resources that connected her with various theatre creators.

“It was a safe space for me to learn about myself as a director, to take risks, and to figure out the kind of work that I’m interested in creating.”

Perrier shares a similar sentiment, outlining the ways in which the U of O helped contribute to his success.

“It enabled me to explore creative desires that had stemmed from long ago, to work in a more chorographical manner,” Perrier wrote in an email to the Fulcrum. “I was given the tools and the venues to attempt concepts I could less likely be able to do in the productions of professional theatres.”

The CCC’s 2016 theatre awards will be presented at LIVE! on Elgin on Nov. 14, from 7 p.m to 9:30 p.m.