Nunsense – The Show and it’s Performances
Press Release: STEEL MAGNOLIAS
NUNSENSE VANCOUVER PERFORMANCE DATES CHANGE FROM JANUARY TO MARCH
Boone Dog Productions in association with Metro Theatre presents this hilarious musical comedy March 11 to 27, 2022
“We wanted to present this hilarious production at a time when theatregoers will feel more comfortable in an intimate setting like the Metro Theatre, especially with a production that involves audience interactions,” says Shel Piercy, producer of Boone Dog Productions. “Our team has been following provincial health orders and monitoring how other companies have been responding to the evolving pandemic. We felt moving our production to March was best for everyone involved.”
Nunsense is a hilarious spoof created by Dan Goggin in 1985 and follows the misadventures of five nuns trying to manage a fundraiser; the ballet-loving Sister Leo, street-wise Sister Robert Anne, befuddled Sister Mary Amnesia, the Mother Superior Sister Regina, and Mistress of the Novices Sister Mary Hubert. Together (mostly) they stage a talent show with large dreams and little talent. Laced with catchy, original songs, zany, irreverent, physical comedy and dancing from ballet to tap, Nunsense promises to keep audiences young and old rolling with laughter.
Nunsense stars Meghan Anderssen, Nancy Herb, Sarah Mercier, Caitriona Murphy, and Sheryl Anne Wheaton. Gillian Barber directs alongside Music Director Shawn Henry and Choreographer Shelley Stewart Hunt.
The production team includes Set Designer Shel Piercy, Costume Designer Christina Sinosich, Lighting Designer Les Erskine, Associate Choreographer Maddalena Acconci, Stage Manager Ashley Vucko and Assistant Stage Manager Taylor MacKinnon. Nunsense is produced by Maddalena Acconci, Shel Piercy and Theresa Piercy and is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals.
Nunsense runs at the Metro Theatre from March 11th to 27th with Opening Night on March 12th. Show times are Wednesday to Saturday at 8:00 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are priced from $40 and available through the Metro Theatre Box Office at 604-266-7191 or online.
“I couldn’t think of a better time to bring Nunsense to Vancouver audiences,” says Shel Piercy, producer of Boone Dog Productions. “The actors in this show are five of the funniest women I know and under the brilliant leadership of director Gillian Barber, this production of Nunsense promises to be an unforgettable night of laughter.”
Cast and Production Team
MOTHER SUPERIOR Nancy Herb
SISTER MARY HUBERT Caitriona Murphy
SISTER ROBERT ANNE Sheryl Anne Wheaton
SISTER MARY AMNESIA Meghan Anderssen
SISTER MARY LEO Sarah Mercier
DIRECTOR Gillian Barber
CHOREOGRAPHER Shelley Stewart Hunt
MUSIC DIRECTOR Shawn Henry
PRODUCERS Maddalena Acconci, Shel Piercy, Theresa Piercy
SET DESIGN Shel Piercy
COSTUME DESIGN Christina Sinosich
LIGHTING DESIGN Les Erskine
SOUND MIXER Justin Gaudio
ASSOCIATE CHOREOGRAPHER Maddalena Acconci
STAGE MANAGER Ashely Vucko
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER Taylor MacKinnon
SET CONSTRUCTION John Bradbury
SET PAINTER Meredith Fraser
PUBLICITY Cynnamon Schreinert
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Susan Sullivan
MARKETING PHOTOGRAPHY Emily Cooper
GENERAL MANAGER Les Erskine
PUBLICIST Debra Danny
HOUSE MANAGER Heather Stewart
Gillian Barber – Directors Synopsis
Tragedy has struck the nuns of the Little Sisters of Hoboken, all of whom now teach at Mount Saint Helen School. One of the nuns, Sister Julia Child of God, made a Vichyssoise soup which poisoned 52 of the sisters, leaving only a handful of nuns behind. Some of those remaining nuns, under the guidance of Reverend Mother, Sister Mary Regina, are putting on a fundraiser to cover the costs of the funerals. Not accustomed to performing, each brave sister has put together an “act”, in order to raise the money to bury the last 4 nuns, who are currently in the freezer.
The sisters lead off with a truncated history of their convent, and how they sailed to an island near the South of France, where they established a safe haven for a leper colony. When rivalry with the Protestants reared its ugly head, they came back to New York State to start a school. They are all dedicated nuns, albeit from very different backgrounds, and do their best to work together to produce this fundraiser performance.
Sister Mary Hubert, the “number two” in the convent, does her best to keep the show going, despite the often misguided direction of Sister Mary Regina. Helping her organize the show are: Sister Mary Leo, a novice who has dreams of being the first ballerina nun, Sister Robert Anne, a wisecracking Brooklynese “tough kid”, who wants to be more than a nun in the chorus, and Sister Amnesia – so named, as she can’t remember who or where she is.
Despite a few onstage and backstage mishaps, the show must go on. The sisters sing and dance their hearts out, run a quiz for the audience, let you in on their childhood experiences and find the most delightful conclusion to their dilemma.
Dan Goggin grew up with nuns and was educated in the Catholic school system. He has built these characters on nuns he knew, was taught by and who helped raise him. While he pokes fun at their foibles, you can tell that he is very fond and respectful of the character he has created – they are human and big-hearted, and are all doing their best. I’m so excited for you to see our production – I hope it is fond, respectful, human, big-hearted and most of all, hysterical.
Gillian Barber – Directors Notes
I had never had the pleasure of watching Nunsense, nor even reading it before this past October. Having been raised a Catholic, and being aware of the many phases of a child’s then young adult’s view I have had of the religion, I was scared that it would be sacrilegious or offend my sensibilities in some way.
I would like to report that I have done nothing but giggle at the antics of this talented cast, as well as find a new understanding of the behaviour of my teacher/nuns from years past. It is irreverent, sure, but it is undeniably human. And humans are funny – especially these wildly different women in the cast.
I am confident that you will find it irreverent but heart-warming, with a huge dose of humility and hilarity thrown in for good measure. It is a zany night in the theatre, and at this point under the seemingly endless pandemic cloud, will bring you a few wonderful hours of amusing pleasure.
I am proud of the production team who have put this show together, the delightful cast, the supportive crew, and as always, to the Metro, for sharing their space and their wonderful audience with us.
Gillian Barber and the cast of NunsensE WERE AVAILABLE immediately following the show on Friday, March 18, 2022 for an informal chat about:
- Casting and how the combination of actors is the most important step a director can take
- Fostering and mentoring emerging talent
- Sensitivity about subject matter while staying true to the story
- The challenges of performing in a COVID world. Masks and mayhem.
Gillian opened up the session up for questions from the audience.
There was no additional charge for the Director’s Talk, as folks stayed in their seats or move up a bit closer to the stage – allowing for social distancing at all times. The session lasted about 20 minutes.