Both the American Modern Library and Time Magazine have included Virginia Woolf’s 1927 novel To the Lighthouse on their lists of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

Three years ago, Quebec actress and playwright Evelyne de la Cheneliere created a dreamy exploration of two of Woolf’s characters in her own play Lumieres, lumieres, lumieres.

Calgary playwright John Murrell then translated it into an English version he calls To the Light. Alberta Theatre Projects will present the world premiere Oct. 17 through Nov. 4 in the Arts Commons Martha Cohen Theatre.

Under Vanessa Porteous’s direction, Elinor Holt will play the older woman (Mrs. Ramsay) opposite Julie Orton’s Lily Briscoe spanning a period from 1910 to 1920.

Holt explains that Mrs. Ramsay represents “the older generation, particularly those women whose values are more Edwardian. She believes the key to feminine happiness lies in remaining in the domestic mode with children, husband and their extended family.”

Orton admits Lily is the polar opposite.

“Lily is an artist. Down to her very DNA, she rejects Mrs. Ramsay’s view of womanhood, yet she still finds Mrs. Ramsay’s life fascinating and appealing.

“She envies Mrs. Ramsay’s stability and especially the way she provides care and warmth to those around her and even to those who visit the lighthouse.”

Holt says the play encourages the audience to look at both sides of being the older generation and the younger generation.

“Unfortunately, the young are not encouraged to put themselves in the older generation’s thoughts and feelings and, too often, the older generation forgets what it is like to be young and that’s what the play helps us all do.”

Orton says she read Woolf’s novel during her “19-year-old existential crisis.

“I had seen Nicole Kidman’s 2002 movie of Woolf’s The Hours and just had to read all the Woolf I could get my hands on.”

She …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald

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