Last Night

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Slow dancing and wild abandon are the essence of Last Night by Shaelyn Johnston. In the premiere staged production directed by CJ McGillivray, memories become delicate and rough around the edges. Reality fades in and out of focus when a college freshmen finds herself stumbling into open arms and unfamiliar territory.

CJ McGillivray’s directorial vision for Last Night is defined by a gentle, acoustic soundscape and visually dramatic multimedia projections to complement and illuminate the story as it unfolds on stage. The production was featured among a selection of short plays as part of the Sacred Space Festival at Capilano University in April 2014.

CAST

Lara Emily Foley, Gavin Langelo and Anita Topeka with projections featuring Sarah Gusten, Ben Pilger, Michael Dean Henderson and Sarah Jane Fogel.

CREATIVE TEAM

Directed by CJ McGillivray with photography by Diego Arias Montoya used for projection designs, production managed by Alexa Houle and stage managed by Luke Wawzonek with Jocelan Jansen as set decorator.

PROJECTION DESIGN

The following still images were staged by CJ McGillivray and photographed by Diego Arias Montoya for use as ongoing projections throughout Last Night:

The lighthearted, romanticized tone of the memories created an intentional and jarring contrast to the action on stage. The juxtaposition, though radical, effectively humanized an unforgivable scenario, forcing the audience the look beyond the binary of a victim and a perpetrator and to examine their own unsettling feelings in response to the narrative.

The cast and crew of Last Night thanks Blake Mattson, Sunny Mohajer, Max Morrow, Shanique Kelly and Jillian Zavazal for their generous contributions to the production.

Witness

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In January 2014, CJ McGillivray assisted director Stephen Atkins on a university production of Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie. The classical murder mystery was an incredible learning experience for her through unconventional story development and a unique creative design. Every aspect of the production, from the set design to the original musical composition, was an homage to the classical black and white melodramas of the early fifties.

In her role as the assistant director, CJ was able to lead a deep exploration into character development, backstory and relationships among the players and suspects in the murder mystery. She also had the pleasure of acting in the court room ensemble as a member of the jury.

Local theatre critic MJ Ankenman from  Vancouver Scape gave a favourable review to the ensemble, saying that she “found the acting quality superb throughout the entire cast.” She emphasizes how the work of Agatha Christie is “challenging for any actor. The plays are heavy on dialogue and subtle in their nuances of character.”