THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ------ April 8, 2014 ---- Dina Morrone, has returned to Thunder Bay from Los Angeles, a place she now calls home. A playwright, her play, “Moose on the Loose”, will soon open at Thunder Bay’s Magnus Theatre under the direction of Mario Crudo. This will be the Canadian premier for this play.
This play was produced at Los Angeles Theatre West; the City’s longest running theatre which was started with Betty Garret and members of the Bridges family.
I have my tickets for “Moose on the Loose” but after speaking with Dina I am more anxious than ever to see the play. It is about a large Italian family who immigrated to Canada, Northern Ontario to be more precise. Eventually the first member of the family to move here convinced other members of the family to join him, and in no time all four generations were looking for a new future in this foreign land.
In Dina’s words this play started out as a one act play, but a few colleagues in her writers group said no, “you have a full length play with this subject”. It is a play about change and adapting to life in a new culture and in a foreign land. There are so many families in Thunder Bay that have a story of a new life in this land, so there should be a lot of people who can truly relate to this story from firsthand experience. There is definitely a good potential audience for this production.
At one point in the story when the family is established in Northern Ontario, a moose makes its way onto the street where the family lived and caused all sorts of commotion. Dina saw this as a metaphor for her family trying to cope with life in a strange land just like the moose was trying to cope with the invasion of its habitat by people.
I asked Dina about the play’s reception in L.A. There were two things that stood out. One is the Italian community in Canada is much younger than it is in the States. Often in America the Italians are 4th or 5th generation families, where as the family Dina describes in Canada is first generation and they don’t speak English too well. While the American audience understands cities like Toronto, most of them have no idea what life is like in the rest of the country. In her play she included the snow following people as the entered the house from outside, as well as many other Canadianisms. It really takes a foreigner to bring these to the fore, and I find the things which make being Canadian unique interesting and fascinating.
If my imagination is correct, Bella Dina will show up at Magnus Theatre with all her local family to see the Gala Production on Friday.
Mario Crudo will be directing this production, and I am sure that the Italian connection in this play is one that he can personally understand. This is a big production with 12 actors on stage, something rarely seen on our professional theatre’s stage. This play has a large market potential and under Mario’s competent direction this could well be the play of the season. That will be important because I suspect this play will be the one used to launch the sales campaign for next season. Always leave the best to last! Be sure to call the box office for your tickets soon.
Arts Editor: LakeSuperiornews.com