Negatunity playwright based in Windsor, ON, Matthew St. Amand. Feature photo above courtesy of Post Productions Windsor.
New Play by Local Writer Matthew St. Amand Turns Lemons of Tragic Memory into Absurdly Delicious Gatorade
As Singleton Kastamangas plummets to almost certain doom from the Ambassador Bridge, his life flashes before his eyes, time slows to a crawl, and he learns to make peace with a tragedy that’s haunted him since childhood. That’s the premise of Negatunity by local writer Matthew St. Amand, a new play making its global premiere at The Shadowbox Theatre on April 9th for a three-week run.
“Negatunity is an impossible story to summarize accurately,” says producer and actor Michael K. Potter. “It’s vast and loopy, a strange emotional adventure from dark tragedy to absurdist comedy with stops at every emotional landmark along the way.” Potter notes that it’s the perfect play for our times: “The entire world is just starting to emerge from a vast shared tragedy. What do we do with the terrible experience of Covid-19? What sense can we make of it? How do we move on? By treating it as a negatunity – when life gives you lemons, make existential Gatorade”.
According to St. Amand, who started writing the script in 2013 and sent it to Post Productions in 2017, “Negatunity, as a story, does not hold to a safe and practical route. Telling the story was like walking from my house in LaSalle to downtown Windsor in an unwavering straight line: taking me over lawns, over fences, through people’s houses, jumping ditches, wading through streams, dodging traffic, scaling buildings. The play is an act of memory. I think many people believe memory is recalling things that happened in the past that have since gone away. But memory, in fact, is the past today. All that’s gone is still here, continually analyzed, its pieces continuously being rebuilt, re-examined. Memory is potent, and to some of us – right or wrong – it can often be more real than the present”.
Post Productions has been working on Negatunity for more than a year, rescheduling it three times due to the Covid-19 pandemic and persevering through the loss of two cast members and an emergency surgery. The commitment of the cast and crew made the producers – and director Fay Lynn – determined not to give up. With the pandemic still omnipresent and Windsor in the red zone, Post Productions is cautiously optimistic that Negatunity will hit the stage as planned. “There’s a good chance we’ll be in the orange zone by April 9th, which means theatres can open,” Potter explains, “ and we proved with Fatboy and The Beauty Queen of Leenane last fall that we can safely offer live entertainment by following strict safety protocols – as long as our patrons are co-operative, which they have been, without exception, so far. So if we can open, we will – safely. And if we can’t, we’ll try a different plan. Either way we’re ready.”
Negatunity is written by Matthew St. Amand, directed by Fay Lynn, and produced by Fay Lynn, Michael K. Potter, and Nikolas Prsa. It stars Michael K. Potter, Joey Ouellette, Rebecca Mickle, Nikolas Prsa, and Fay Lynn. Performances: April 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 & 24 at The Shadowbox Theatre (103 – 1501 Howard Ave, the corner of Howard and Shepherd). Doors open at 7:30 PM for an 8:00 show. Tickets $25, available online only at postproductionswindsor.ca, where patrons can also review the venue’s Covid-19 health and safety policies. Presented in association with Windsor Feminist Theatre.
For more information please visit http://www.postproductionswindsor.ca/