Family friction

Jordan Slaunwhite and Nicole Stocki play a father and daughter at odds in mid-century Saskatchewan in the Carlton production of 'Canadian Gothic.' The drama club is bringing the play to regional competition this weekend. (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

Carlton drama club brings Saskatchewan play ‘Canadian Gothic’ to regional competition

Nicole Stocki has competed at Saskatchewan Drama Association (SDA) festivals every year of her high school career, but the Carlton Comprehensive High School senior said it’s still hard to know what to expect.

“After doing it for four years you’ve kind of gotten into the routine. You know how adjudication feedback is going to go, you know how you are at festival, you know what kinds of plays (other schools) do … but I don’t think I’m ever really ready for festival,” she said.

“Every year there is a new adjudicator, sometimes there’s new schools and everyone always has different plays and sometimes there are other schools who just bring something to the table that is so unexpected and so good and you just weren’t expecting it.”

This year Stocki is playing the role of the rebellious daughter Jean in the 1972 play Canadian Gothic by Saskatchewan-born playwright Joanna Glass. The students performed the play at Carlton on Wednesday night as a warm-up before travelling to Walter Murray Collegiate Institute in Saskatoon to compete in the SDA Region 11 Drama Festival from Thursday, March 30 to Saturday, April 1. In recognition of Canada’s upcoming sesquicentennial, schools were asked to perform Canadian plays.

“I thought back through the repertoire of plays that I’ve done — Canadian plays — and this play, because of the quality of the writing and the depth of the story and the opportunities for actors, struck me as being the play to do,” said Carlton drama teacher David Zulkoskey, who is staging Canadian Gothic for the first time in 28 years.

“We really have, in many ways, not only unwrapped the play and got to the true depth of it, but now we put it back in a package that I think is extremely truthful and faithful to what the playwright Joanna Glass intends this play to be as a slice of life in 1950s Saskatchewan.”

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