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At the Zenith of the Empire

At the Zenith of the Empire
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Author: Stewart Lemoine
Publisher: NeWest Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 134
Pub. Date: 2007
ISBN-10: 1897126158
ISBN-13: 9781897126158

About the Play:

At the Zenith of the Empire is a full-length comedy by Stewart Lemoine. The play creates a swirling speculative scenario about the impact of of the great French actress Sarah Bernhardt's visit on the lives of Edmonton's earliest theatre crowd.

At The Zenith Of The Empire is inspired by the visit to Edmonton, Alberta of the great French actress Sarah Bernhardt in 1913 to perform the last act of Alexandre Dumas' The Lady of the Camellias before two packed houses at the Empire Theatre. Augmenting well-documented accounts of both the Bernhardt visit and the surprisingly active local live theatre scene during the pre-First World War years, At the Zenith of the Empire creates a swirling speculative scenario about the impact of a very special day in the lives of Edmonton's earliest theatregoers and theatre practitioners. The Divine Sarah herself narrates this sumptuous romp of reminiscence, in which she and her eccentric co-star Lou Tellegen become instantly embroiled in the lives of the people they've come to entertain. Playwright Stewart Lemoine combines drama with hilarity in a play that visits such local landmarks as Ada Boulevard, the Groat Ravine, newly annexed Strathcona, and the not-quite-completed High Level Bridge – all the while celebrating that most crucial component of the theatrical equation – the audience.

At the Zenith of the Empire premiered in 2005 at Teatro la Quindicina in Edmonton, Alberta. It won the 2006 Sterling Award for Outstanding new play.

What people say:

"Matters of the heart, of life and love, of human connectedness, are what theatre is about. Here, Lemoine proposes that it's what theatregoing is about, too. And when the biggest celebrity in the world comes to town, and everybody must go, the swirl of individual motives in the audience is heated, heightened, focused." — Edmonton Journal

"A witty theatrical treat.... Lemoine has presented us with a mystery, a love story, and a valentine to theatre." — Edmonton Sun

"Lemoine shows vulnerability beneath the genuinely funny, heartfelt writing.... Lemoine's Bernhardt becomes an evocation of the endless possibilities inherent in all societies, not just a turn-of-the-century boom-town." — SEE Magazine

About the Playwright:

Stewart Lemoine was born in Winnipeg and lives in Edmonton, Alberta. Since the first Fringe Festival in 1982, he has been the artistic director of the Edmonton theatre company, Teatro La Quindicina, with whom he has premiered over fifty plays. In addition, he has taught playwriting for Edmonton Public Schools and Theatre Alberta, and has written and directed works for young performers at the Citadel Theatre, the University of Alberta's Drama Department, and Grant MacEwan University Theatre Arts. Lemoine is a five-time winner of Edmonton's Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for playwriting. He has also won Toronto's Dora Mavor Moore Award and is the recipient of a Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.

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