author: alexa lawlor | staff writer
Mort a touching exploration of aging and death.
The Theatre Students’ Association (TSA) will be presenting Mort, its first show in around six years, from March 28 to April 1 in the ShuBox Theatre in the Riddell Centre. See below a message from TSA president Carson Walliser.
The last time the TSA put on a production was six years ago I believe, and that was a small-scale show that one of the faculty members directed. So, this is the first time it’s been done in a few years. We decided to put on another show because we really wanted to support a local charity and we thought that was a really good way to tie in and do some community outreach with our organization. We also felt it was a perfect opportunity to give our students a chance to be doing and producing their own work, and really taking what they had learned. And, proving to the faculty that we are really capable and really willing and excited to work on our craft. Also, with Bad Blood, there were a fair number of students who decided not to do that show, so we actually ended up having a fair amount of students who were able to do the TSA show.
The show we finally landed on was Mort. But, for every show we were going to honour a specific charity and give part of the proceeds to that, and the rest would be a fundraiser for the Theatre Students’ Association, because we’ve had no funding for however many years. We decided to honour the Alzheimer’s Society, because Terry Pratchett, who is the author of the original Discworld books, suffered from Alzheimer’s and was a very strong advocate for Alzheimer’s research and awareness for most of his life. The Alzheimer’s Society will also be coming to the Thursday night show to do a talk-back [after the show], and we will be accepting other donations for them every single night.
The TSA hasn’t been officially recognized by URSU since about 2010, at least the last contact they had on their website was the president from that time. Our records have been quite spotty as well, our last official records were from 2014 when I was the secretary, before that they were 2010. Last year, the president was working on a lot of referendum things that needed to be worked through that just weren’t getting done. So, she was working through a lot of that with URSU. This year, I wanted to have it officially recognized and have it be a lot more of a presence in the university and in the community. It’s really become a lot more alive this year, and we’ve done a lot more things.
We’ve taken advantage of the funding that is available from URSU, we were officially ratified, all of our information was updated, and we updated our social media and stuff like that. We’ve been able to put on art exhibits and social events, and Mort is our really big event for the year. The society has existed for a number of years, funded entirely out of students’ pockets, because they didn’t know how to access the funding. They didn’t know how to do anything like that; the information just wasn’t available. So, it’s been a very quiet society, and this year we’ve really been able to flourish.
The importance of this production is to prove that we want to work, the issues with the theatre department, as every department has their issues, do not lie fully on the students. There are students here who are working, or who are wanting to do work, do their craft, and to really give that opportunity to the students here to be able to do those kinds of things. Otherwise, it’s just the department shows, which are great and wonderful, but they are classes. This is something that’s not a class, but it’s still a wonderful opportunity. We’re essentially a company of actors, because we’re working together so closely all the time.
It’s providing them that opportunity to work together in a professional space, as essentially the best of the students that we have. We’re not trying to exactly provide a learning opportunity, so much as we are providing an opportunity for us to work with each other.
Mort is part of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. It’s a comedy about death that begins with this boy named Mort, who is looking for a job to be an apprentice. At a hiring fair, Death hires Mort as his apprentice and he essentially messes up the whole universe. It’s about Mort growing up and figuring out how to deal with this and how to fix his problems. It’s a comedy about death.
People should come out to the show for a laugh, to support the Alzheimer’s Society and give money to a very important cause. They should also come out to support the theatre students, who are trying to become a very strong presence and provide more opportunities like this one for future students to provide really excellent quality shows in wonderful spaces. It’ll be a great time; you won’t want to miss it.
Again, the show will run from March 28 to April 1, with no performance on Wednesday night. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and will run for about two hours with an intermission. Tickets are $10, and are also available online on Eventbrite. There will be no student price for this show, because the TSA is hoping to give as many proceeds as possible to the Alzheimer’s Society, as well as fundraising money for the Theatre Students’ Association.