“damned be this transmigration:” Public Energy Peterborough Production to Showcase Alumni

damned be this transmigration, based on the creations of 20th-century New York newspaper columnist Don Maquis, will premiere at The Market Hall in Peterborough on March 3rd and 4th. Kate Story stars as Mehitable the alley cat, Ryan Kerr as Archy the cockroach, and Brad Brackenridge as their creator Don Marquis.

damned be this transmigration, based on the creations of 20th-century New York newspaper columnist Don Maquis, will premiere at The Market Hall in Peterborough on March 3rd and 4th. Kate Story '86 stars as Mehitable the alley cat, Ryan Kerr as Archy the cockroach, and Brad Brackenridge as their creator Don Marquis. (Photo: Andy Caroll, Kawartha Now)

Some of the Peterborough and Trent's most talented theatre artists will come together to present the full-length premiere of damned be this transmigration at Peterborough's Market Hall on March 3rd and 4th.

Led by writer/actor Kate Story '86, damned is based on characters created by New York columnist/humourist/poet Don Marquis, and promises to be a "dancing, singing, roller coaster ride" of a play. Innovative in form, the work borrows text from Marquis’s famous newspaper column and music from the swinging twenties, alongside original compositions.

The production features Marquis, played by Brad Brackenridge, banging out his column on a vintage typewriter, while his literary creations – Archy the literary cockroach, played by Ryan Kerr, and a morally-careless alley cat named Mehitabel, played by Story – alternately distract him from his work and give his life purpose.

Directed by alumnus Randy Read '73, the play features music by the husband/wife duo of Rob Fortin '74 and Susan Newman '73, their son,Dan Fortin, and Bennett Bedoukian '09. It is brought to you by Public Energy.

You can read a full preview of damned be this transmigration by Trent Professor Emeritus and Peterborough Pathway of Fame inductee Michael Peterman in the Peterborough Examiner.

damned offers a glimpse into the raucous and often tragic life of Marquis, while serving up his unique brand of satirical social commentary -- which still retains much of its humour, power, and meaning today. It is "New York on the cusp of Dorothy Parker and James Thurber, arguably a New York at its literary zenith."

Public Energy is "an animator of contemporary dance, theatre, performance, and interdisciplinary work" -- and a longtime example of the "town meets gown" success story of Peterborough arts. They are "dedicated to supporting the creation, touring, and presentation of innovative contemporary performing arts, and to developing audiences that are knowledgeable and passionate."

At the helm of Public Energy is Artistic Producer (and longtime Peterborough arts advocate/promoter) Bill Kimball '75. We had the great pleasure of talking with Bill on our TrentVoices podcast last year.

Kate Story is an artist that defies easy generalizations. Her work in theatre and dance ranges from the compositional to the directorial to the (often breathtaking) performance side of productions. She is also a writer of novels and short fiction. Kate is the recent recipient of the KM Hunter Award.

damned is inspired by Story's childhood fascination with a book about Marquis found in her parent's Newfoundland library.

You can look back on Story and Newman's performance in the 2006 production of The Cure for Sexual Jealousy in this report from CHEX Television.

Randy Read is the acclaimed artistic director of New Stages Theatre Company, a member of the Peterborough's Pathway of Fame and one of Peterborough’s Greatest 100 in the Performing Arts.

Rob Fortin and Susan Newman are longtime musicians -- perhaps best known for fronting folk group Carried Away (alongside John Hoffman, Tanah Haney '91 and Michael Ketemer '91) -- and producing the annual (17 years and counting) Peterborough Christmas production In From the Cold.

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