The Sudbury Theatre Centre will raise the curtain on a hot chapter of the Cold War beginning March 3 as Canadian playwright Trina Davies’ The Romeo Initiative takes to the stage.
A ﬁnalist for the 2012 Governor General’s Award, The Romeo Initiative is part romantic comedy, part spy thriller. It marks the STC acting debut of Artistic Executive Director Caleb Marshall, a previous member of the Stratford Festival acting company, who also directs the production.
The play transports audiences back to 1970s Cold War Germany, a tense era when the Iron Curtain and its iconic Berlin Wall carved the country into the Soviet-backed East and the US-backed West. In the East, the brutal secret police known as the Stasi waged a sinister covert war against its own citizens and enemies abroad, in a society marked by deep mistrust of neighbours, friends, and even family, where nothing was really what it seemed.
It is there that we meet Karin (Caitlin Stewart), a young government secretary who is swept off her feet by Markus (Marshall), a charming and seemingly perfect stranger she meets while on vacation. But even as their romance blossoms and their passion for each other grows, with Markus habitually away on business, Karin’s insecurities mount as fears of inﬁdelity begin to consume her, egged on by the young mistress of her superior, Lena (Shaina Silver-Baird).
Based on a little-known Stasi intelligence program, The Romeo Initiative spins a seductive web of intrigue, and espionage with shocking twists at every turn.
“Theatre at it’s core must be about surprise, taking the audience on a journey they can’t anticipate, which this play does in a unique way,” said Marshall. “What starts as a sexy, passionate, and often funny romance soon transforms into a sensational thriller with mind-bending twists and turns.”
With Marshall serving the dual roles of director and performer, STC Artistic Associate Matthew Heiti serves as associate director, supporting the production’s form from the outside.
The Romeo Initiative is on stage at the Sudbury Theatre Centre March 3 to 13 Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays. The theatre is dark on Monday.
Tickets for most performances are $35.50 for adults, $31 for seniors, $21.25 for those under 30, and $12 for students. Tickets for the Friday, March 4 Opening Night Director’s Circle featuring a pre-show chat with members of the creative team, a catered post-show reception with the full company, and on-stage tour of the set are $50. A pay-what-you-can matinee performance will be offered Sunday, March 6 and advance tickets are available at the reduced price of $15.
Tickets are available through the STC Box Ofﬁce in person at 170 Shaughnessy Street in Downtown Sudbury, by calling 705 674 8381, or online at sudburytheatre.ca.