Theatre on the radio

CFRC program a mix of theatre talk and tunes

Latour (centre) and guests in studio.
Latour (centre) and guests in studio.
Photo: 

Theatre is thriving in Kingston, but remains inaccessible for many.

For those who still associate the stage with stale, Victorian snoozers, the solution may lie in a refurbished setlist.

Just Hit Play, a new CFRC show hosted by Felicia Latour, ArtSci ’14, pairs classic plays with catchy playlists to inspire the unknowing theatre-lover.

The idea came last summer when Latour attended a performance of Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, directed by Peter Hinton, at the Shaw Festival, an acclaimed theatre festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

“[The play] is very Victorian England, a little dry for some,” she said, “but they had songs from Rufus Wainwright and Velvet Underground and I thought that was amazing.”

Latour’s show builds from this idea — aiming to make classic plays more accessible through interviews with cast and crewmembers, intermixed with recognizable tunes.

“I love the idea of mixing old, sort-of inaccessible plays with contemporary music,” she said.

“Sometimes I ask the guests if they have song suggestions — mostly it’s songs that I find either thematically or stylistically relevant.” Each episode begins with local theatre announcements and often includes interviews with members of the Queen’s and Kingston theatre community.

But Latour’s favourite interview so far was with French Canadian playwright Michel Marc Bouchard, whose play Lilies originally premiered in 1987, and was recently put on by the Queen’s drama department.

“I actually interviewed him in French,” she said. “Then I had to go back, translate it, and have a friend come in and do the English dub of Bouchard’s part.”

Latour’s involvement in Kingston theatre spans her four years at Queen’s.

She is currently involved in two theatre projects: directing Queen’s Vagabond’s Julius Caesar and designing sets for 5th Company Lane’s Problem Child.

Last year she played Captain Hook in Colliding Scopes Theatre’s take on Peter Pan, An Awfully Big Adventure. She was the assistant director for Queen’s drama department’s Blood Relations, was involved in Blue Canoe’s The Drowsy Chaperone and Vogt A, as well as working as assistant stage manager for Theatre Kingston’s Virgil.

“That was my first professional theatre gig. It was lots of fun,” she said.

Latour had other aspirations before getting immersed in Kingston’s theatre scene.

“I was bent on becoming a pediatrician,” she said.

She originally enrolled as a science student, but that only lasted two months, according to Latour.

Since then, she has transferred to a drama major and English minor.

“I love Queen’s drama because they really encourage you to do everything [through both acting and producing],” she said.

It was through Queen’s that she was able to take classes at the Shaw Festival. Latour looks back fondly on her time at Shaw, but wasn’t sold on the city of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

“The city itself feels very Stepford Wives — lots of pretentious cafes,” she said. “But Shaw, what a treasure trove of Canadian theatre and arts.”

Latour said she tries to bring those high expectations to her time on the airwaves.

“I feel like I’ve set a standard for myself where I need to play good contemporary music,” she said. “The Lilies episode I finished with a U2 song. I love U2 but I got all worked up thinking — I’m gonna lose my street cred.”

Just Hit Play airs every Monday on CFRC 101.9 FM from 4-5:30 p.m. and online at www.cfrc.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.