Brilliant Debut

Brilliant Traces

Roger-McKeever’s acting, directing impressive in relationship drama. 

"New Yorker transplant Pascale Roger-McKeever has landed with a splash with her Halifax debut production at the North Street Church, Brilliant Traces.

 

Carrying the bulk of the thespian duties as the character Rosanne who initiates the action of the play, she delivers a performance that can only be described as electrifying. Channelling great 1940s actresses as Barbara Stanwyck and Kate Hepburn, the former New Yorker speaks her lines with a spellbinding mid-Atlantic accent that identifies her character with a long-gone aristocratic class of Yankee sophisticates. 

 

The absurdity of of fleeing a wedding -- taking place in Arizona -- and then driving in a 14-day haze to somewhere in Alaska allows Rosanne to balance rationality and irrationality with a zen-like grace. 

 

Roger-McKeever’s juggling a pure vulnerability with sudden flashes of violence makes her Roseanne a fully human character who retains rather than reveals her basic mysteries throughout the play. 

 

While her acting is something of a revelation, Roger-McKever’s direction of the overall play -- and particularly the performances she draws from Caleb Tooms -- is exceptionally impressive.

 

With few stage effects beyond a couple of lighting cues, and a set that looks like a Fringe hand-me down, the play had to get by on a couple of choruses of Leonard Cohen’s Famous Blue Raincoat to establish context and tone. 

 

Beyond that, Brilliant Traces is utterly dependent on the strength of its script and the particularities of the acting and direction. In all three cases, the production surpasses expectations. 

 

Brilliant Traces is an astonishing Halifax premier for Roger McKeever that rates as a must-see drama for any and all serious theatre-goers."

- Article by Ron Foley MacDonald, The Chronicle Herald | Halifax, NS |

June 19, 2005

Photographer: Tim Krochak