Tempestuous look at teenaged sex 

Little Katrina, the fall production by students in the Theatre Department, takes teens into the eye of a hurricane.

Magnifying glass

Writer-director Harry Standjofski was inspired by the Broadway hit Spring Awakening, which in turn was inspired by a controversial 1891 German play. He set it in Mississippi in the summer of 2005, after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region.

The prolific Standjofski (currently seen in an advertising campaign countering gambling addiction) said he loves transforming the classics into new work with his own stamp. As a theatre teacher, he also looks at his Concordia productions from a pedagogical point of view.

He was pleased to be able to give his actors an opportunity to play characters even younger than they are, reaching back several years to revisit the turmoil of puberty.

Standjofski transferred the sexual tension of late-19th-century Germany to the Deep South because some states there still don’t permit sex education, and fall back on preaching abstinence.

“They have a higher rate of teenaged pregnancy,” he said. “Repression just causes more problems.”

Working on a new play was an instructive experience for the theatre students. At first they were taken aback by the frequent revisions, but he gave them a whole new scene last Saturday, and they had it word-perfect by Monday.

Working with the young actors and crew was “a marvellous experience,” Standjofski said. “I miss them already.”

Little Katrina will be presented Nov. 8, 9 and 10 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 11 at 2 p.m., in the F.C. Smith Auditorium, 7141 Sherbrooke St. W., under the Loyola Chapel. Tickets are $10 (public) and $5 (students).


Concordia University