The cast of All My Sons starts their rehearsal with vocal warm ups, buzzing air through their lips and reciting tongue twisters of increasing difficulty. Then, they launch into a scene. It is only their second rehearsal, and the energy is high.
Set in the early 1940’s, All My Sons tells the true story of how the Wright Aeronautical Corporation, an American aircraft manufacturer, conspired with army inspection officers and approved defective military aircraft engines.
The show is directed by Chloe Kaulbach and Natalie Forth. Kaulbach describes it as a show about privilege, and economically benefiting off the misfortune of others.
“We are living and benefiting off land belonging to the Mi’kmaq people, and that’s a connection that I felt when I read [the play],” Kaulbach says. “Just, colonialism in general and the amount of privilege that we have.”
All My Son’s is one of two shows that the King’s Theatrical Society (KTS) is putting on this semester. The KTS is the largest student society per capita on campus. This is largely due to the fact that anyone who has ever attended a KTS show, is technically part of the KTS.
“This includes people outside of King’s as well,” says KTS president Noah Harrison, who is a third year student at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. “Anyone who is a member of the KTS can propose a show, so if you’ve seen a show you’re welcome to propose to direct one.”
The group puts out a call for play proposals a couple months before the season officially starts. For the fall show this means around July or August. Then, directors and executive members are chosen. They hold auditions in September, a month Harrison affectionately refers to as “hell month.” He says they’re looking forward to a great season this semester, and personally hopes to increase collaboration with the Dalhousie Theatre Society, as well as the Fountain School of Performing Arts costume department designers. This show, he believes, will be very immersive and he looks forward to getting the set together.
Aside from All My Sons, the KTS is also putting on a puppet adaptation of Hamlet this semester.
“I don’t think it’s a thing we’ve ever done before, at least for our main season show,” says Harrison. “It made our audition process very fun, people came in ready to do cold reads or monologues, and then we just threw a puppet at them and described a scene so they could start manipulating it.”
They usually do three shows per semester, but were forced to cancel their third show, Pochsy Plays, due to issues acquiring the rights. Still, the group is excited about the upcoming season.
So, how does one get involved with the KTS? There are more ways than just acting. Kaulbach urges people to reach out, saying they are always looking for more people. Beyond actors, the KTS consists of technical crew members, directors, writers, stage managers and executive members. Noah says that they are looking for all kinds of people, and that the best way to get involved is to reach out through social media.
“I love working with the KTS, everyone here is fantastic,” says second-year actor Sam Barringer. “They’re all incredibly skilled people to work with,” says Barringer. “ I’ve done a lot of productions in my life and KTS people are routinely some of the most pleasant people to work with, so it’s always a lot of fun.”
Hamlet: Puppet Prince of Denmark is showing from the 20th to the 23rd of November. All My Son’s is running from Nov. 27 to Nov. 30. Tickets will be available online and at the door.