T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral

The Don Bosco Drama Club of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College is pleased to present T.S. Eliot’s play Murder in the Cathedral, with music composed by Melissa Miles and performed by SWC’s music ensemble. It is directed by Frederick Duquette with music directed by Dr. Richard Heinzle.

This year’s drama production is being presented as a radio play due to COVID-19 restrictions. Despite the different format, listeners are sure to be blown away by the quality of the acting and the haunting beauty of the musical elements.

The production will be available for listening starting at 7:00 pm on Saturday, March 27th, 2021 on SWC’s YouTube channel.

Click here to download the poster.

If you would like to support this year’s production, you can make a gift online here: www.seatofwisdom.ca/support, or send a cheque made out to Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College with “Drama Club” in the memo line.

We hope you enjoy the show!

– The Don Bosco Drama Club and your friends at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College

SWC Presents T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College (SWC)’s Don Bosco Drama Club is pleased to present T.S. Eliot’s play Murder in the Cathedral. Given the current COVID-19 situation, the play will be presented as a radio play online, a first for the College. Despite the different format, listeners are sure to enjoy the haunting beauty of Eliot’s verse and the music.

Set in December 1170, Murder in the Cathedral is a modern miracle play on the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury. The play features the use of a chorus in the Classical Greek manner. Becket is in conflict with King Henry II because of Henry’s attempts to control the Church. Becket knows his life is in danger and he has to prepare for martyrdom. Along the way he is tested by various temptations but the last temptation is to desire martyrdom for his own glory: “The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

Director Frederick Duquette is confident that listeners will be entertained by the show: “It is a bit of history, theology and psychology rolled up into a show.” He adds that shifting to a radio play has been a fruitful exercise because it “challenged the actors to focus only on their voices, and insofar as an actor’s voice is their main instrument, the shift to radio is an excellent learning experience.”

Student actor Daniel Schramm, who plays Becket, reflects on his character: “I focused for Act I on his internal struggles during his temptations. I perceived that he was already strong-willed against his first three tempters as he had clearly held the convictions of his duty to seek what is good for the Church as servant of Christ and to ultimately trust none but God alone. In the fourth temptation, however, it occurs to him that the pride of his authority and of his approaching martyrdom may actually be his downfall in the end, and this revelation brings him to his knees.”

The music, composed by Melissa Miles and directed by Dr. Richard Heinzle, who heads up SWC’s music program, is an integral part of the production. Bridget Olver, a part-time student at SWC, talks about the interesting challenges of performing music under COVID-19: “The virtual ensemble is a for-credit class led by Dr. Heinzle and has students in opposite ends of the country (BC and Ontario) and in the States. We learn the music and have a lesson over Zoom with Dr. Heinzle, but because of the lag we can’t perform together over Zoom, so we record our part of the music and send it to each other to listen and record another instrument or vocal part along with the previous recording. Then one of us is assigned to put the recordings together. It has been a great way to stretch our musical and technological capabilities.”

The production will be available for listening starting at 7:00 pm on Saturday, March 27th, 2021. To listen to the play, go to the College’s website at www.seatofwisdom.ca and follow the link to the recording. The production is free. Any donations to SWC to help fund the drama club are gratefully accepted. Enjoy the show!