Jeff Heuchert, Gazette staff
Katharine Rajczak has always been one for theatrics, whether on stage or in the courtroom.
The longtime attorney, who moved to Stratford seven years ago from Toronto, is now ready to win over a different kind of audience with Boston Marriage – the debut play from The Hour Glass, the regional production company she co-founded earlier this year with friend and award-winning actress Caroline Dolny Guerin of London.
Written by David Mamet, Boston Marriage tells the story of two “women of fashion” at the turn of the 20th century. The title refers to a relationship between two females that may involve both physical and emotional intimacy.
“David Mamet’s language is very musical, very rhythmic but also very acerbic, to the point and humourous,” Rajczak says. “So it’s a very funny play.”
The comedy stars actress Claire Lautier, who has appeared on stage with the Stratford Festival the last four years, as well as Rajczak and Dolny Guerin, who are also the play’s co-artistic directors.
For Rajczak, Boston Marriage marks her first turn on stage in more years than she would like to reveal.
“I wanted to jump back in there and try it again, sure,” she says. “Just walking into rehearsal it felt familiar.”
Rajczak’s love of theatre began as a young girl; she remembers seeing her first play at age three and creating her own plays with childhood friends. By age 13 she was performing in amateur and semi-professional theatre.
Her first professional gig was at the Grand Theatre, then known as Theatre London, when she took over the lead role in Butterflies are Free with only a few hours’ notice when the actress playing the role fell ill.
She continued to work professionally in the theatre as a performer, producer and communications director until switching careers altogether to work first in social services and then as a lawyer.
She says the transition between the two seemingly opposite professions has been easier than you might think.
“As a litigator you have to think on your feet, you have to perform, you have to tell your story well, advocating for a client,” she adds. “You have to have the ability to present the same way as a performer.”
It was at the Grand Theatre as young performers that Rajczak met Dolny Guerin. And while the two women would go off and live different lives, the two maintained a friendship built around their mutual passion for the theatre.
“We had talked about at some point doing something different and producing something ourselves,” Rajczak says, “and now we’ve finally done it.”
While Boston Marriage will be staged at London’s McManus Studio Theatre in The Grand Theatre, Rajczak says the hope is to produce more plays at other small studio settings across Southwestern Ontario.
“If we manage to have an audience (with Boston Marriage) and it goes well ... we have another play in mind we’d like to do,” Rajczak adds.
Boston Marriage’s limited run ends this Sunday, April 7. Tickets are available by calling The Grand Theatre box office at 519-672-8800 or by visiting www.thehourglass.ca or www.grandtheatre.com.