Village Theatre AD thriving during second summer

Hudson Village Theatre Artistic Director Matthew Tiffin is happy to be back in Quebec, which he considers his true home. (Kristina Edson)

Loving chance to showcase classics with a twist

Matthew Tiffin is glad to be back in Montreal for his second summer as Artistic Director for the Hudson Village Theatre.

Tiffin, who lived in Montreal for seven years before moving west with his wife, commutes from his Toronto home to Hudson every week during the busy summer season. “I love coming back here and even though it involves the drive, I feel in my heart that Montreal is my home,” he said during a recent chat. Tiffin was tapped for the AD job after the Hudson theatre’s board decided to take things in a new direction artistically. He credits theatre founder Heather Markgraf for a role he says he was born to play. “She built the theatre up over 24 years, so I basically walked into it and supported what she had started,” he said, adding, “I’m happy I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.” One initiative he brought to the professional theatre that’s housed in a charming converted train station, was to introduce “innovative adaptations” of theatrical classics to the summer seasons.

Last summer’s lineup included “The Glass Menagerie,” starring Canadian actress Martha Burns. “It was great to be able to bring one of the top actresses in the country to Hudson,” Tiffin said. This summer’s classic will run Aug.10 – 28, when Noël Coward’s comedic masterpiece “Private Lives » will debut.” Tiffin will direct the show. “We’re able to attract five of very best actors from Montreal for this classic battle of the sexes, where two divorced couples fall back in love,” he explained of the show. But it will include a twist that Tiffin thinks audiences will love. When asked if he thinks an appreciation for live theatre is disappearing, Tiffin didn’t hesitate with his answer: “I don’t think it is. The world is changing, and we do get bumps (in attendance) from year to year, but people are still going to live events and what seems to be happening now is that the younger generation is really into authentic experiences which is great to see.” The Norm Foster comedy “The Ladies Foursome,” the second in the four show summer lineup, which Tiffin thinks is the perfect initiation for theatre first timers, is running until July 10.

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