The return of The Philanthropist multimedia theatre presentation

Photo: Normand Brassard

The Philanthropist is coming back for an encore performance in February 2018. This is a scene from the August 2017 production.

The QCT recently learned that The Philanthropist, the multimedia theatre presentation about the life of Jeffery Hale that took place in August, 2017, will be back for two encore performances at Champlain–St. Lawrence Campus in early February, 2018. We sat down with playwright Mike Boden to ask him a few questions.

QCT: Was it in the original plan to have another string of presentations?

MB: Actually, there was no plan as to how many shows there would be, as we just wanted to bring the project to fruition. In August, were facing time constraints and other factors out of our control surrounding the brand-new installations at the CEGEP, so it was a very intense process just to get to opening night. In fact, our production team kept working on the multimedia effects even after the first show, so the presentation on Sunday ended up being quite different from the one on Thursday.

Once the shows were over and we took time to wind down, the production team discussed if we should take this project any further. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to see that the whole team was really enthusiastic about doing more shows.

QCT: Why were you surprised about that?

MB: I think this project surprised a lot of people in many different ways. I think people may have had low expectations, so the grandeur and quality of what we produced was unforeseen by the majority of the audience. The feedback from our community has been consistently very positive. People are saying they would like to go back and see the production again. Others said they heard it was really good and wished they had seen it. So I guess you could say we are bringing it back because of popular demand.

The second reason we are bringing the project back is to complete the multimedia effects and tighten them up in terms of timing, lighting and sound. The production team was unanimous in that we wanted to present as perfect a production as possible before bringing it to a close.

QCT: Will these two presentations be the final showings then?

MB: I still don’t know what the future holds for The Philanthropist, but I believe that the curtain will close for good after the two presentations in February.

QCT: Are all of the actors returning?

MB: There are three actors who will not be returning. That is hard to take because everyone in the original cast put so much into this project. Their passion and commitment still amazes me. Five months have gone by, though, so it was impossible to expect the entire cast to return. I’m relieved to report that we have already found replacements for two of the three actors.

QCT: Any closing words for our readers?

MB: Only that this will probably be their last opportunity to learn about Jeffery Hale in such a vivid and entertaining format. It was really fun to see the audience reactions leaving the show. People said they were glad to finally know more about the life and times of Jeffery Hale, the man. We hear his name everywhere, so don’t miss this chance yourself to understand who Jeffery Hale really was.

To give you a foretaste of what is to come, a program has been inserted in this week’s edition.

The encore performances will take place on Feb. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Reserve your place now online at or call 418-684-5333, ext. 1384.