What is your role in this production? My role is that of Samuel, a humble grounded man who develops Alzheimer’s disease. He then has a stroke. As a result he rapidly decays and becomes dependent on his family. His wife assists him however she also develops symptoms creating a double whammy for the family.
What is your background in theatre? At Walterdale? My background in theatre in Edmonton has been as a sound designer and composer, however I then started to act in productions around 20 years ago mostly for fringe, independent and university productions. Shows for Walterdale as an actor include George F. Walker’s Better Living, Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw and Hamlet. Shows for Walterdale as a sound designer include Flowers for director Judy Unwin.
What brought you to Walterdale? What brought you out for this show? What drew you to it? I love Walterdale and always have, I’ve worked with wonderful folk here including John Dolphin, Blair Wensley, Amy Defelice, Murray Cullen, Matt Kowalchuk, Beth Day and Matt Kloster. The reason I wanted to work on this show is I’ve worked with Catherine Wenschlag, our director, as an actor on other shows and she is inspiring in her love for theatre. It turns out she is also a wonderful thoughtful director with a keen eye who is as creative a director as she is a compelling actor. Catherine asked if I would consider playing Samuel and I thought if she’s drawn to the show I likely would be too so I said sure.
What do you think audiences will take away from this production? Why should they come see it? I think audiences will take a lot away from the show as our playwright has personal experience with the situations in the play and takes the audience through them with her scenes and her characters. She has really tried to put on page what the real experiences and emotions of her central character (Emily) are as she copes with the struggles of being a caregiver only to have to adjust to the role of needing care herself while still trying to maintain her dignity and her desire to make her own decisions. I know it sounds heavy but the play also has some real humour and it’s a roller coaster ride through all that Emily experiences. Catherine has adopted some really interesting, dramatic conventions to tell the story and I think audiences will walk away feeling pathos for Emily and respect for her very human approach to what she faces.
The Sunset Syndrome is part of From Cradle to Stage 2016 and runs from May 16-21 at 8 p.m.
Tickets are available through Tix on the Square
780.420.1757 or go to www.tixonthesquare.ca