What is your role in this production? My name is Rebecca Bissonnette and I am the Assistant Director for The Sunset Syndrome. I’ve been told I’m the show’s biggest cheerleader. While it is true that the director does all the heavy lifting, I’d like to think that the Assistant Director is the caretaker – I make sure the heart of the show, cast & crew are taken care of.
What is your background in theatre? I’m still relatively new to the stage, with Ravenscroft at the beginning of the season being my first play. I come from a song & dance background, with 15 years of dance training & 10 years of choir/solo singing. There’s no getting me off the stage now – in my mind, I’m a triple threat!
What brought you out for this show? After such a successful run of Ravenscroft, I was hooked on the idea of bringing something to life in such a way that allowed me to share my gifts with so many people – the actor in me had woken up! However, I am also very intrigued at the entire process that goes on behind the stage, so to speak. I knew I still wanted to perform, but I also began to wonder about how I could really get into a script & sink my teeth into the big picture. I started to look for projects/people that I could learn from, ways to gain mentors. Having worked with Catherine Wenschlag before & knowing how much I already learned from her, I put a little bug in her ear about wanting to work with her again. When this directing opportunity came up for her, she asked me if I was still interested, to which of course I said yes!
Why should audiences come see this show? I think that audiences will be mesmerized by this production – it takes them through a entire assortment of emotions as the Nelson family does their best to manage their own emotions as they work their way through two family members illnesses. It has moments that all families move through – playfulness, fear, grieving, laughter, aging, tough choices, sadness, but most importantly, the bond of love. Perhaps not all families have experienced a family member with dementia, but all families have experienced times where they’ve had to put their own baggage aside & do their very best to support someone that they love. Those very bests rarely look the same, but this production has a beautiful way of showing that those very bests all come from the same place – love. Audiences will leave this production thinking about what role they play in their own families & wanting to hold those they care about a little closer. Oh, PS……bring yourself a kleenex.