What is your role in this production? I am portraying one of the shadow characters in the play. In this particular production we have been given the opportunity to play these very eerie characters that we can really play with. Originally these shadow characters would have been played by doubling the leads however our production has taken a different road by creating a chorus ensemble that I see as more fun! We made my character into a single mother of a young baby. She lost her husband in the war and is currently trying to use her job as a schoolteacher as a way to keep her and her son afloat. After the explosion, I think she is rather tormented by the things she has gone through and she really struggles to find an outlet for her darker emotions, which I will not go into much detail about! (Cue my evil laugh)
What is your background in theatre? At Walterdale? I took theatre training sporadically since I was young, starting in school clubs and eventually taking some classes at the St. Albert Children’s Theatre Company, and the Foote Theatre School. In high school I took drama classes as well and was given the amazing chances to perform in M*A*S*H and in A Christmas Carol as Dean Mercy Lodge and Belinda Cratchit, respectively. I took a year off from acting in order to focus on my studies last year but I am glad to be back onstage. This is my first time performing at the Walterdale Theatre and hopefully it will not be my last!
What brought you out for this show? Well… I blame the ‘Dear Canada’ series! I saw the advertisement for the auditions and I saw what the play was about I knew I had to take part in it. I had read this ‘Dear Canada’ book about the Halifax Explosion many times with my younger sister and it has fascinated me since. It was called No Safe Harbour if you are interested in it! That and this play is such an amazingly heart wrenching story that I really connected with on my first read.
What do you think audiences will take away from this show? Why should they come and see it? I do think they will come out with more knowledge about this really devastating tragedy in our history, and maybe learn something more. This play becomes more and more relevant to me as I watch the news. Although this story is set a hundred years ago, it is quite modern in its discussion about the way people deal with trauma. I do think that it is an important story to tell! This chapter in Canadian history has been largely forgotten when it really shouldn’t be. Prior to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Halifax Explosion was the largest man made explosion in history!
Shatter deals with a major event in Canadian history that Canadians today might not know too much about. Are there any other major events in Canadian history that you feel we should know more about than we do?
Oh goodness this is tough! To keep with the theme of things set in Nova Scotia I would actually think that talking about Viola Desmond would be interesting. Viola was a businesswoman who fought against racial segregation in Canada after an experience at a film theatre in Nova Scotia. She refused to leave the ‘Whites Only’ section of the theatre and was wrongly accused of tax evasion for it! Her story launched the civil rights movement in Canada, and yet I didn’t even know she existed until I read about her in my grade twelve social class last year.
Or if I was thinking in the mind of my character I would talk about the thalidomide crisis and its repercussions. I think my character, as a mother, would feel very strongly about this event if she was around for it. Thalidomide was considered to be this ‘wonder drug’ and it was often prescribed to mothers in early pregnancy to deal with morning sickness and sleeplessness. Thalidomide was not properly researched at the time and it caused between 5,000 and 7,000 children to be born with severe birth defects, many never even survived childhood. The children who did survive can now receive compensation from the Canadian government but those children whose mothers took free samples cannot receive compensation unless they get specific paperwork that oftentimes cannot be found.
Shatter runs December 6-16, 2017
Call 780.420.1757 or go to www.tixonthesquare.ca for tickets today!