In the News!
Les and Dawn at the Stages Festival
Excerpts from Andrea Nemetz's article in Local Xpress about Les and Dawn: Kindness of strangers lifts spirits in LunaSea Theatre production
In this age of cynicism, Les & Dawn is a very compassionate play, says Mary-Colin Chisholm.
"The characters are equal parts kindness and optimist. It's a tone and theme the world can use," she muses, just before rehearsal begins for the LunaSea Theatre production she's directing as part of the Stages Theatre Festival this week.
"That strangers can be this kind to each other is nice news in this desensitized world."
The play by Enfield native Jake Willett debuted three years ago at the Atlantic Fringe Festival in Halifax.
Les & Dawn tells the story of failed businessman Les, who meets Dawn, a little girl in the park, and in a brief conversation discovers the girl is extremely bright....Les gets drawn into the lives of Dawn and her mother Emily, who is grieving the loss of her husband.
Mike Pellerin, who was lured out of retirement in 2014 to play Les, is taking a leave from his job with Canada Post for this production. Ryanne Chisholm, who is a co-artistic director of LunaSea Theatre with Mary-Colin Chisholm (no relation, though they are both from Antigonish), is Emily and Dalhousie Theatre grad Rachel Hastings, who has been seen recently in Red Fish and Two in the Coop with Halifax Theatre for Young People, is Dawn.
Mary-Colin also worked with Willett on dramaturging the production, adding a couple of new scenes and helping to clarify things.
"At the Fringe, we were in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia space, which was limiting. We've opened up how we have the production at the Bus Stop," says Ryanne.
She says Emily, whose husband died when she was in her 30s, has felt lost and dispirited since she lost him.
"She's stuck in the grieving process and stuck in the aftermath of her husband's death ... She's a raw nerve. She doesn't have all the colours of her former self."
Writer Jake Willett says, "Les & Dawn began as a writing exercise in playwriting class a decade ago. It was just a couple of scenes, but it stuck with me."
He says the new writing for the Stages production fills out the internal world of Dawn. He also didn't realize Emily's role would be as large during the initial writing.
"It has taken the whole play for her daughter to reconnect."
Michael Pellerin, Ryanne Chisholm, and Rachel Hastings star in LunaSea Theatre's Les & Dawn at Stages Theatre Festival, Thursday to Saturday, May 25 to 27. For tickets, go to:http://stages.tickethalifax.com/events/41574568/les-amp-dawn
Thank you to all who came back to the attic! We had a wonderful time re-visiting those strange sisters....
The Donahue Sisters fun and lively with powerful twist