The fourth and final performance of Basement Theatre's production of Noël Coward's Hay Fever last Saturday marks the end of a very long year, and the beginning of something wonderful; maybe even a number of marvellous things.
Little did I know a year ago when I volunteered to my husband my services as a backstage hand and also possibly a PR person for the play he was going to put on that it would rekindle a dream I had long cast aside. He had gotten involved in the local amateur theatre group at the urging of a friend of ours. The situation was actually kind of bleak; they hadn't put on a show in about three years. For years they had been putting on musicals but sadly the person who had produced and directed these still talked about shows, had passed away. No one in the community had come forward to step into the void. So, with a bit of trepidation my husband Ian decided to meet the challenge and attempt to put on a production that would revitalize the theatre company and in turn the community.
A couple of months later, I was asked if I would step into one of the roles as one of the cast members was unable to continue on. I reluctantly agreed and ended up being cast in a different role, as an unfortunate event occurred to the person that was playing the role I ended up with; Simon Bliss. For me and for the production this actually turned out to be a better casting choice as it turns out. I took to the role with relish. Along the way though something a bit unexpected occurred to me. Not only was I enjoying the process of bringing Simon to life but it was rekindling my love of acting.
I hadn't done anything in the way of acting in about twenty-five years. I grew up taking all sorts of drama and acting classes, (in school and out) as I had dreams from an early age of being an actor. Instead, for a number of reasons, I joined the army, (which was actually my second dream career). I put aside my primary dream in favour of something a little more real and practical. Every now and then I would contemplate going back to my first love, sometimes even mentioning it out loud, but I never did anything about it; life had marched on and there were other concerns and interests that had to be done.
This move three years ago to a little town in Nova Scotia, called Shelburne has been life-changing; it's the best move of my life, (and I've moved a lot in my life). And my participation in Hay Fever has been just as life-changing as it's not only been fun to be in but its rekindled dreams and desires I had long given up on. Sure there were numerous challenges along the way, but I met them and conquered them, as did my cast mates and the crew who all threw themselves into putting on a brilliant show where we created something truly magical.
I don't know what the future of Basement Theatre is or even what the future of theatre in this town is, however, I do know that I have been given a golden opportunity to explore something wonderful.
- Hay Fever is a Hit in Shelburne!
- 'Hay Fever' Season Comes Early In Shelburne, Nova Scotia
- Hay Fever: An Enlivening 'Amusement' for Shelburne