This week's Camrose Booster newspaper will be uploaded tomorrow. Sorry for the delay and have a great day!
Mom's the Word on this talented group
In the past, mom's the word meant keeping a low profile on the fact that the Camrose community has a lot of talented actors and actresses in the Camrose Main Street Players theatre group.
But, since that cat is out of the bag, the new meaning of Mom's The Word is revealing the smash hit on five continents to a local audience.
The play is an award-winning ensemble production written by six Canadian performer-moms who have endured the agonies and ecstasies of parenting. "It is a hysterically funny and deeply touching play: it deals in shocking detail with all the important elements of childbearing: the good, the bad, and the ugly," said producer Cathie Johnson. "Without rose-coloured lens treatment, Mom's the Word is a hilarious, intimate look at motherhood. Touching, vivid tales of giving birth to a premature baby are balanced against comic, ribald stories of diaper soup and sex after children. All six moms have two children, suffer from sleep deprivation, and have some of the most outrageous stories you've ever heard – all of them true. It is group therapy like never before."
Local actresses Amanda Hill, Lisa Booth, Colleen Bunyan, Shirley Fairall, Shelby Bianic and Michelle Ratz make up the cast of the show that runs along with the Mother's Day season. Dawn and Jason Marshall are the directors, Marlene Maertens-Poole is the stage manager, Carol Haugen is the assistant stage manager, John Rawson is the light technician and Shawn McKinnon is the set designer.
"Cathie approached my wife Dawn about directing this show as a fundraiser for breast cancer," explained Jason. "I decided to jump on board too because it is a good show, it is for a worthy case and it appeals to my directing sensibilities. We have some very strong actresses, many of which don't have a lot of experience, but they are very eager and talented."
Dawn and Jason met at the University of Saskatchewan drama department and they have been teaching and directing shows since graduating. Jason directed shows in B.C. and New Zealand before moving to nearby Wetaskiwin.
"I have been involved in all aspects of plays including acting, lighting and directing," said Jason. "My wife directed 30 Reasons not to be in a Play for Cathie last year and was involved as a teacher of the group. We both love community theatre and it is a good resource for the community," said Jason. "The most fun I have ever had, and some of my best work has been with community theatre because the enthusiasm has been amazing. You get some of the highest quality of acting from people who are not getting paid for it."
Actors, set builders and other volunteers make the show possible by working hard at it. "Working hard is important. As a director, it is my job to give the audience a chance to appreciate it," Jason said. "We had auditions in November. Then we started rehearsals in January with six to nine hours a week."
Cathie explained that the Marshalls are also teaching people to fill those volunteer positions. "It is a learning process for everyone. It's about teaching and education."
Jason admitted they are learning as well. "A lot of the skills we teach them is for every day. We teach communications and how to get your message across to someone else."
He said the Bailey Theatre is the best place to put on a show like Mom's The Word. "It is possibly the best equipped theatre I have been in," said Jason. "I have been in shows from big venues to out in a field. It ranks at the top with beautiful space. I hope the community will appreciate it."
Raising children is a hard job and Mom's The Word puts fun back into the process. "There is something everyone can relate to in this play," said Jason. "I guarantee it."
Actresses Amanda Hill expands on her character Barbara. "I see her as a firecracker, someone who is the most lively mom of the bunch. She is a no-nonsense type of woman who doesn't take crap from anyone," explains Amanda. "She demands presence and is fun."
The former Augustana student is also having fun in community theatre. "Being on stage gives me a release. It allows me to be someone else," said Amanda. "People will find this hilarious. I know when I was rehearsing this for my parents, I had them in tears. I feel that anyone who has had experience in parenting or just being part of a family or with children in general, will find this show breathtaking and give a sense of truth and insight of what it means to be a mom. It is one of the most important, but difficult jobs in the world."
Amanda enjoys being part of the acting team. "Because this show is so real, we have gotten to know each other as a cast. It is beautiful because we can bring our own stories from our lives and bring it into our character and mould it. There are not so strict guidelines that we can't truly make them our own," said Amanda. "I hope the Camrose community is very supportive of our theatre. If you don't come out, you will be really missing something special."
The show begins on May 10 and 11 with shows at 7:30 p.m. On May 12, a matinee show will be held at 1 p.m. and a dinner theatre will start at 6:30 p.m. with the show at 7:30 p.m. A brunch show will take place on May 13 beginning at 11:30 a.m. with the show at 1:30 p.m. A donation of $2 from each ticket sold will be donated to breast cancer.