Several Saskatchewan friends and family members are looking forward to seeing Salt-Water Moon at the Station Arts Theatre in Rosthern, which opens on July 5th and runs for most the month. I'm very sorry that Mary and I won't be able to see this production. Please go if you can -- it's going to be terrific! I've been corresponding with the director, Johnna Wright, and am pleased to be able to tell you a bit about the show.By the way, just last week, Johnna won a "Jessie" award in Vancouver for her direction of The Merry Wives of Windsor for Bard on the Beach. The show led the nominations for the prestigious awards with seven nods, including best director, best actor, best supporting actor, best costumes, best set, and significant artistic achievement. Congratulations to everyone involved! Johnna has kindly given me permission to quote part of the email she sent me about some of the experiences she and cast and crew have had while rehearsing Salt-Water Moon: "...It's been an added bonus on this show that we're getting to learn more Newfoundland history. Everywhere we look in our research, we find the same observations about the bravery of the First Newfoundland Regiment at the Somme and elsewhere, and about the hardship suffered 'back home' from the enormous losses in the war. My own great-grandfather was in France during World War I, but I didn't think he had ever seen combat. Recently I was talking with my dad about Salt-Water Moon and he set me straight: turns out Dad's grandfather fought at the Battle of the Somme, as well as the second battle of Ypres, and probably for the same reason as many Newfoundlanders did. Somehow he managed to survive two years in the trenches. Our Jacob and Mary are a real-life married couple (Aaron Hursh and Caitlin Vancoughnett,) which has allowed for some shorthand in rehearsal. All those 'relationship dynamics' in the script really ring true and it's been a lot of fun to explore them with a couple who already know each others' foibles and ticklish spots. Of course they also know how to crack each other up, so we let them get that out of their system at the start of each day. We've also discovered a number of Newfoundland ex-pats in our midst. Our rehearsal hall is at Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon, where the Technical Director, Derek Butt, wandered by the other day while Caitlin and Aaron were working on their dialect. The good news is that he knew immediately they were doing Newfoundland." Johnna added that the cast and crew took a few minutes to observe Newfoundland's Memorial Day during their tech rehearsals in Rosthern. She also told me something that made me laugh -- the stage manager's name is "Jacob" -- but since that was getting confusing, he has been renamed "Sebastian" for the rehearsal period! I'm sending much love to everyone involved with this production, and wishes for broken legs all around on opening night.
The official website of the Canadian playwright David French, author of many award-winning plays including Leaving Home, Of The Fields Lately, Salt-Water Moon, and Jitters.