By Marcia Arpin
What happens when you Google search “new,” “community theatre,” and “award-winning plays”? You quickly discover Cambrian Players’ opening production this season, Mom’s Gift.
Set in Minnesota, this comedy centres around a family birthday party. However, the play quickly reveals a twist: one guest has been dead for eleven months. The motherly ghost shows up to her husband’s birthday party with a mission: she must accomplish a mysterious task in order to earn her wings. Playwright Phil Olson has crafted and cleverly worded the family secrets, letting audiences experience each layer as it is peeled away, revealing the shocking truth that surprises even the visiting ghost by the end.
Director Beverley Gravelle-MacLeod is happy to be directing for her sixth time. She was attracted to the script for its heart and soul. She immediately appreciated the familiarity of the northern town setting, the quality of the characters, and the play’s many modern references. Gravelle-MacLeod knows this play is entertaining and has many laughs, but wonders if there may be a few tears too.
Lauren Payette plays the role of the daughter and reveals she is the only character that can hear or see her ghostly mom. Although this poses problems for the character, it gives Payette many thrills as an actress. “There is depth, many emotions to explore and moments that are relatable,” explains Payette, who was last on stage with Cambrian Players in The Full Monty.
Hilke Grunys also returns to Cambrian Players and has embraced the grace, love, and humour of her latest role as a mother. “There is a mysterious quality about Mom and ultimately what the gift is,” says Grunys.
Cambrian Players continues to bring together the very best of our community’s talent. The board of directors invests time annually to read a variety of scripts to ensure each season showcases a blend of classic and modern stories. Everyone is invited to become involved each season.
Mom’s Gift is on stage at the Finlandia Hall from November 15-18 and November 22-25.