What a whirlwind! I still wonder how it all went by so quickly. Directing “Once Upon a Rocking Chair” for Northumberland Players this year was definitely a lifetime highlight for me. We had a wonderful review in the local paper and 10/11 performances were SOLD OUT. When I started the process a year ago my wishes for the show were to have fun, to make a story people remembered, and to connect to people.
The De La Roche women have an annual summer Georgian Bay tradition. Three retired sisters and their three grown daughters spend a week at the cottage drinking wine, reminiscing, and making plans for the future. But this summer is different. Deep-rooted secrets are revealed as the annual festivities become ones that nobody will ever forget. It is a play about family, relationships, work, aging, life, and the validity of ‘happily-ever-after.’
If rocking chairs could speak, I bet they would have a lot to say. When selecting a title for Once Upon a Rocking Chair, I was drawn to the idea of using a rocking chair as the play’s central image.
This summer I decided to attend as much theatre as possible. I wanted to reflect on how audiences responded to diverse titles, how directors used the space, how designers created a visual feast, and how the actors conveyed story in a way that connected with me. What impressed me in this quest was the vitality of theatre, the energy of the performers, the enthusiasm of the audience, and the magic created by the production crews. Theatre in Ontario is dynamic and alive.
I’m thrilled that Northumberland Players has added my play to their upcoming season. Once Upon a Rocking Chair has been staged once before, having a successful run with StoneCircle Theatre in Pickering Village in 2008. Since then my writing has improved, my life experience has expanded so I am taking this opportunity to update the script, strengthen the play and present an updated, refreshed version of the story that goes deeper into the play’s themes. I’m excited to share this story and these characters with my community.
Tickets are selling. Don’t miss out! Here are my top 10 reasons why you should click here and buy your tickets for “The Secret Garden” right now:
10. To experience truly gorgeous music. The lyrics and score are stunning. The vocalists and musicians are outstanding. If I’m regularly getting goosebumps up both arms in rehearsals, then I know that the music will melt you with its dynamic, red velvet texture.
“The place was a wilderness of autumn gold and purple and violet blue and flaming scarlet on every side were sheaves of late lilies standing together–lilies which were white or white and ruby…Late roses climbed and hung and clustered and the sunshine deepening the hue of the yellowing trees made one feel that one stood in an empowered temple of gold.” The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett.
When I was I was sixteen I went to England for the first time, staying with different host families a few hours outside of London. I remember the gardens. Even a small yard was filled with rows of diverse colour, separated by narrow, meandering walking paths. It was such a contrast to the concrete and brick and asphalt dominating the front of the homes. I had never been in gardens that transported me beyond time and place before. The gardens offered magic and peace and escape–a refuge calming my fear of being away from home without my parents for the first time. This was when I learned that gardens were special.