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.