Strangers Among Us, written by Canadian Playwright Aaron Bushkowsky is the story of Michael and Gabrielle who meet and fall in love. Complicating their relationship is the reality of their Alzheimer’s diagnoses and their family members who must wade through the changes and challenges of supporting their loved ones. Director Norm Francoeur calls Strangers Among Us a “slice of life, a glimpse inside some of the aspects of Alzheimer disease and how it can affect individuals and their families. In this play we see ordinary people going through extraordinary events.”
To assist the cast and production crew with authenticity, Francoeur invited the Education Director of the local Alzheimer’s Society to a rehearsal. The Society will also have a presence in the lobby of the theatre during the run of the show to offer information about the illness and support programmes.
Strangers Among Us is Francoeur’s first time directing a full length play. 15 years ago he and his wife Ruth appeared in the cast of Fort McMurray Alberta’s presentation and the “feeling of the show stayed with me for 15 years. I have wanted to bring that feeling to Sarnia audiences for a long time.” Strangers Among Us will be an out of Western Ontario Drama League (WODL) show adjudicated on February 8, 2018.Theatre Sarnia is excited to be hosting the WODL Festival at the Imperial Theatre March 12-17, 2018.
Creating and presenting a play to audiences requires many months of planning. Francoeur has a strong Production Team working behind him. Gord Bristo is Stage Manager and Producers are Andrea Hughes Coleman, Craig Matthews and Ruth Francoeur. Tina Shrigley began working on Sound Design last May and Kathryn Forristal is Choreographer. Francoeur is a collaborative director who loves teaching what he has learned and is happy to have Tina Laughington as Assistant Director.
“While Alzheimer’s disease is the central theme of the play, it is not the only tone,” explains Francoeur. “Strangers Among is a play about love, denial, acceptance and family secrets. We will not only portray the pain and heartbreak within the story but also the beauty, love, hope and peace. “This is a character driven show and the cast of 10 is ready and eager to tell their story. Each character has their place to shine, their moment. I would love it if audiences leave the theatre asking questions and having discussions.”
Tickets for this show and other events are available at the Imperial Theatre Box Office:
168 Christina Street North, Sarnia. Phone 519-344-7469.
Tickets are also available online.
Strangers Among Us will be staged February 2-10 at 7:30pm with a Matinee February 4 at 2 pm.