There was laughter and tears as audiences went on a true to life reality trip with two elderly women and their middle-aged friend in Hal Theriault’s ‘Travelling the Road’, a Digby Area Theatre Society production March 8-9 in the Annapolis Basin Theatre.
In a play that appealed to the audience’s emotions, three women were portrayed as they reminisced about their lives, loves and families as well as the hardships they faced in rural Nova Scotia.
Set in a nursing home, the three long-time friends, 92-year-old war bride, Beatrice (Christina Hersey), 88-year-old Freda (Rose Button) and middle-aged volunteer Helen (Niki Cress) dealt with the realities of life.
Young Beatrice (Joan O’Neil), young Freda (Holly Mount) and young Helen (Kathryn Brown) brought the past to life as they depicted the older women in their younger years.
Theriault’s play was inspired by women in local rural Nova Scotian communities as interviewed by Rachel Brighten for her book ‘The Road Here’, as well as the playwright’s own mother Pearl Theriault.
Theriault said the cast had the formidable task of mastering a great many lines and making the lines live.
“We wanted to honour the real women who inspired this story and make them live on stage,” said Theriault. “The response from the audience was wonderful and I was pleased with how real and believable the ensemble cast was.”
Rose Button said Theriault wrote a great story and she spoke for the entire cast in saying it was a great experience working together.“Those who spoke to us after the performances said we had lived out their lives on stage,” said Button. “We shared their real life memories of the past.”