When the image of Jesus Christ appears on the wall of a Tim Horton’s restaurant in Nately, N.S., the town is thrown in to euphoric chaos. Is this appearance a miracle? A hoax?
While the townsfolk contemplate these questions, a father quietly wrestles with his own faith as he faces a tragedy that has left his daughter in a coma.
Hilarious, moving and challenging all at the same time, Halo, a Canadian classic comedy-drama, is coming to the stage at the Abbotsford Arts Centre, Jan. 27 to Feb. 4.
Put on by Abbotsford’s Gallery 7 theatre, the play is directed by Ken Hildebrandt and features Langley talents Natalie Hoogstra playing multiple characters and Brittany Suderman as an assistant stage manager.
“Halo is a fun, but also very touching, play about faith and commercialism, how the two are often at cross-purposes and how very real people get caught in the middle” Hildebrandt said.
“The play also explores theatrics verses truth. On the one hand, you have a village caught up in the frenzy of a significant but strange event, and on the other, you have a father who is grappling with what it means to maintain faith in the midst of very real, very raw and very challenging circumstances. In the midst of these extraordinary circumstances, each character is searching for a sense of belonging and a place to call home.”
Though the play explores deeper themes, Hildebrandt is quick to point out that Halo is also quite funny.
“(Writer) Josh Macdonald brilliantly uses comedy to shine light on some important questions,” Hildebrandt said.
“I think audiences will enjoy the characters, relate to their journey, and ultimately be moved by the revelations they experience. The play is really quite genius in its simplicity and theatricality.”
Playing the pivotal role of Casey, the embittered yet ultimately searching donut restaurant employee, is Catrina Jackson. Her boyfriend, Jansen, a sincere but naïve hockey player wannabe, is played by newcomer, Kyle Peckham and veteran performer John Dawson takes on the role of Donald, the struggling but devout father who faces an extremely difficult decision.
His daughter, Lizzie, is played by newcomer Kate Adams, and JJ, the new priest in the community, is played by UFV theatre graduate, Thomas Smith.
Rounding out the cast and playing multiple characters throughout the play are Larry Hamm and Hoogstra.
The production will also showcase the artistic talents of designers from throughout the Lower Mainland. Set design is by Craig Moolenbeek, costume design is by Vicki Bolan, lighting design is by Gabe Kirkley, sound design is by Ryan
Scramstad, props design and production photography is by Dianna Lewis and make-up design is by Victoria Hu. The stage manager is Maria Denholme.
“Given that our nation is celebrating its 150th birthday, presenting a Canadian work in our season was only fitting. You can’t get much more Canadian than Halo,” Hildebrandt said.
Halo runs for two weeks only, Jan. 27 and 28, and Feb. 1- 4 at 7:30 p.m. Discount matinees run Jan. 28 and Feb. 4 at 2 p.m.
All shows are at the Abbotsford Arts Centre, 2329 Crescent Way, Abbotsford.
Tickets can be purchased in person at House of James, 2743 Emerson St., Abbotsford or by calling 604-852-3701.
To purchase tickets online, or for more information, please visit www.gallery7theatre.com.