OCTOBER 2021 | Volume 208
Touchstone Lights. Susinn McFarlen, Adam Grant Warren. Credit David Cooper.
TOUCHSTONE THEATRE LAUNCHES ITS 2021/22 SEASON WITH WORLD PREMIERE OF LIGHTS, ADAM GRANT WARREN'S INTIMATE, WRY NEW PLAY ABOUT FAMILY BONDS AND FACING LOSS IN THE APPROACHING SHADOW OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
WORLD PREMIERE - Touchstone Theatre is excited to welcome audiences back to live theatre with Lights by Adam Grant Warren, its first production since the 2020 Covid-19 shutdown, and the thematic flagship for their forthcoming season "Let There Be Lights" which heralds a brave return to the stage after a challenging eighteen months.
Directed by Touchstone Artistic Director Roy Surette and set against the backdrop of a pandemic Christmas, Lights follows the story of Evan Chaulk (Adam Grant Warren), a schoolteacher and wheelchair user who returns to his family home in Newfoundland for Christmas to discover his mother Nancy (SusinnMcFarlen), a strong-willed retired teacher is adapting to life with Alzheimer's Disease. Unsettling, daring, and funny - Lights is a portrait of a tight-night family facing profound life changes and discovering what remains when a lifetime of memories begins to fade away.
As Touchstone Theatre's first of three World Premieres this season, the three-time Covid postponed production is more than ready to meet its audience:
Roy Surette, Touchstone Artistic Director: "We are delighted to finally stage Adam's gorgeous and powerful new play. Though set during a Christmas visit home to Newfoundland, it's not your typical holiday fare. It's a rich and intimate look at family dynamics, adapting to change, and finding strength in unusual places."
Lights was developed through Touchstone's Flying Start Program, an incubator supporting the next generation of theatre artists through the commissioning of new Canadian works by early career playwrights. Along with dramaturgical support, the program culminates in a full-scale production as part of Touchstone's Mainstage series. Flying Start is supported by RBC Emerging Artists program and is produced In Association with Firehall Arts Centre.
Lights features Jessie award-winning Adam Grant Warren (Kill Me Now, Touchstone Theatre), Susinn McFarlen (The Taming of the Shew, Bard on the Beach), and Leslie Dos Remedios (Thanks for Giving, Arts Club Theatre).
World Premiere - LIGHTS
by Adam Grant Warren
Preview: December 2 Preview, Run: December 3 - 12, 2021 at the Firehall Arts Centre
A Touchstone Theatre production, in association with the Firehall Arts Centre.
SYNOPSIS: Days before Christmas, Evan Chaulk (Adam Warren Grant) returns to his childhood home in Newfoundland to spend the holidays with his mother, Nancy (Susinn McFarlen), a widow and elementary school teacher.
Arriving ahead of his wife, in time for his mother's hastily planned retirement party, Evan, a wheelchair user born with Cerebral Palsy, finds himself confronted with the truth of his mother's progressing Alzheimer's Disease and its effects on her life. Amidst tree decorating and mother-son squabbles, Nancy struggles against the diagnosis, determined to maintain her independence as the escalating symptoms of her condition foretell of the road ahead – an uncertain future Nancy and Evan must learn how to face together.
At once funny, intimate, and unsettling, Lights is a portrait of a tight-night family facing profound life changes and discovering what remains when a lifetime of memories begin to fade away.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Adam Grant Warren: Originally from Newfoundland, Adam began his writing career as a radio columnist for the CBC Morning Show. In that time, he also became Newfoundland's youngest winner of both the Arts and Letters Award for Fiction and the George Story Medal of Excellence in the Arts. On the heels of that success, Adam moved west to study at Vancouver Film School. His films have screened as official selections at California's Newport Beach Film Festival, the National Screen Institute's Online All-Star Reel, and the Vancouver International Film Festival – where his film Float took home the honours for Best Canadian Short in 2012. In 2016, Conocerlos (Get to Know Them) earned him his first BC Film Leo Award Nomination for Best Screenwriting.
Adam is a performer with Vancouver's All Bodies Dance Project. He has appeared in stage productions of Frank Theatre's All In, Real Wheels Theatre's CREEPS, and Touchstone's Kill Me Now — the latter two earning him Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. Following development as part of the National Writers' Colony at Vancouver's Playwrights' Theatre Centre, his solo show, Last Train In, premiered at Victoria's UNOFest, and went on to critical acclaim at Vancouver's 2017 rEvolver Theatre Festival.
Directed by Roy Surette; Assistant Director Daniela Atiencia; Featuring Adam Grant Warren, Susinn McFarlen and Leslie Dos Remedios; Dramaturge Lauren Taylor; Set Design by Carolyn Rapanos; Lighting Design by Gerald King; Costume Design by Jessica Oostergo; Sound Design by Dylan McNulty; Stage Manager Angela Beaulieu; Apprentice Stage Manager Taylor Mackinnon; Technical Director Craig Alfredson; Head of Props Carol Macdonald
Lights runs from December 2 (Preview), December 3 (Opening) - December 12, 2021.
Showtimes: December 2 – 11 at 7:30 PM, Matinees Dec 11 (Sat) & 12 (Sun) at 3 PM
Box Office: 604 689.0926 Monday - Friday (12 PM - 4:30 PM)
For information on the Firehalls Covid Safety visit: https://firehallartscentre.ca/covid-19/
ABOUT TOUCHSTONE THEATRETouchstone has been a mainstay of theatrical innovation and excellence on the West Coast for 45 years. The company's all-Canadian mandate has helped launch and develop some of the country's most important theatre artists, and its substantial body of work has garnered over 75 local and national awards. The company explores the contemporary Canadian play through content and form and stimulates public interest in Canadian cultural perspectives. www.touchstonetheatre.com
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