TRURO – It might have been a little too risqué years ago, but Marlene Sears can’t help but get excited about this newest production.
Sears is directing Hubtown Theatre’s version of ‘Jenny’s House of Joy,’ a play written by Canadian Norm Foster.
“It’s the story of five women, no men, and their relationships, their work and how they get along,” Sears said while three of the five women rehearsed on Sunday. “And it gives the audience an idea that life wasn’t easy back then.”
‘Jenny’s House of Joy’ features the five women working in a brothel in a western town in 1871. It features Sarah Patterson as Jenny, Monica Bailey as Frances and Sacha Brake fills the role of Anita. Lisa Richardson was cast as Natalie, and the role of Clara will be filled by Leana Todd. It opens Feb. 26 and runs until March 1 at the Marigold Cultural Centre.
“We often read plays to plan for down the road, and this was read about four years ago,” said Sears. “At the time, I wondered if it was a bit risqué, but when you look at what’s on television these days, it might not be.”
For Brake, having the role of Anita gives her a chance to perform in her second Hubtown Theatre production.
“I really like the story and I like that the female characters are strong, but that it still has a comedic outlook,” she said during a break from rehearsal. “And the costumes are a lot of fun.”
During rehearsal, three of the five women were wearing long dresses, with corsets also present. Sears said there are about four wardrobe changes for each during the production.
“The costumes are just beautiful,” she added.
What caught Sears’ eye about the production is the female ensemble, with no one role shining as the lead role.
“There is no star of the show as it were,” she said. “I like the interaction between the women – it gives them an opportunity to develop their characters. A lot of plays focus on good roles for a man, so one of the reasons I like this play is the women have equal parts, so that’s a bit of a challenge for them.”
This is the eighth Foster production Hubtown Theatre has featured in the past seven years, and having Sears direct it is another reason why Brake wanted to get involved.
“I’m really excited to work with her. I have a lot of respect for her,” she said, adding ‘Jenny’s House of Joy’ also gives her the opportunity to work with Bailey and Richardson again, while Patterson and Todd are new faces to her.
“Rehearsal is just a blast. We really do have a lot of fun.”
IF YOU GO:
WHO: Hubtown Theatre
WHAT: presents Norm Foster’s ‘Jenny’s House of Joy’
WHEN: Feb. 26 to March 1, 7: 30 p.m.
WHERE: Marigold Cultural Centre, Prince Street, Truro
TICKETS: available at the Marigold (897-4004 or marigoldcentre.ca), or MacQuarries Pharmasave on the Esplanade