Ladysmith Little Theatre’s latest play, The Foursome, was written by Norm Foster, who is considered to be Canada’s most produced playwright. And that’s one of the reasons director Bonnie Stebbings was interested in working on this play, as she thinks it’s important to support Canadian playwrights.
“This one appeals to me because audiences can pretty well identify with one of the characters always,” she said. “Also, it’s about relationships. The golf course is just a vehicle for telling the story; it’s not about golf. Also, Foster is a master at presenting a comedic situation and then turning it into a dramatic situation and then back into comedy. It’s kind of a roller coaster in that you are laughing one minute and crying the next. He has this ability to use these words so that you’re moving from comedy to drama.”
The Foursome’s plot revolves around four men who have come together for a golf game after a 15-year college reunion the night before. All four are possessed of black, comedic instincts, with one-upmanship jokes and posturing about how well their lives have unfolded during the past 15 years.
“This is not a comedy about golf, nor about men,” states the Ladysmith Little Theatre website. “It goes beyond the particular to reveal what time does to us all and the way we move from life’s possibilities as the years tumble by.”
Stebbings hopes that when people watch The Foursome, they can relate to the characters and their stories.
“I hope they can see a little bit of themselves in some of the characters and situations they may have found themselves in — also, that life deals with situations that you need to accept,” she said. “People have control over certain parts of their lives and not others, but you accept that and do the best you can. You find that out when these guys start talking about their lives. People can identify with the idea that no matter how much you plan, it doesn’t go that way.”
“It’s billed as a comedy on the poster, but there are poignant moments that are not comedic, and I hope that touches the audience,” added Stebbings.
Stebbings, who lives in Nanaimo, spent many years performing and teaching in Vancouver, but this is the first time she is directing a play for Ladysmith Little Theatre. She says rehearsals have been great.
“They’ve been wonderful to work with,” she said of cast members Chris Ostaffy, Brett Trimple, Mike Cooper and Dave Ehrismann. “They’re an ensemble, which was what I was looking for. They can work together. They’re all together on stage all the time, so it’s very much an ensemble piece. I was lucky in the sense that when the call for auditions went out, the guys just fit the roles they got. They’re all very different, but their stature and voices fit the roles perfect.”
The Foursome opens this Thursday (May 9) and runs until May 26 at the Ladysmith Little Theatre on Christie Road. For information about show times and tickets, click here or call 250-924-0658.