You’ll love Lucy and all the other performers in this wild fast-paced, door-slamming romantic comedy and hilarious farce.
The Fiancee runs exactly one month from Sept. 22-Oct. 22 at the Chemainus Theatre and tickets are already selling fast for what’s sure to take the ‘cake’ for audiences.
Written by Canadian playwright Holly Lewis, the story centres on Lucy, who can’t bear the thought of soldiers being sent to war without the hope of having someone to come home to and her inability to say ‘no’ puts her in a serious predicament when they all return on the same day, ready for nuptial bliss. The hilarity ensues when Lucy tries to set things straight.
“We are glad to have such a fun-loving cast of characters and clever creative team to roll through this 1940s-style comedy with joy and savoir faire,” noted Mark DuMez, the Chemainus Theatre’s artistic director.
Lucy is also aptly-named since some of the screwball comedy scenes are reminiscent of a famous namesake, Lucille Ball.
“There’s an element of that wacky comedy audiences will have fun with,” said director Jessica Schacht of Duncan.
Schacht, 34, whose family is from Ampersand Distilling Co. fame, started an apprenticeship at the Chemainus Theatre in 2011 that’s led to many opportunities in various aspects of theatre and this will be her directorial debut.
“It’s really exciting,” she said. “Chemainus has been such a wonderful place in my career.”
Schacht’s credits include various productions backstage or as assistant director plus working on the Seasiders series in Chemainus and assisting with the adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
“I started as a stage manager,” she indicated. “Around 2014-15, I shuffled my focus more toward developing and directing scripts.”
Schacht pointed out this will be only the third production of The Fiancee in Canada so far.
“Definitely a farce,” she said. “There are seven doors that are slamming, near-misses.”
The play also isn’t common, Schacht added, because “it’s centred around women.”
The cast camaraderie has developed nicely during rehearsals.
“It’s been a real pleasure having everyone in the room,” said Schacht. “Everyone’s gotten along so well. We’ve had a lot of fun in the rehearsal hall.
“Something I enjoy about theatre is the ability to surprise and delight. I think this show has that.”
The challenge has been getting the timing right, but the performers are pulling it off beautifully.
“It’s a really talented cast,” added Schacht. “The important thing is the heart. The performers bring that element as well. You’ve got to root for the characters as they work their way through the mess thay’ve made.”
Case, 25, who plays the aforementioned Lucy, was born in Toronto and hails from nearby Markham, Ont.
“I’ve never been up to the West Coast,” she said. “The theatre has brought me here which is amazing.”
Case spent four years at Brock University and three years at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal, graduating in May. “I just couldn’t stop,” she said of her long educational journey lasting seven years.
“I was always that kid growing up on stage and volunteering first. I always thought acting was my calling. I did a show in university and I caught the bug.”
Experiencing her first big opportunity in theatre has Case obviously excited.
“I love this work and this job and to get to be out on this beautiful place,” she said. “I’m just happy to be here. It’s a gift.”
Case will be looking forward to her mom visiting for a week to view her performance.
As for portraying Lucy, “she’s very much a woman who can’t say no,” said Case. “She’s a people pleaser. She’s a fun-loving person who wants to enjoy life. The men who come into her life help her enjoy it. I feel like I’m in the vein of a fun bubbly person. Everyone in the cast can tell you I’m laughing the most.”
Trying to keep Lucy real is sister Rose, played by Rebbekah Ogden, 28.
Born in Lethbridge, Alta., she’s currently based in Calgary but her family’s from Saskatchewan.
“I actually never did any performing as a kid,” Ogden explained. “The only thing I would do was sing songs with my sister.”
She was actually interested in the visual arts initially but then attended the Rosebud School of the Arts in Alberta and everything changed. But it was a gradual process after graduating in 2020 “right into a pandemic.”
“Last year was when I really started working again. I’ve been very lucky. This is definitely the largest role I’ve taken on in terms of content and scale.”
Previous roles included Beth in Little Women at Theatre Calgary and Thelma in the Rosebud show The Trip To Bountiful.
Ogden’s characters to this point have tended to be younger. “It’s cool to play someone who is more my age,” she conceded.
Portraying Rose in this performance has already been tons of fun for Ogden with a reflection of her own personality.
“She’s bossy, she’s also logical, too,” she said. “She also seems to be shy around other people. She lets Lucy do most of the talking. That’s also me. I understand her.”
The men in Lucy’s life are: Manny (Frankie Cottrell); Dick (Jamar Adams-Thompson) and Chester/Clark (Tyler Lionel Parr). The cast also includes: Ms. Crotch (Tamara McCarthy). Ghislaine Dote is the understudy for the roles of Lucy, Rose and Ms. Crotch.
The entire cast is looking forward to the start of performances. “I can’t wait to interact with the audience and have people in the audience to react to things,” said Case.
Go to https://chemainustheatrefestival.ca/ for ticket information.