Albertine In Five Times probes life's uncommonly common mysteries

Maggie Sullivan (left) and Sherry Lavoie in Shawnigan Players
Maggie Sullivan (left) and Sherry Lavoie in Shawnigan Players' intimately telling drama Albertine In Five Times.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Mysteries of ordinary lives go under Shawnigan Players' dramatic magnifying glass during this week's staging of Albertine In Five Times.

Michel Tremblay's penetrating play — using a stark-set to divide seating in the Duncan Garage Showroom — sees seven female actors directed by Alex Gallacher.

"At the heart of the play is a mystery: what happened to Albertine's children?" he mused. "You'll find the answers if you see the performance.

"Alone in a nursing home, Albertine confronts her memories. Both comic and tragic, this play is a riveting story of an ordinary, yet extraordinary, woman."

Albertine's conflicted life is unraveled by Anna Roberts, Jessie Mann, Sherry Lavoie, Maggie Sullivan, Leslie Sanchez, and Megan Bourns, helped by stage manager Julie Watson.

"The concern here," said Gallacher, "is all about family, self, children and parents — it's about the mother of Albertine."

"Albertine confronts memories of her relationship with her mother and her children, and those relationships were extremely difficult."

So were her family's actions, reactions and severe consequences. "The mystery is what happened to her children."

Tremblay taps a story that may seem familiar. "Every women will relate to her problems," Gallacher said, "but men should see this play to relate to struggles women can face."

Sanchez, 53, agreed.

"Albertine's a survivor. She has different ways of dealing with things. She very-much could be anybody; me, or you.

"As you get older, you look at regrets of your life and about forgiving yourself. Albertine just didn't have those skills.

"Despite everything, this play gives you hope."

Mann, 33, said some folks wish they could change the past.

"But life happens; deal with it the best you can."

Roberts, 34, enjoys how the characters all connect.

"The audience will be confused for the first half-hour, then things will dawn on them.

"Tremblay's saying 'No matter what happens, there are ways of finding peace within yourself.'"

Lavoie, 53, called the play "a reflection of life. With time, we become more accepting that we did our best."

Bourns, 45 — depicting Albertine's elder sister Madeleine — hoped viewers use the play to consider their own lives "and see how our choices can take us in very different directions."


Your ticket

What: Albertine In Five Times

When: Feb. 22, 23, 24, March 1 and 3 at 7:30 p.m; plus a 2 p.m. matinee March 2.

Where: Duncan Garage Showroom

Tickets: $18, $15 advance, 50 tickets per performance. Visit Ten Old Books, and Mason's Store. Call 250-748-7529.


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