The latest Chemainus Theatre Festival GLORY lifts the spirits! This is what I love about the Chemainus Theatre and why I’m so glad it’s back after a long, undesired absence.
I was just driving past the hockey rink in my town and watched a girl exiting while dragging her huge hockey bag…
no doubt full of gear after either practicing or completing her game. It never occurred to me, until watching Chemainus Theatre’s performance of Glory, how much that girl and thousands like her, owe a debt of gratitude to the women who paved the difficult path for them in women’s sport.
This is what I love about the Chemainus Theatre and why I’m so glad it’s back after a long, undesired absence.
Chemainus Theatre offers so much more than merely entertainment and a date night for my husband and me. It brings stories that make me think and artists who bring history to life and remind me of how we’ve come.
We all know hockey is an essential thread in the cultural fabric of Canada.
And whether you know and love the game or not, it is part of who we are as a people. As with any culture, relationships and adversity drive our stories and propel us to change and grow. This is the setting for Glory.
Glory, by Vancouver Island’s own Tracey Power, tells the true story of one of Canada’s first and greatest women’s hockey teams, the Preston Rivulettes, of the 1930’s. Set during the Great Depression, work was scarce and sports and entertainment even scarcer. Courageous women, with a passion for hockey, joined together to form something new.
Actually, it was more than something new.
It was daring, risky, bold, and difficult. But these women forged a bond and refused to allow sexism and social norms to dictate what they were and were not allowed to do.
Watching this story unfold on the stage highlighted for me just how much has changed for women in 100 years. The 1930s for women sports was not a welcoming environment. They were used as the punchline for jokes, not taken seriously, and unfairly held to a standard not expected of their male counterparts, but these women persevered to forever change the atmosphere of the rink.
Though at times difficult and serious, this story has a lot of humour and quick wit. These tough women prove they are nobody’s “dolls” and will fight for their passions, no matter what.
You may be wondering, as I did, just how does one ice skate on a stage with no ice? Let’s just say that creative choreography can transform actors into skaters and a stage into an arena. It was a bit mid-blowing.
The set design, also, brought simple innovation. From hockey rink, to locker room; workshop to moving train, this simple set continually surprised me as it morphed. It’s so good to be back at The Chemainus Theatre, enjoying true creative story telling that will undoubtably become a Canadian classic.
Experiencing the joy of The Chemainus Theatre for us always includes dinner at The Playbill Dining Room before the show.
Live piano music, glass of wine and a table that is ours for the night set the tone for a relaxing and enjoyable evening together.
Modifications to the buffet have been made so touch points are limited, but the food and service are still fantastic. And dare I say a must to any Chemainus Theatre experience.
I always love knowing that we aren’t in a rush to dine and can just sit and be together after a long day.