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BAL hits stage with wartime production

(L-R) Miranda Wulf, Chandra Moir, Rhonda Degerstedt, and Emma Bauer.
Submitted photo

Masha Scheele

Five Hinton women step into the roles of civilian life during World War II in Break-A-Leg (BAL) Theatre’s upcoming performance of Waiting For the Parade.

Each of the characters is affected differently by the war as the men in their lives take off to the front lines.

“One woman, her husband is off fighting. Another woman, it’s her father, and another woman it’s her son. They’re all different ages and they come together to support each other and help to get through it,” said director Steven McHugh. 

Another woman’s husband in the story line is excluded from going to war because of his job, while the father of another woman who is German Canadian is put in a German internment camp.

McHugh wanted to direct this particular play since he first came across it in the 1990s, when he began directing theatre performances in BC.

“It’s been on my shelf of plays to do probably for 25 years,” he said.

Due to the play’s technical sound and lighting, McHugh hadn’t been able to do this play in any other facility.

With the new Performing Arts Theatre in Hinton (PATH), McHugh saw the opportunity to finally bring Waiting for the Parade to the community.

“It’s got all the feels! It is very compelling, very emotional. It’s going to hit a lot of truthful nerves, I think a lot of people of a certain age will relate to it,’ said McHugh.

The actors have enjoyed the rehearsals, learning the lines, getting to know their characters, and relating them to their own lives, said McHugh.

McHugh added that he has worked with a few of the five local actors before through BAL Theatre.

“Rehearsals have gone very well. They’ve done very well right from the beginning, I’ve been very impressed with them,” said McHugh.

The cast is made up of Emma Bauer, Chandra Moir, Rhonda Degerstedt, Miranda Wulf, and Melissa Pattison.

Besides directing Waiting for the Parade, McHugh is also rehearsing his role for the upcoming dinner theatre this January.

Waiting for the Parade was written by Canadian playwright John Murrell, and it was produced at New York’s Hudson Guild Theatre.

In preparation for writing the play, Murrell interviewed people who lived through the war, and found compelling stories told by women, according to the Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia.

“Women are the connective tissue which allows the human race to keep faith that normal life will ultimately return. Women remind us, with wit and resilience, of the great importance of family, and also that family is not everything; of the great importance of patriotism, and also that patriotism is not everything. Their pragmatism is utterly heroic,” stated Murrell at one point.

Tickets are on sale for their Season 24 opening production of “Waiting for the Parade” at the Wild Orchid and Hinton Municipal Library, or click HERE to purchase tickets through the online box office.

This show will run on Nov. 14, at 7:00 pm, Nov. 15, at 7:00 pm, Nov. 16, at 7:00 pm, and Nov. 17, at 2:00 pm.