PARRSBORO – Sometimes it seems the world is becoming a much more dangerous place.
It’s something that’s not lost on the cast and crew of Any Given Moment, a story about a troubled teen, a helicopter mom and a homeless man who are trapped together during a police lockdown of the neighbourhood.
The co-production of Theatre New Brunswick and Ship’s Company Theatre is set to kickoff at the Parrsboro theatre on Aug. 8 and continue through Sept. 2 before continuing through September at various theatres in New Brunswick.
“It’s about three very different people who get drawn together, or stranded in a church, when the police put the surrounding area on lockdown because they received a call that something’s going on,” Ship’s Company Theatre’s artistic producer Natasha MacLellan said. “They talk to each other about how they should respond to the crisis and it shows how they respond to each other.”
Unlike the comedy Hook, Line and Sinner, that is wrapping up at Ship’s, Any Given Moment is a drama. While MacLellan said there are a few comedic lines, people shouldn’t think it’s a comedy.
And it’s also timely in light of the recent shootings in Toronto that left two dead and more than a dozen injured as well as a score of mass shootings in the United States that left many killed or injured.
MacLellan said the play, written by New Brunswick playwright Kim Parkhill, is an example of how big world news can strike close to home. It’s also a commentary on the trauma associated with crisis events and how it affects both those directly involved and those on the fringes of the event.
“It’s very topical,” MacLellan said. “We’ve been talking about the shooting in Toronto and how acts of violence and terrorism are happening more and more. It seems as though the chances of getting through life without being touched by one seem slim.”
It’s also a play that forces people to think about how they would react if faced with a similar situation, and it’s a production that could be about any town or city in the Maritimes – whether it be Moncton, Halifax, Saint John, Truro or Amherst.
“Kim doesn’t name the town in which the play is set, but it’s something that could be about any community,” MacLellan said.
Alexis Milligan plays Lisa, the 40-something mother who is part of the upper middle class community that never thought they’d be touched by terror.
“My character has quite the journey and by the end of it we find that underneath she’s a very different person than the outside veneer or look is,” Milligan said.
Milligan, who is good friends with Parkhill, found it interesting when both the playwright and MacLellan approached her to play the role of Lisa – a 40-year-old yoga mom who carries a flask.
For Milligan, Any Given Moment is her Ship’s Company debut. She said she has been an audience member and has always admired the work done out of the MV Kipawo.
“I’ve appreciated their work for a long time. It’s a great opportunity to come here to work,” she said. “Parrsboro is fabulous, everyone is so welcoming.”
Other cast members include: Claudia Gutierrez-Perez, who plays Emma – a 20-something with a several case of existential crisis blues, and Wally MacKinnon, who plays Bill – an aging homeless man.
Like Milligan, Perez is making her Ship’s Company debut fresh out of the theatre program at Dalhousie University, while MacKinnon is no stranger to the Parrsboro stage having performed in The Net, Jacob’s Wake, The Chairmaker and Miles From Home.
For more information, call 1-800-565-SHOW or go to www.shipscompanytheatre.com .