No fairies in this tale|
By Walter J. Lyng, The Suburban, October 20, 2010
Few fairy tales are inspired by small town strip clubs but when playwright Sarah Berthiaume was on a recent road trip, this is exactly what happened. This incident would become the basis for The Flood Thereafter, a new play being put on by the Talisman Theatre company at Theatre La Chapelle.
"[She] saw a strip club called Emotions which was nestled in this beautiful area next to the river in this small town," says the play's director Emma Tibaldo. "And her thought, like many of us have, is who goes to those bars? Who strips in these bars and how do these women live in the town where their grandfathers and uncles and next-door neighbors come to see them strip. There's not the anonymity of the big city where people go and nobody knows who you are."
The play itself is set in a fishing village on the Lower St. Lawrence. It tells the story of June, daughter of Grace, the owner of the local restaurant, who cursed the small community and drove away the women of the village. Now, when June strips at Bar Émotion, the men weep helplessly. But June tires of carrying the fishermen's burdens. When the trucker Denis appears, he breaks the spell holding back a tide.
Despite being a fantasy on the surface, Tibaldo says the aim of the play is to deal with real world issues. "[I'm trying to] begin a conversation about what stripping means to women, to the world, to men and how we deal with it," she says.
Using unconventional sets in addition to compliment this unconventional story, Tibaldo expects many different meanings to be given to this piece.
"The number of people who come and see is the number of interpretations of what she is saying," she says.
Different interpretations don't bother Tibaldo as long as they are not misinterpretations. "The other challenge for me is that the piece isn't misinterpreted with people saying, ‘Oh, gratuitous nudity,' or any of those things."
The Flood Thereafter runs until Oct. 23. For more information, visit www.talisman-theatre.com