Welcome to the Station Theatre in Sensational Smiths Falls
Housed in the former CPR Railway Station, The Station Theatre opened in April 2010 after more than 11 years of planning, fundraising and construction. The 140 seat facility has become a focus for the performing arts in Smiths Falls as well as a sought-after venue for meetings and receptions.
The Station brings the opportunity to the people of Smiths Falls and surrounding area to enjoy live theatre, concerts and movies and to have the thrill of appearing on stage in local productions.
Station Theatre gears up for The Chalk Garden
Although it premiered a good half-century ago on Broadway, Enid Bagnold's The Chalk Garden, still captivates audiences with its dark comedy, subtle wit and mysterious characters.
Having all the earmarks of a classic thriller, seasoned director Lynda Daniluk assures audience-goers they won't agree on what happens at the end of the play. Watch the disturbed granddaughter who lights fires pander to her grandmother who dotes on her; wonder why the silent governess shies away from meeting the venerable old judge, and ask why a dying butler rules the roost.
Daniluk says members of the audience will have to pay close attention to get the 'real' story.
And what is the story?
Critic Charles Spencer sums it up as combining "tart wit with a moving understanding that damaged lives can sometimes be repaired."
Although some call it a comedy, others say it's a drama; audiences will react both ways to the fast, sometimes scathing, often pointed and full of misunderstanding dialogue.
The grandmother, Mrs. St. Maugham, is played by Sue Parsons. The old lady gardens long hours in the chalky earth outside her grandly dilapidated manor - but nothing grows. When the taciturn governess, Miss Madrigal, played by Krista Duff arrives, not only does she bring a secretive background but also a wealth of knowledge on how to grow flowers in a chalk garden. Where did that knowledge come from?
Rich Croteau plays Maitland, the surly, cranky dowstairs butler, and Lise Nelson takes on two small roles - the little lady and the nurse.
As the play progresses, Miss Madrigal tentatively sets to work on 16-year-old Laurel (Grace Lee) and when Laurel's mother, Olivia (Katharine Coleman) - married, divorced, re-married and pregnant - returns, announcing she is taking her daughter back, things get knotty. It's the Judge's (Terry Watkiss) realization that brings the situation to the fore.
Take note. In this play it's the underlying currents and background intrigue that lead the rich and deep characters through the story's twists and turns to the surprising ending. Audiences will find it compelling and think about it long after it's over.
Daniluk says she's chosen "a wonderful cast and crew; often the crew don't get enough credit but they're the ones who perform the magic of putting things together and making things happen."