A mother meeting the daughter she long ago gave up for adoption.
A brother learning his sister has a terminal illness.
Two teenage girls who’ve broken into an elderly woman’s home to try on her dresses.
A blind date that takes a strange turn.
Any of these would be fodder enough for a first-rate drama. Throw all of them together at once, add in the twist that each group of people is forced to spend three days together and you have the makings of A Delightful Quarantine.
Stage 88 will present A Delightful Quarantine, by American playwright Mark Dunn, at the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts on Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 30 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The above synopsis might sound heavy, but director Susan Dignan says there are plenty of laughs.
“It’s a fun, light comedy,” Dignan said. “There are some poignant moments, but also some funny moments.”
The title refers to a quarantine imposed on a small American town by an invading alien force that has landed on Earth to take soil samples. Situations that might have played out over a few hours therefore have three days to be plumbed for their emotional depths.
“That’s the premise, but you never see the aliens,” Dignan said. “It’s all about human relationships.”
Staging seven scenes simultaneously creates blocking and lighting challenges for the company, the director said. The action rotates between shorelines, giving each the chance to develop as time passes.
“That doesn’t sound like comedy, but there’s so much comedy when you’re thrown together in human situations,” Dignan said. “People have to talk.”
Stage 88 drew good crowds for last year’s production of The Dixie Swim Club. With many actors from that cast appearing in this year’s show – including Heather Ashby, Catherine Camp-Paynter, Alex Graham and Linda Lloyd MacKenzie – Dignan hopes theatre goers will come out to experience A Delightful Quarantine.
Tickets for each performance cost $27 and can be purchased by calling 519-758-8090 or online at www.sandersoncentre.ca.