The cast and crew of Back to Beulah were hard at work preparing for their opening night this Thursday, Oct. 8. The witty script by Canadian playwright W.O. Mitchell was fantastically brought to life by the equally clever cast.
Back to Beulah is the first of four shows being put on by TRU’s Actors Workshop Theatre. The play is directed by TRU theatre professor Robin Nichol. Back to Beulah will run Oct. 8 to 10 and 15 to 17 with season tickets available.
TRU student Maddison Hartloff portrays Harriet Whebel, a manic-depressive and schizophrenic woman. She has recently been moved from the mental institution Beulah to a halfway home, where she lives with two other patients and Dr. Margaret Anders.
Hartloff describes her character as “motherly, strict and very unforgiving.” Although she is sometimes intense and hard to handle, Hartloff says she connects with Harriet on an emotional level.
“She looks at the world in a different way and has had to deal with a lot in her life, coming from a very Christian and God-fearing family,” Hartloff says. Sometimes Harriet’s passion clouds her judgement, leading the girls straight into some tricky situations.
Dr. Margaret Anders is played by third-year TRU student Morgan Benedict. Her character is conducting an experiment to see if this halfway house can really help rehabilitate patients back into normal life.
“She is very passionate about making sure these girls grow and are able to live their lives outside the institute,” Benedict says.
Although her intentions are good, the results do not necessarily work out in her favour. Benedict gave a charming performance as we watched her try to help these girl progress and come to terms with reality.
Betty Moffat, played by Jessica Buchanan, and Agnes Findlay played by Selena “Twitch” Tobin are the other two patients in the halfway home. They give great depth to their roles, and are naively set astray by Harriet. Circumstances get tough in the house, but all they know is they don’t want to go back to Beulah.
This production deals with some serious issues regarding understanding what it really means to be human. It brings humanity to the characters and humour to life, making this show a must-see for everyone.
Back to Beulah explores the lives of three patients trying to fit in with the world, and understand what is and what isn’t. For tickets head to the box office in Old Main or call 250-377-6100 for season tickets.