Play explores issues of personal identity

Blaine Nosworthy plays Hosanna in Western Edge Theatre
Blaine Nosworthy plays Hosanna in Western Edge Theatre's upcoming production.
— image credit: Photo Contributed

Michel Tremblay’s play Hosanna is a love story.

It explores the struggles of human relationships and the inner turmoil people face when trying to come to terms with challenging aspects of their life.

The play revolves around two actors who play Hosanna, whose real name is Claude Lemieux, and her partner Cuirette. Both characters struggle with issues of identity, the need to express themselves and the adversarial social conventions around their gay relationship.

“It’s all about a human relationship,” said Blaine Nosworthy, who plays Hosanna in the upcoming Western Edge Theatre production. “When you strip everything down it really is a love story about these two men that love each other so much. It really is a love story of two people trying to come to terms with themselves and the environment around them.”

Western Edge Theatre’s production of Hosanna premieres Friday (Feb. 8) at Nanaimo Centre Stage.

Nosworthy said one of the challenges of taking on the role was truthfully representing Hosanna. Once he dug deeper into the core of the character he discovered a person who is just searching to belong. It’s something everyone goes through, he said. He also drew on his experience of being bullied in his youth to portray the pain she experiences.

“I had troubles growing up particularly with bullying so I used that to recreate instances in the play,” said Nosworthy.

The company’s new artistic producer, Eliza Gardiner, said the play delves into issues around the expression of self and also has a human rights angle about people’s personal safety and freedom.

Rick Meyers, a.k.a. Vicki Smudge, plays Cuirette. Meyers said at times both characters partake in activities that are destructive to the relationship. Originally Meyers auditioned for the role of Hosanna but took on the character of Cuirette.

The production premieres Friday (Feb. 8) and runs Feb. 9, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 17 at 2 p.m.

The production has coarse language, partial nudity and the use of perfume. Tickets are $20 for adults/$17 seniors 65 years and older and $10 for students and are available by calling 250-668-0991, online at www.westernedge.org or Lucid Records and Clothing.


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