Overcoming fear can be funny

The Foreigner opens this week at the Bailey Studio and will run until the start of November.

An Englishmen  who finds himself in rural Georgia and is forced to overcome his fear of talking to strangers is the basis behind the Nanaimo Theatre Group’s newest production, The Foreigner.

“It’s about a pathologically shy man who is plunged  into a situation where he has to behave so much against his own personality,” said director Sheila Coultish. “He finds out he quite likes it.”

The Foreigner is set in 1982 in the Southern United States and focuses around Charlie Baker, a British man who pretends he can’t speak English.

“It’s extremely funny, so if you want to laugh out loud then come see it,” Coultish said. “They will have a very pleasant evening with laughter.”

The Nanaimo production stars Laura Buechler, Derek Carter, James Dean, Susan Evans and Kelly Kijek and was produced by Joan Roszmann.

“It is also a heartwarming story because the characters are all very real and very loveable even though the situation is quirky and it leaves you with a very warm feeling afterwards even though there are some very dark moments in it,” Coultish explained.

The Foreigner opened in 1983 in Wisconsin and made its Broadway debut in 1984. It was originally written by American playwright Larry Shue, who was killed in a plane crash in 1985.

“I wonder what other pieces of jewels of theatre we would have had if he had have lived,” Coultish said.

The production also received two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards.

The Foreigner opens on Thursday (Oct. 16) at the Bailey Studio, 2373 Rosstown Rd. For more information,  please visit

arts@nanaimobulletin.comTwitter: @npescod