‘Mary’s Wedding’ to take Port Colborne audiences on ‘an emotional ride’ (Welland Tribune)

Written by Canadian playwright Stephen Massicotte, the play, presented by Lighthouse Festival, explores themes of love, loss and the lingering shadows of the First World War.

June 25, 2024

The Welland Tribune

By Welland Tribune Staff

Set against the backdrop of the First World War, Lighthouse Festival’s production of “Mary’s Wedding” explores themes of love, loss and the lingering shadows of war.

Written by Canadian playwright, screenwriter and actor Stephen Massicotte, the play begins the night before Mary is to be married. A Lighthouse release said that as Mary dreams, she revisits her memories of Charlie, a young soldier she fell in love with.

“The audience is taken on an emotional ride through their budding romance, the trials of separation, and the heartache of war, all told through a seamless blend of reality and dream.”

Daniel Reale, who plays Charlie, thinks the audience will leave the performance thinking about a few things.

“The absolutely stunning poetry and writing in the piece, the impacts of the war, the social constructs of the early 20th century — but, mostly, I hope they leave thinking about all those incredible sensations that come with first love.

“All of the joy, ease and excitement of finding a person that you can’t ever imagine living without. I love this show for giving me the opportunity to live in that world,” Reale said in the release.

Evelyn Wiebe, playing Mary, said her character reminds her of Shakespeare’s Juliet.

“Young, in love, passionate, fiery, witty and curious. She feels everything so deeply and that’s just the most satisfying thing as an actor. To hear a woman in the 1900s being bold.

“A lot of folks tend to dismiss a woman falling in love as typical or trope-like. Mary is so much more than that. She’s just a beast of a woman. It’s just the most fun to play,” Wiebe said.

Lighthouse artistic director Derek Ritschel brings a personal perspective to the play. He played Charlie in a 2005 production.

“Directing this play has been a deeply rewarding experience and a passion project of mine.”

He said he fell in love with the show more than 20 years ago and is thrilled to bring it to Lighthouse audiences.

“The cast and crew have poured their hearts into bringing this story to life, capturing the delicate balance between the sweetness of young love and the harsh realities of a world at war. Their dedication and passion are evident in every scene.”

“Mary’s Wedding” is the third production for the theatre group based in Port Dover and showing at Port Colborne’s Roselawn Theatre.

The play runs from July 24 to Aug. 4 at Roselawn. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit lighthousetheatre.com/event/marys-wedding or contact the box office at 1-888-779-7703.