Norm Foster’s ‘Come Down From Up River’ coming to Roselawn Theatre

Sheila McCarthy

Play to run from June 7 to 18

By Sarah Ferguson | Port Colborne Leader via Niagara This Week

Sheila McCarthy considers herself a big fan of writer Norm Foster and his work. When she was given the opportunity to direct Norm Foster’s “Come Down From Up River,” McCarthy jumped at the chance. “I love Norm Foster’s work. I think he is a huge hero of mine in the Canadian lexicon of theatre,” McCarthy said.

The play is scheduled to run at Roselawn Theatre in Port Colborne starting in early June for a limited time. McCarthy is excited about bringing the play to the city. “I love being in a smaller theatre community where people really do appreciate Norm Foster and they get him,” she said.

Actor Ralph Small plays Shaver Bennett, a man who lives in the woods in northern New Brunswick, where he has kept to himself for most of his life. One day, Shaver arrives at the door of his estranged daughter, Bonnie, (played by Eliza-Jane Scott) whom he hasn’t seen in 20 years. Bonnie and her wife, Liv (played by Fuschia Boston), welcomes Shaver into their lives in what is described as a fish-out-of-water tale.

The story is about healing a dysfunctional relation, that after decades of estrangement, needs to be healed. “There’s the serious part of it. But it’s also a hilarious comedy about misinterpretation and misunderstanding people,” McCarthy said. “Norm Foster is an incredible force of nature who understands human behaviour so well.”

Foster has written many plays, but this one is different. “It deals with the rather heavy subject of mortality, illness, homophobia and all kinds of really interesting current subjects that we need to be talking about,” McCarthy said, adding that it’s done in a lighthearted way. “I think audiences will absolutely fall in love with all three of these characters who are just trying to figure it all out.”

The play runs at Roselawn Theatre June 7 to 18.

Tickets prices start at $42 and can be purchased online at