For the love of it
Two actors. One story. One historic location.
Helen Killorn and Justin Shaw have self-produced a production of Salt-Water Moon by David French under the canopy at the Heritage Shipyard. We saw the opening performance Thursday night.
As we sat there, with the historic rail cars behind us and the Clearwater River off in the distance in front of us, I kept thinking of the generations of indigenous families and great explorers who would have passed this very spot over the centuries.
It was chilly, sitting in the open air on a rainy evening late in August, but there was something warm and magical about the setting and the performance. I felt connected to the past and the story they were sharing in a way that felt transformative.
I got a short preview during a lovely radio conversation with Helen and Justin earlier in the week. You can watch that edition of IMPACT below:
Theirs is a labour of love. Hours of memorization, rehearsal, and marketing went into making this unique presentation of the story of Mary Snow and Jacob Mercer, a pair of star crossed lovers reuniting after a year of being apart. The payoff is a non-monetary one; it is more human than that. The joy and satisfaction is helping a beautiful story settle into the bones of the people who come to watch it.
It was a cold night when we watched Salt-Water Moon. We we wearing several layers and others were draped in blankets. Helen, as Mary, was wearing nothing by a yellow sun dress. I kept wanting Justin, as Jacob, to offer her his jacket. Of course, in the world of the play it was much warmer. They were playing in front of us, but they were living there, in Newfoundland on a warm summer's eve. Never once did either of them let that they were cold.
Executing a two-person full-length play is challenging at the best of times. Doing so in a non-traditional theatre space in the open air, complete with what Mother Nature dishes out, is an achievement of the highest order. Helen and Justin brought us into Mary and Jacob's world, minds and hearts and gave us an unforgettable night of theatre.
You have one chance left to experience it and that is this evening at 8 pm. You can pay cash ($30 per seat) at the door. Rip yourself from the comfortable spot on your sofa and forgo yet another evening of your favourite Netflix offerings and gift yourself with a performance that is truly special and deliciously local.