Yellow Point Drama Group’s latest production examines end-of-life care with humour and heart.
From Oct. 2 to 11 the local theatre company presents Grace and Glorie by American playwright Tom Ziegler. In the play, originally set to open in the spring, Grace, a cantankerous 90-year-old, fearlessly awaits death in her Virginia mountain cabin with her unwelcome hospice worker, ex-New Yorker Glorie, by her side.
“This play is all about who I am,” said Patricia Zogar, who plays Grace. “I’m a spiritual seeker and explorer and this play is all about the existential questions that we all face.”
Kim Rogers plays Glorie. She said the role suits her as she is nurturing and inquisitive. She also has a personal connection to the subject matter.
“Just before we were going to open in the spring my mother passed away and a lot of what Pat and I go through is very true to how I felt at the time and it helped me get through some of it,” she said.
To adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols, attendance will be limited to 40 guests per show, tickets must be purchased online in advance, guests must wear masks until they are seated and food will not be provided. Seats will be arranged in pairs set six feet apart.
Zogar said she hopes the play breaks down the stigma around talking about death and leaves the audience with something to think about. She said Grace has a very nonchalant attitude towards death, but she still has her fears.
“There’s an exploration of ‘what do you believe is going to happen after death?’ And that kind of thing people can relate to,” she said. “But there are such good, funny lines in [the play] too, so it gives it a lightness.”
Rogers said the characters clash in the beginning because they come from different worlds.
“The hospice worker is from a totally different environment. She’s a New Yorker, she’s just moved to this little hick town, she doesn’t really want to be here and she’s looking for something, too,” Rogers said. “She’s searching for something and that something relates to death and Grace helps her find what she’s looking for.”
Director Joanne Rowland said she fell in love with the play as soon as she read the script.
“It’s the compassion in the play,” she said. “It’s the struggles that we all go through in our life that are exposed and mostly resolved, I think, with humour and with such pathos that the audience will both be laughing and crying at the same time.”
WHAT’S ON … Yellow Point Drama Group presents Grace and Glorie at Cedar Community Hall, 2388 Cedar Rd., on Oct. 2 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 2, 3, 10 and 11 at 2 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes before the performance. Tickets $20, available at www.yellowpointdramagroup.org.