Three Norfolk friends have taken the plunge into playwriting.
Chris Rait, Jeannine Bouw and Mark Williams, educators with the Brant-Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, have created and developed their first play for the Lighthouse Festival Theatre.
Rait and Bouw both have backgrounds in music and Williams is a published author and limerickist.
The play, Tip of the Iceberg, tells the story of two sailors and their adventures at sea off the Newfoundland coast.
“I think when people come to see this play, they are going to see these two old guys who have known each other their whole life,” said Rait. “I feel like the audience is going to be sucked into that coziness, it’s going to be familiar to them and you want to spend time with these guys.”
The play is set to premiere next summer season at the Lighthouse Festival Theatre.
Prior to the pandemic, the three writers submitted their script to the theatre where it was viewed by LFT artistic director Derek Ritschel, who was immediately intrigued with the story and pursued further development with the trio.
A reading was scheduled at Toronto’s Tarragon theatre where the script was read by professional actors, bringing the old sailors to life.
“Hearing our characters through somebody’s mouth was amazing because we were often reading it through ourselves,” said Bouw. “Those are our characters. They are really there; it was a really great moment.”
Williams, who hails from Newfoundland, says it’s a surreal feeling to create a project and bring it to life for people to enjoy and react to the story.
“The play is about a discovery of yourself, rejuvenation of the spirit of the mind and body, where we’re going in life, do we have any regrets and is it worth having those regrets,” said Williams.
“It fell into place, and it fell into place nicely. It was definitely a team effort and I think each of us brought something different and unique to the table and that’s why it worked out so well.”
The play will correlate with historical fiction with the central characters drawing inspiration from Williams’ grandfathers, who spent time at sea in Newfoundland as a mariner and postman.
For more details, check out Tip of the Iceberg’s official Twitter site @tipoftheiceber8 for updates and a video.