Just in time for the holidays is the Canadian comedy, Halo, by Josh MacDonald, presented by Theatre at TWU November 24 – December 5. This compassionate Canadian play asks what matters most: faith, hope, or customer service?
In a fictionalized version of a true event, small town life in Nately, Nova Scotia is forever changed when the face of Jesus miraculously appears in an unlikely place: the side of the local Tim Hortons. Can miracles come with coffee to go? Media mania begins and a previously isolated community wonders what’s more important, the truth or the profits?
Cynical young Casey Quinn works at Tim Hortons and dreams of escaping her “nowhere town” and overbearing boss. But when the Jesus-face mysteriously appears, so does national attention. Miracles generate business, and Casey’s bitterness about small town life is nothing compared to the madness of the newly created commercial monster. In the midst of the mayhem is Donald McMullen: a father praying for a genuine miracle, as one of his daughters hangs on life support unless the supernatural truly intervenes.
“It’s a wonderful set of parallel stories that are both fun and thoughtful,” says director Lloyd Arnett. “The play satirizes our commercial preoccupation with the holidays while keeping a strong grip on family values and the role of faith in our lives.” Playing with the mix of emotions that happen in times of crisis, Halo is half hilarity, half sincerity.
“The greatest challenge in rehearsals has been keeping the actors from constantly laughing at each other’s work,” divulges Arnett. At the same time, the dramatic tension has been all too real. “One of our actors has a hospitalized family member facing the same life-threatening difficulties as a character in the play,” which blurs the lines between life and art. “Essentially, Halo is about losing and finding family at Christmas, something we all can understand.”
Third year student Dylan deJong agrees. “Yes, a disproportionate amount of my focus onstage is spent trying not to laugh. But the characters are great, and there is real connection among the cast. The end still gets me misty eyed, and I’ve seen it 50 times. With such a range of human experience and emotion, I don’t know how anyone could not connect with it on some level.”
Also featured in the production are Alexandra Voicu, Danae Bargen, Jared Bargen, Gwendolen Gower, Lyndon Johnson, Nicola Prigge, and Chris Simons. Scenic design is by Yulia Shtern, lighting design by Philip Schulze, costume design by Tracy Wright and stage management by Clare Arney.
A genuinely funny meld of faith, drama and the ridiculous; Halo examines the need to believe and the power of forgiveness. Playing at Trinity Western University from November 25 – December 5, it’s an opportunity to grab a fresh side of the supernatural and holiday fun to-go. Share a night of theatrical wonder with friends and ask the question: “Would you recognize a miracle if it stared you in the faith?”
For tickets or more information visit www.twu.ca/theatre.
Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is a provincially chartered, independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university, enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include nursing, counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.
Last Updated: 2009-11-16