ONTS is presenting Canadian playwright Linda Griffith’s thought-provoking play Age of Arousal. / submitted Photo

Mission theatre troupe presents Age of Arousal

Opening Nite Theatre Society tackles thought-provoking Canadian play

Mission’s Opening Nite Theatre Society (ONTS) is taking on Canadian playwright Linda Griffith’s thought-provoking play, Age of Arousal.

The show is a moving, witty, sexy play about five women struggling to find out who they really are and putting their beliefs to the test, against the harsh social and financial restraints of Victorian England.

During this time, women were literally bursting out of their corsets and putting their lives on the line for the causes they believed in, including votes for women, rights for married women, improvement of the lives of the downtrodden, and gender equality.

The story is centered on a battle-savvy ex-suffragette, Mary Barfoot (played by Danielle Donovan), and her protege lover, Rhoda Nunn (Camille Atebe), who run a school for female secretaries.

All runs smoothly until the school is invaded by three down-on-their-luck spinster sisters. They are the chaste but passionate Alice Madden (Kathy Yewell), the alcoholic, cross-dressing Virginia (Shannon Pedder) and the ravenously sexual youngest sister Monica (Maria Buganska).

Enter Mary’s 30-something physician cousin Everard Barfoot (Tony Loyer, who throws yet another wrench into the feminist machine.

An interesting twist to Age of Arousal is a device called “thoughtspeak,” allowing the audience (but not the other characters) to hear each character’s private thoughts, which often clash with what they’re expected to say in polite society.

Director Norma Rushton is excited to be able to “step out of the box” and combine fantasy with realism in Age of Arousal’s costumes, set and music.

“The show is about women who fight to survive in a world where the odds are stacked against them, and they know that their chances of success are slim, but they move forward anyway,” said Rushton.

Age of Arousal contains very adult themes and sexually suggestive language. It is not recommended for children.

The show runs April 26 to May 12 (Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.). There is also a performance on Thursday, May 2 which is a two-for-one ticket event.

Tickets are $15 and are available at openingnitetheatre.com, ontstickets@hotmail.com, by calling 604-826-6687 or at the theatre door, 33223 Railway Ave.

ONTS is also hosting a special Women’s Wednesday performance for women only on May 8. Tickets are only available online for $20 and include the show, an ONTS membership, a beverage ticket, a chance to win a door prize, and an opportunity to shop for items from vendors.

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