• Prairie Nurse 2 / Britainy Zapshalla

Play welcomes newcomers with a little comedy

Miscommunication, mispronunciations and misunderstandings are the name of the game when it comes to the summer offering from Rosthern’s Station Arts Centre.

Prairie Nurse is a charming tale of newcomers and small town life. The story is loosely based on true life experience of playwright Marie Beath Badian’s mother. She was one of two Filipina nurses who immigrated to a small community hospital in Arborfield, Saskatchewan in 1967.

“I know this show will touch people here in Saskatchewan, especially people who have immigrated here,” says the shows director Johnna Wright. “They all have their own version of arriving here and thinking, ‘Oh my God, what is this place?’ “

“They all have their own version of arriving here and thinking, ‘Oh my God, what is this place?’“

Although the play is set in the 1960’s, it has a lot of resonance today. Immigration in Saskatchewan is at an all-time high and in every corner of the province, people are working to create welcome and inclusive communities for newcomers. This story is a culture-clashing one as the locals do their best to make their new nurses feel at home. The result is hilarious confusion, mistaken identity and even budding romance.

Johnna Wright / Photo provided

Johnna Wright directs Prairie Nurse opening this weekend at the Station Arts Centre. (Photo provided)

“The characters are bumbling at times but there’s really a lot of heart in it.” Wright explains, “They try to teach these young women all about Canadian hockey, slang and even the difference between Worcestershire and soy sauce.”

Wright says this show is a feel-good performance, one that the whole family can enjoy together. “Above all, this show is kind. These people just want to make these women welcome however they can.” She continues, “Even though there’s ignorance, it speaks well about the people of this province because they are well-meaning. This show will make you feel good about the culture you come from.”

Along with a charming play, audiences will be treated to the experience of visiting the Station Arts Centre for the show. Located just 40 minutes North of Saskatoon, the theatre and tea room is a renovated CN Railway station where audiences are invited to have dinner before the show.

Prairie Nurse runs at the Station Arts Centre in Rosthern July 6 – August 5, 2018. Tickets are $16 – $33.

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