It’s a story of struggle, memory and the unbreakable bonds of family to life. Daniel Macdonald’s Blow Wind is hitting the station at Rosthern’s Station Arts Centre this week. On the surface, this is a story of four children who are forced back together to deal with their mother Kathleen as her dementia worsens. They need to help her and decide what to do with the family farm.
“Everyone has been touched in some way by dementia, it’s become a universal experience,” says playwright and director Daniel Macdonald. “Someone is slowly disappearing before your eyes, even though they are still there physically. But, this story is not about Kathleen, it’s actually about her children. They are pulled into this world and are forced to face it head on.”
“They are pulled into this world and are forced to face it head on.”
Saskatoon actress Cheryl Jack is back on stage as Kathleen. Jack says this show explores nostalgia for the way things used to be.
“It’s about trying to find our way back home,” Jack says. “These children are trying to find their way back to each other on the farm they once loved. It’s about these children pulling together to find the love they have for their mother and for each other.”
Blow Wind first premiered more than a year ago at Dancing Sky Theatre and since then has gone through an evolution.
“There’s nothing like experiencing your play with a live audience to make you realize what you need to change,” says Macdonald. “You can tell immediately if a joke didn’t work or if certain moments need to be fleshed out.”
With the exception of Jack, there’s a new cast, the script has been reworked and new songs have been added by Saskatoon musician Eileen Laverty.
“Music is such a key part to this performance and we’ve made it more of a musical. We’ve threaded music throughout the show, the actors do a scene and then grab a guitar and perform a song,” explains Macdonald. “The songs take you places emotionally that just speaking can rarely do.”
The Station Arts Centre is known for bringing stories to the stage that celebrate rural life making it a perfect pairing for this show.
“This theatre is an arts oasis on the prairies,” says Jack. “The art on the walls, the amazing food and the community, it all just creates a lovely, intimate experience for the audience.” There are lunch and dinner sittings for matinee and evening performances. This is a summer tradition you won’t want to miss.