A play on until August at the Station Arts Centre in Rosthern tells a familiar story for anyone who has ever been somewhere new.
Prairie Nurse, by Toronto-based playwright Marie Beath Badian, tells the story of a pair of Filipina nurses who move immigrate to Saskatchewan in the late 1960s. It’s loosely based on the true life experiences of her mother, one of two Filipina nurses who came to a small community hospital in Arborfield, Sask., in 1967.
“I know this show will touch people here in Saskatchewan, especially people who have immigrated here,” said director Johnna Wright in a press release.
“They all have their own version of arriving here and thinking, ‘Oh my God, what is this place?’”
The play is comedic, as miscommunication, mispronunciation and misunderstandings arise while the locals try to make the pair of newcomers feel comfortable.
“The characters are bumbling at times but there’s really a lot of heart in it,” Wright said. “they try to teach these young women all about Canadian hockey, slang and even the difference between Worcestershire and soy sauce. Above all, this show is kind. These people just want to make these women welcome however they ca. 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.”
Andrea Macasaet plays one of the two newcomers. She’s Filipina herself and said the script does a good job of reflecting what her family encountered when they came to Canada.
“A lot of the script I can relate to. In the process of auditioning and rehearsing, I would share some of the things in the script with my mom, and she found a lot of the moments she could relate to as well,” Macasaet said.
“It wasn’t hard to put ourselves into the moment because they’re so true to what we know.”
The show has been on since July 7 and continues until August 5. Audiences have been enjoying the show, Macasaet said, filling the theatre with laughter.
“A lot of people from Saskatchewan can really relate to this show in such a great way. I find it so refreshing to come out of the dressing room after the show is done and hear people how well they can relate to the show, the setting and the attitudes, it’s really great,” she said.
Part of the reason, she thinks, is everyone has been new to something at some point in their lives.
“I think people can relate to this play in a way that we’ve all been new to something — a new job, school, country, province — we’ve all been there, we all know what it feels like to be new, and I think this story highlights that in a way that’s really fun and full of heart,” she said.
‘A lot of love is put into this play, and I think people will definitely see that when they come to the show. They’ll come out with smiling faces.”
Shows run Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., and Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for children under 12 and $25 for individuals in a group of ten or more.
Dinners are available between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. and luncheons from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Station Arts Centre is a renovated CN Railway Station in Rosthern, at 701 Railway Avenue.
“if you want to have a laugh, definitely come out to Prairie Nurse,” Macasaet said.
‘The cast and crew have put so much effort and so much love into this show, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.