The Prince Albert Community Players (PACP) hope to shine a light on a serious topic while making audiences laugh with their latest show.
Jack of Diamonds follows a group of residents living in a rather luxurious, privately-owned retirement home when their financial advisor who has been arrested for bilking clients through a Ponzi scheme, is sent to live with them.
“It’s a very funny show, a very funny show,” said Ardath Salen, who has directed in the past, but not with Prince Albert Community Players.
“There are lots of seasoned actors. I think it’s going to be a real hit. They’re doing an amazing job putting this together for everyone.”
Salen is being assisted by Marnie Anderson, who is co-directing. Both of them were also involved with a previous PACP play, Love Lies and the Doctor’s Dilemma.
Joining them from that production is Gail Enright, who plays Rose.
“Rose is a very interesting lady. She’s an intelligent person and a caretaker for another person in the play,” Enright said.
While Enright stresses that the show, a farce, is very funny, it also carries with it an important message.
“Once a person gets to a certain age, somehow what they were in their life can get lost, which is really unfortunate,” she said.
“There are a lot of talents and a lot of really important things people gain as they age. When you look at somebody who is in a nursing home, you look at that person the way they are, but they used to be many other things. That comes up in the show. It’s really interesting to see how they interact with each other and what their former life has to bring to their current situation.”
Dave Buettner, who plays the accused fraudster, Barney Effward, agreed.
“We get the idea that people in a nursing home are has-beens, don’t do anything and were-nothings, were put there and left. We have a few of those kinds of incidents in the play,” he said.
“It’s got a message.”
“As you age, it doesn’t mean you’re any less of a person,” Enright added.
“I think it’s very important to celebrate that.”
Buettner said he’s been in about a dozen shows. He’s enjoying putting this performance together with the rest of the cast.
“It’s been great,” he said. “That’s the whole fun of it.”
Buettner said that while the show has that serious underlying message, it’s “good family fun and entertainment. I think we need to laugh, too,” he said.
“Laughter is the best medicine, and you cannot not laugh during this show. It’s very comical,” she said.
“Yet there is, under the surface, a message about ageing and ageism that is very important.”
Jack of Diamonds by Marcia Kash and Douglas E. Hughes, directed by Ardath Salen and Marnie Anderson runs Nov. 15, 16 and 17 at the Rivier Theatre, 1405 Bishop Pascal Place. The Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. while the Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m. Wheelchair access is available with notice. Tickets are $25 and available at Canadian Tire.
There is some language and mature themes.