Actors asked to find a spirituality for new Belfry production

Actors asked to find a spirituality for new Belfry production

Playwright/director Tara Beagan’s The Ministry of Grace tells Indigenous tale of challenge, love

Tara Beagan’s play will finally see the light. The Ministry of Grace, which Beagan wrote and is directing, debuts Feb. 4 at the Belfry Theatre.

The Ntlaka’pamux playwright says “it feels absolutely right” to stage the long-developed play at the former church.

“It’s one of those funny Canadian plays that had its time in workshop and its been read off the table for a long time,” she says, noting that the story was refined through Native Earth Performing Arts in Toronto. “It really feels right that the piece should come to fruition here.”

The story follows a Ntlaka’pamux mother, Mary, who answers a call for labourers in California, before being hired as part of a travelling evangelical show and renamed Grace. What’s interesting, Beagan says, is getting actors to interpret what is “a pious devotion” within the play, such as learning certain hymns. She says it’s rare to work with actors who have “any kind of active practice” going to a formal church.

READ ALSO: Gene Simmons to launch new Titans of Rock music festival in Grand Forks

“It’s kind of a funny translation process where we have to go ‘what was that for people, when church was such a common part of community and a way to create community.’ What is that to us now?”

For actors, Beagan says, that communal place is the theatre. It’s a place where they find connection and reward by going to work, and “seeing colleagues at work.” So they work from there.

“It’s interesting to move from the secular into the more spiritual and sacred,” she says, “[and] figure out a way to speak to that that is really authentic and doesn’t feel like a superficial layer.”

It’s the third day of rehearsals at the time of interview, and she isn’t shy in praising the actors’ work so far. It’s a little scary how great this cast is, she says.

“These actors are phenomenal,” she emphasizes the last word. “They’re just so keen, they’re so ready to go, they’re already lifting off the page a whole bunch, they’ve done their homework,” she says.

Like many of her plays, Beagan says, The Ministry of Grace is about love and how to keep hold of it when facing challenges.

“Because this is an Indigenous story, the love and the difficulties are wrapped up right inside of laughter. So I think anybody will find it’s a story they can relate to and they’ll be glad they left the comfort of their homes for this telling.”

Tickets are available online tickets.belfry.bc.ca, by phone at 250-385-6815 or at the Belfry box office.



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Belfry TheatreLive theatre

Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Hot rods, rad rods, muscle and sports cars spanning the decades made their way in a parade from North Saanich to Victoria on June 19. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Classic cars cruise Saanich Peninsula in advance of Father’s Day

Retirement home residents from North Saanich to Victoria treated to a spectacle of hot rides

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read