Behind the scenes of ‘The Rez Sisters’

The Douglas College production runs from November 9 to 17

By Josh Martin, Sports Editor

Last week I had the chance to watch an excerpt from what is going on in Douglas College’s fall theatre production of The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway, which comes out this Friday November 9 and runs until November 17 in the Laura C. Muir Theatre.

The show—which marks the second of four productions that are happening this year in the theatre department—features second-year theatre students Nadia Bordignon, Meghan Somerville, Laura Genschorek, Fatuma Namatovu, Paula Broderick, Stephanie Webb, Angie Hennig, and Marc Aboleda, with Deborah Neville directing.

Sitting right up close and getting in on the action is one of the biggest features that this show presents. Taking the main stage in the Muir theatre and changing it into a studio production by bringing the audience right into the action is what brings this piece to life.

“It’s about seven women who are on a reserve, and they’re all related to each other somehow, whether it be they’re sisters or sisters-in-law. They find out about this biggest Bingo in the world that’s coming up in Toronto and they all love playing Bingo all the time, so then they have to figure out a way to find money to all go… together because they really want to win. They all have different goals that they want to reach by winning… because the jackpot is $500,000,” says Meghan Somerville.

The scene I was invited to watch was when the sisters arrive at the Bingo and are greeted by the eccentric, charismatic host—played by Aboleda. The scene’s energy bounces back and forth from one character to the next until it escalates to a boiling point. I don’t want to give away too much, but the play includes some audience interaction with the characters, where the audience becomes a part of the Bingo. It’s loaded with laughs and fun, which Neville brings through the creative process of the characters.

“She’s really supportive and very creative and really gets you to think about the character… she really gets you to play around with everything and see what works and see what doesn’t,” says Somerville, who then discussed her role with The Other Press.

“[My character’s] name is Annie Cook, and she’s like a partier and she loves to have fun and loves to poke fun at all of her sisters and make fun of everyone and cause trouble. She really likes to poke people’s buttons and everything.

“There’s been some moments in rehearsal where something clicks and it’s like, “Oh you finally get it” and there’s something that you realize in a line that you didn’t understand before, but it makes sense and you’re like, “That’s why I’m saying this” or “This is why she does this later on.”

The Rez Sisters comes out this Friday November 9 in the Muir theatre. Be sure to check it out!


Image of Meghan Somerville from Shawnali Ogle.