Dreary and Izzy entertains and informs, says director

From left, Tiffany Ayalik, in the role of Deirdre; Meegwun Fairbrother, in the role of Freddy Seven Horses and Michaela Washburn, in the role of Isabelle, (Izzy), rehearse a scene from Magnus Theatre’s new play, Dreary and Izzy.

Magnus Theatre will be taking audiences into the home of a family affected by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome next week during performances of Dreary and Izzy; a surprisingly sweet and funny drama that provides a thought-provoking exploration of family dynamics and cultural roots.

The play, written by Tara Beagan, makes for “a highly enjoyable and informative evening of theatre,” says Magnus’ artistic director Mario Crudo.

The drama centres around sisters Deirdre and Isabelle Monoghan who lose their parents in a car accident. When that happens, Deirdre becomes the sole caregiver to her adopted older sister Isabelle, who is affected by FAS.

Just as Deirdre prepares to begin university and experience independence for the first time, she must decide how much of her own freedom she is willing to sacrifice for the love of her sister.

Before they can even begin to figure out their new lives together, they meet a door to door travelling vacuum salesman named Freddie Seven Horses who will change their lives forever.

“I found the play to be highly enjoyable and informative,” Crudo said.

“It is also a very well-written, engaging, and poignant story that will connect well with audiences, and for those reasons I included the play in our current season line-up.

“The themes and message are as important to day as when FAS was first recognized in the early to mid-1970s,” he said, adding that “Dreary and Izzy also examines cultural issues that will appeal to and be understood by our audiences; and the play does all this with surprisingly sweet and endearing moments of comedy, making for a highly enjoyable and informative evening of theatre.”

Dreary and Izzy brings back to the Magnus stage, Michaela Washburn as Isabelle, an incredible actor featured in last seasons The Hours That Remain.

The cast also includes the excellent talent of Tiffany Ayalik as Deidre, who was last seen in 2014's Night.

New to Magnus Theatre is Meegwun Fairbrother as Freddie, a traditional singer and northern traditional dancer who has also appeared in The Hobbit at the Grand Theatre, The Great Mountain, Pimooteewin, a cree language opera), and the Syfy TV series Helix.

A local favorite Lila Cano as Mrs. Harper, returns after having just performed in The Book of Everything.

Off-stage production crew includes Crudo as director; Eileen Earnshaw-Borghesan, set designer; Tim Rodrigues, lighting designer; Mervi Agombar, costume designer; and Gillian Jones, stage manager.

Magnus Theatre says that the play contains some mature subject matter, so patron discretion is advised.

Preview performances run Monday to Wednesday, with a gala opening planned for Thursday.

The play runs until Feb. 6. Tickets range in price from $21-$47.

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