By CAROLE FRÉCHETTE
Translated by JOHN MURRELL
Featuring AKOSUA AMO-ADEM, ZORANA SADIQ, and HELEN TAYLOR
Directed by KEN GASS
Lighting Design by ANDRÉ DU TOIT
Sound Design by WAYNE KELSO
Set and Costume Design by SNEZANA PESIC
Stage Managed by FIONA JONES
Helen’s Necklace tells the story of Helen, a Canadian academic attending a conference in a Middle-Eastern city, who abruptly decides to stay on after her colleagues have left in order to search for a lost pearl necklace. With the help of an empathetic taxi driver, she navigates the maze of foreign streets and encounters the inhabitants of this near-devastated city. In the absurdity of searching for a “lighter-than-air” necklace in the middle of a recent war zone, Helen struggles to reconcile with her own deeply fractured ability to live, to love and to accept loss.
Fréchette’s play is a contemporary Canadian classic, and one that has even greater resonance in our current socio-political context of international humanitarian crises in Syria and other strife-torn regions. It is a timeless evocation of loss and disillusionment, and the search for hope and renewal.
This often-produced play is normally done with one female performer playing the role of Helen and one male performer playing Nabil, the taxi driver, and four other characters (including one woman) from the city Helen visits. However, in our production, each of three female performers share the role of Helen, while also collectively presenting the other five characters.