When Carl Pineau retired a few years ago, he discovered he had plenty of time on his hands.
So he started looking for something meaningful to fill his days.
Pineau didn’t have to search very far because in 2009 a new seniors theatre troupe was forming in North Rustico made up of members of the Star of the Sea Seniors Club along with the Montgomery Theatre.
“It was good fun, something to look forward to,” says Pineau who, after a 47-year career as a fisherman, began redirecting his energies into theatre.
Working his way up the ranks of the theatre group, he became involved in professional productions at the Montgomery Theatre.
“Last summer I was in Our Town. I played one of the dead people in the graveyard scene. I was also the drunken choir director.
“At first, acting made me (feel) nervous until I got used to it. Now I find it’s very nice. It’s a great reason to get out of the house,” says Pineau, one of the members of the Star of the Sea Dramatic Society for Seniors that is presenting One Year Older Not Much Wiser at the Gulf Shore School in North Rustico today at 7:30 p.m.
David Blacquiere is also having a lot of fun.
“It’s the great camaraderie that we have with each other. I also have fun dealing with new challenges, like playing a woman,” says the retired provincial fire marshal, donning a black dress with a pink hat and matching feather boa for rehearsal.
A few minutes later, Blacquiere is having a costume malfunction. Without warning, one of the water-filled balloons in the bustline of his dress breaks, sending a gushing stream down his legs.
“David, I think your water broke,” quips one of the players, as a puddle forms on the floor.
As everyone in the room breaks out into fits of hysterical laughter, Blacquiere is not to be undone.
“Being a woman is difficult. I’m glad that I came into this world as a man,” says the actor in a matter-of-fact tone, as everyone laughs again.
Newcomer Donna Nicholson, who lives in nearby Cavendish, is also glad she joined the group.
“There’s such positive energy here. It’s two hours of entertainment at each practice,” says Nicholson, who is making her stage debut tonight.
“One of the gals is not going to be here, so I’m quickly learning her lines. I think it will be fun,” she says.
Watching the seniors have fun in their roles is rewarding to the director.
“They’re learning memorization and improv. It’s good for people at any age to be learning new things, as well as laughing,” says Sherri-Lee Darrach.
She describes the show as an evening of laughter.
“It’s going to include music by Mary Smith. There will be sketches written by Duncan McIntosh and other artists. There will be performances by the clogging group, Wally’s Dollies, and the musical group, Mary Smith and Friends.
“As well, there will be some little videos that Pat Caron and Duncan have created. We have played pranks on some people in Rustico and we will be showing these comedic scenes. The video group called CBC, the Crick Broadcasting Corporation, is who will be doing some televised events,” Darrach says.
McIntosh is happy with the seniors’ work.
“This year’s show is funnier than ever and has kept us laughing throughout the rehearsals since January. That was needed because several people close to us, including several of our members, are struggling with serious illness at the moment. Rehearsals gave us a chance to have a laugh together during some difficult times,” says the Montgomery Theatre’s artistic director.
Through the laughter, performers have become a little family, meeting once a week over the past four years, says Darrach.
And while they have supported each other in their group endeavours, these gatherings have led to even more new projects.
“From this little group has formed a seniors choral group that Mary Smith has organized. We also have two members who have become professionals at the Montgomery Theatre — Teresa Costello and Carl Pineau — so it unfolds and grows.”
AT A GLANCE
If you are going
What: One Year Older Not Much Wiser.
When: March 21, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Gulf Shore Consolidated School.
Details: Donations are at the door. A light lunch will be served.