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Stage Show Depicts Mental Health Journeys In Charlotte County

By Tamara Steele Sep 28, 2022 | 5:20 PM

The production Riding the Waves has performances in Saint Andrews and St. Stephen. Image supplied.

Mental health challenges are the focus of a new play running in Saint Andrews and St. Stephen.

Peggy Fothergill, Christine Lannaman and Suzanne Tisdale were asked to tackle the subject and worked to include local themes.

The experiences of 14 people were included in the play.

“Nine of the 14 people came forward and told us they had childhood neglect and maltreatment in their lives. There is a scene in the play where we bring that forward,” Fothergill said.

Fothergill said they crafted the play in such a way to protect the anonymity of all the participants.

“We’ve been extremely careful about protecting people’s anonymity. There is one person though whose story is told directly through her. Her name is Carol. She directly told us her story on video because she couldn’t be present for five performances,” Fothergill said.

She said the play includes extraordinary stories of people who are openly sharing their heartfelt struggles and challenges with mental illness.

“The stories come from entrepreneurs, housewives, professionals and students — people representing the true fabric of Charlotte County. These are the stories of 14 men and women living with anxiety and depression, or schizophrenia and other very serious mental health illnesses. They are ordinary folk, our neighbours, co-workers, family, ourselves and our friends who live in the quiet, rural communities of Charlotte County,” Fothergill said.

Riding the Waves has three performances in Saint Andrews: one on September 30th and two on October 1st at the W.C. O’Neill Arena Theatre. Two weeks later, the play will be performed at St. Stephen High School on October 14th and 15th.


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