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By Robert Chafe directed by Rien Vesseur

THE MERCURY PLAYERS • February 2-12, 2023

Duncan United Church Heritage Hall | 246 Ingram Street

24 Years of Quality Community Theatre
1999 - 2000 2015 - 2016
Educating Rita Shirley Valentine
A Night with Dylan Thomas Rumors
Robbie Burns Night Steel Magnolias
Whose Life Is It Anyway? (CSSS)
2016 - 2017
Virtual Reality &
2000 - 2001
The Way of All Fish
The Boys Next Door
Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun
A Child’s Christmas in Wales
Diary of Anne Frank (CSSS)
Teahouse of the August Moon 2006 - 2007 2017 - 2018
Cabaret Evening Mending Fences
2001 - 2002 Majority of Two Nuncrackers
What I Did Last Summer (CSSS) A Christmas Carol
On Golden Pond
2007 - 2008 (w. Shawnigan Players)
Ballimore Reel
A Merry Mercury Christmas A Man For All Seasons
Friends, Lovers and Other 2008 - 2009 (w. Shawnigan Players)
Strangers (CSSS) Twelve Angry Men Anatomy of Gray
Shirley Valentine
2009 - 2010 2018 - 2019
Sylvia Deathtrap
2002 - 2003
Almost, Maine
Play It Again Sam 2010 - 2011 The Curious Incident of the Dog
Waiting For the Parade (CSSS) Our Town In The Night-Time
A Long Way Home (CSSS) Tapas Night
Beau Jest
The Odd Couple
2011 - 2012
The Gin Game 2019 -2020
Vanya and Sonya and Masha
Love Letters
2003 - 2004 and Spike
I’m Not Rappaport 2012 - 2013
Maggie’s Getting Married
2021 - 2022
The Miracle Worker (CSSS)
The Farndale Avenue Housing
Tony and Tina’s Wedding (CSSS) Estate Townswomen’s Guild
2013 - 2014
Hay Fever Dramatic Society Murder
Arsenic and Old Lace
2004 - 2005 2014 - 2015 Vagina Monologues
The Man With the Plastic Sandwich Tommy Douglas (fundraiser for CWAV)
Les Belles Soeurs The Original Cast Quartet
By Robert Chafe directed by Rien Vesseur

Robert Chafe is a St. John’s based playwright whose work Tempting Providence is a 2 act play and will be presented
has been seen across Canada, the UK, and Australia. He is with an approximately 15 minute intermission between
the author of 18 stage scripts and co-author of another ten. acts.
He is Artistic Director and playwright for Artistic Fraud of The play is set on the West Coast of Newfoundland in the
Newfoundland, where he frequently collaborates with NAC 1920s and begins with the arrival of Myra Grimsley at
English Theatre Artistic Director Jillian Keiley. Two of his Daniel’s Harbour in May of 1921.
plays (Tempting Providence and Butler’s Marsh), published in
2004 by Playwrights Canada Press, were shortlisted for the Cast:
Governor General’s Award for Drama. Myra Grimsley Bennett ��������������� Genevieve Charbonneau
Original Commission and premiered Angus Bennett �������������������������������������� Mateo Tomlinson
by Theatre Newfoundland Labrador, 2002 Woman���������������������������������������������������������� Sylvia Swift
Original director – Jillian Keiley Man������������������������������������������������������������������ Rob Foell
Tempting Providence is produced by arrangement with Musician��������������������������������������������������� Jeremy Walsh
Ian Arnold, Catalyst TCM Inc.
Director������������������������������������������������������� Rien Vesseur
Producer���������������������������������������������������������� Lisa Read
Stage Manager����������������������������������������� Leslie Sanchez
Props��������������������������� Leslie Sanchez & Shauna Clinging
Set Design������������������������������������������������ Roger Jackson
Set Construction��������������������� Roger Jackson, Mike Raino
 & John Mowat Steven
Please turn off your cell phone and/or any
Costume Design����������������������������������������� Mony Vesseur
other electronic devices during the show
Sound Design������������������������������������ John Mowat Steven
Lighting Design����������������������������������������������� Gary Powe
The Mercury Players Society gratefully Lighting & Sound Operator��������������������������� Kara van Rijn
acknowledges the support of the CVRD Backstage������������������������������������������������ Leslie Blazecka
PR����������������������������������� Shauna Clinging & Kathy Yewell
Programme ������������������������������������������� Shauna Clinging
Show Photographer������������������������������������� Mony Vesseur
Genevieve Charbonneau - Myra
Though you may recognize this award-winning singer-songwriter from her many
appearances in the local music scene from the IFF to the 39 Days of July, you may not
know that she also holds a BFA in Theatre. She got her theatrical start in Victoria starring
in Kaleidoscope Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet and Midsummer Night’s Dream, when she was
just a teen. She went on to do work with Langham Court, Puente Theatre, The Victoria
Fringe Festival and UVic’s SATCo. After a long break to travel, then homestead here in the
Valley, she is thrilled to immerse herself once again in character work and take on Myra
Bennett with the Mercury Players.

Mateo Tomlinson - Angus

Mateo Tomlinson is a singer/songwriter and film composer from Montreal. He became
smitten with the west coast while on music tours, eventually moving here with his
wife, Janine. Theatre is where Mateo first discovered his love for performing, and
he is thrilled to tread the boards once again. This play has special significance for
Mateo as his great grandfather, Harry Royle, came to Newfoundland from England
in the early 1900’s to serve as a minister. This one is for Harry.

Sylvia Swift - Woman

Sylvia is grateful to have the opportunity to play many roles in one performance. It is a
wonderful cast and crew. She has directed and performed with Mercury Players for the
past five years. Some favourites were as Cissy in Quartet, Sonia in Sonia Vanya Masha
And Spike and Rebekah in Anatomy of Grey. She directed Almost Maine and Women
of Lockerbie (well almost, coming again in May at a nearby venue) and the Vagina
Monologues. With Shawnigan Players she played Mistress Ford in The Merry Wives of
Windsor, and Paulina in The Winters Tale. Here’s to the magic of story and performance
bringing to life amazing people like Myra Bennett.

Rob Foell - Man

Other than a wonderful couple of pandemic summers as Camillo in Shawnigan Players’
‘The Winter’s Tale’, Rob has not been on stage in over 20 years. “There are no small
parts...”, especially in such a nicely written piece as ‘Tempting Providence’! Rob is so
grateful to Mercury Theatre for giving him this challenging opportunity to play a variety of
the folk of Daniel’s Harbour. Despite the tumultuous times of this company, Leslie, Rien
and their team have proven so encouraging and downright hospitable to him, Rob hopes
anyone with an itch to try theatre, endeavours to join them for future productions. Rob
sends thanks to Audrey George of Cornerbrook and the ‘kitchen partyers’ of Bell Isle.
Rien Vesseur - Director
10 years ago I discovered community theatre here in the Cowichan Valley. My first
contact was Maria Ridewood who asked us to help paint the set for Arsenic and Old Lace
in the Mercury Theatre. Next thing I know, I am playing Dr. Chasuble in The Importance
of Being Earnest, very nervous but also delighted at the opportunity to act in a play. Since
then, I’ve probably had at least one role in a local production every year and I started
directing plays as well, Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Son, mentored by Alex Gallacher, then:
Mending Fences, Anatomy of Grey, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and
others. Acting is great, directing is better, I find. Working with this cast and crew has been
a genuine pleasure. Everyone has been so invested to create a show that looks, sounds
and feels good! I hope you’ll enjoy the watching as much as we did the making of it.

Lisa Read - Producer

I am delighted to serve as Producer for Tempting Providence. As I reflect on the daunting
adventures the characters in the show faced, the spirit and equanimity they showed in
the face of adversity, I realize how minor my travails are and couldn’t be a happier and
prouder Canadian.

Leslie Sanchez- Stage Manager

It has been my pleasure working with Rien and this wonderful talented cast. There were
some challenges. With less than 3 weeks until opening night, we found out we needed
to vacate the Mercury Theatre and find a new venue! Through it all, the cast did an
awesome job adapting to all the changes. “The show must go on.” Thank you to Linda
and the Duncan United Church for your help so we could make that happen!

Jeremy Walsh - Musician

Jeremy grew up listening to traditional Newfoundland and Irish music in the house and as
a young man moved to Ireland where he played session pubs in Galway and across the
country. He is really excited about playing Newfoundland music for this play!
Returning to Canada he joined Winnipeg’s “Scruj Macduhk” and toured the North
American Folk circuit for a few years before moving back to Vancouver Island where he is
from. He currently lives on Quw’utsun territory in Duncan and has been musically active
regionally since 2001. He plays solo, enjoys playing guitar with fiddlers and developing
with his latest, harmony driven, singer-songwriting folk trio “Firebird”.
The Mercury Players Society Board Of Directors
Thank you to the Duncan United Church.
President ���������������������������������������������������� Rien Vesseur
Vice President �������������������������������������������������� Lisa Read
Extra Special thanks to our Lighting
Guru Gary Powe. His behind the scenes
Secretary ���������������������������������������������������� Sarah Wright contributions are deeply appreciated by the
Treasurer ������������������������������������������������� Leslie Sanchez Mercury Players Society.
Volunteer Coordinator ������������������������������ Judy Buchanan Thank you to the following community
Members At Large����������������������������� Mary Louise Phillips members who supported this production
Kim Watt, John Mowat Steven & Leslie Blazecka in various ways
Brad Heyd · Cowichan Musical Society
Beverly Corners Market Place

The Mercury Players acknowledge that for Thank you to our fabulous
thousands of years the Quw’utsun People Front of House Volunteers!
have walked gently on the unceded and We couldn’t put on the shows without you.
non-treaty territories where we now gather
to share stories. Thanks to our ticket outlet Ten Old Books
Huy ch q’u siem Many thanks for support & coverage
to the Cowichan Valley Citizen.

This play was carefully and democratically selected by means of our regular
President’s Message

play reading program under the capable leadership of Louise Phillips. Open
workshop-style auditions were publicly announced and local people, some
of whom had not acted on stage in decades, showed up. A cast was chosen,
someone volunteered to stage manage, someone else to produce, another to do
costumes, etc. and a production crew came about. A budget was presented to
the board, approved, and so the show could be planned. This is how community
theatre works and you can be part of it too. Become a member, let us know of
your capabilities and stay up-to-date on our upcoming productions!
As you may have heard, we lost the Mercury Theatre as our home. It belongs
to the USW union, who deemed it unsafe but also no longer feasible for use
by community initiatives. We thank them for allowing us to use that theatre for
almost 25 years.
This means that we, as well as several other theatre, dance and musical groups in the valley, have no permanent
place to perform, rehearse, store costumes and set pieces and represent the performing arts in the Cowichan
Valley appropriately. Please use your network and influence to move local individuals, institutions and government
to create a space for this very important purpose.
Thank you to all the people who are making community theatre possible.
Rien Vesseur, President of The Mercury Players Society
Roger Jackson
Oil & Acrylic Paintings · Studio & Plein Air

Commissions welcome. Perhaps you are

interested in having a painting made of a
special memory, picture or subject.

Become a Member!

Are you an actor, producer, stage manager,
director, interested in the essential behind-
the-scenes stuff or even an eager spectator?
If you have any questions, email our membership
chairperson at We’d be
delighted to have you as part of our theatre community!

The Mercury Players are a local welcoming group of

theatre enthusiasts who enjoy presenting a variety of
genres of plays - from comedies and musicals to mysteries
and dramas and everything in between. The Mercury
Players average 3 - 4 shows each theatre season. We
hold open auditions for most shows and invite anyone to
audition for a role. Besides acting, there are spaces for -
people who like to do set design and building, lighting and
Ten Old Books
sound designers, costume designers, and front of house. 330 Duncan Street
Almost any position of a theatre production is open to both
young or old. Every second week from September to June, 250-715-1383
we arrange play readings starting at 7 pm Wednesday
evenings. The readings are held online with Zoom or in
person as arranged by the Play Reading Committee.

Yearly memberships are available at the following rates:

Individuals $15, Couples & Families $30

Check us out on Facebook (Mercury Player Events) or

watch our website for updates. Local 1-1937

Thank you to
The Mercury Players Society the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937
who provided a home base to the Mercury
Secretary: Players for 22 seasons.
Thank you to all our friends!
A few short weeks ago, many emails, text
messages and phone calls urgently spread the
news that the Mercury Players were losing their
home of many years, the Mercury Theatre on
Brae Road. We reached out to our wonderful
community for support and receved it. We are
deeply grateful to everyone who helped us move Sunday service at 10:00 am.
a mountain of stuff, and find places to store it. Office Hours: 9am to 12 noon
The dust hasn’t settled yet but we have a show, Monday to Friday
on a stage, in front of an audience!
Who could ask for anything more? 246 Ingram Street, Duncan BC

a compelling drama by Gary Owen

April 13-23 · Heritage Hall at Duncan United Church

At a Cowichan Valley Venue in May

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