ARTIST'S NOTES - The Lawyer of La Salette
Whenever I get a chance to write a play that tells a story close to home, I get a little giddy (home is Norfolk County where La Salette is). I try to believe that once you leave home you can never go back. Home becomes a memory. And while I love my home, I feel alien returning to it now that all of my friends have either moved away or moved on with their lives. But my Dad is still there, and my Grandma and they remind me I will always have a place in Norfolk. I hope the heart of my home can be felt in this play and I hope to continue to tell the stories of my home for years to come.
This play has also connected me to a piece of my heritage I didn't realize I knew anything about before: Ireland. There's a bit of dialogue in the show: "How much do you know about the Great Irish Famine?" "As much as everyone else." "So nothing." And it was true. I knew absolutely nothing about Irish history. At the same time I was writing this play, I was also taking Irish accent classes. Seeing the charts on the rapid decline of Gaelic in less than 200 years, seeing English become the dominant language, and then connecting that with my new understanding of the effects of the famine, I felt hollow.
Storytelling, theatre, that is what keeps these memories alive, it's all we have to stop from repeating history. This show is just another story amidst the stories we tell, it's an idea. Sadly, it's ending deviates from the current reality of the world, but we remain ever hopeful.