Do you ever wonder what can happen in a marriage and family when a healthy adult suddenly faces a permanent disability?
I can answer that question. But not in this blog post. Questions of such magnitude call for bold measures when you’re a drama queen. That’s why rehearsals are underway for a never-before-produced play the Prairie Players will take to the 2015 ACT Festival in Dauphin the first weekend in May. The play is called Sleeping with a One-Armed Man.
As the writer and director of this piece, based loosely on our own true story, I confess I’ve been a bit chicken to see it moving forward. Since writing it 15 years ago, I always figured it was merely a therapeutic effort that would never actually see the stage. But its 35-minute running time makes it a good fit for the ACT Festival. And since this fall will mark 20 years that I’ve been sleeping with a one-armed man, the timing seemed right. (And yes, we’re doing this with the one-armed man’s blessing.) It features the stellar cast of Christopher Kitchen, Laurel Giesbrecht, Vicki Hooke, Rosa Rawlings, and Terry Tully. Stephanie Kauffman rules as our capable stage manager.
Now that rehearsals have begun and I can see what a terrific job my actors are doing, I’m getting excited. But then, the potential for making audiences laugh, cry, and think new thoughts always excites me. In order for our families and friends here at home to see this play, we’ve decided to open our final rehearsal to the public.
Although it would be worth the price of admission just to see Chris Kitchen undergo an amputation, we’ve decided to let folks in for free and collect donations for Manitoba Farmers with Disabilities. MFWD is dedicated to educating the public about farm safety and to providing a support network for farmers living with disabilities in our province.
Based out of Elm Creek, MFWD recently constructed a new headquarters from which to carry out their mandate. They know that after a serious injury or illness, a person may experience symptoms of overwhelming guilt, issues of acceptance, and the inability to communicate with family and friends. An important part of the healing process involves talking about your situation with someone who will listen and understand—someone who perhaps has gone through the same experience.
In addition to networking, MFWD provides resources like books, downloads, videos, coloring books, peer counselling, newsletters, and more. It’s one of those groups no one ever hopes to belong to, but when you need it, you’re glad it’s there.
An old African-American hymn says, “Time is filled with swift transition, none on earth unmoved can stand. Build your hopes on things eternal, hold to God’s unchanging hand.”
Such is the theme of this story. We hope you can join us on Wednesday, April 29, 7:30 p.m. at the William Glesby Centre in Portage la Prairie. Mark your calendar and watch for more details.