Award-winning, poignant production Jake’s Gift staged at River Run Centre Friday, November 10
GUELPH, ON October 24, 2017 – Share in a performance about remembrance and the story behind one soldier’s sacrifice when the award-winning play Jake’s Gift is staged at River Run Centre on Friday, November 10, at 8 p.m. The Co-operators Hall performance is presented as part of the RBC Showcase Series.
Jake’s Gift was inspired by playwright and actor Julia Mackey’s travels to Normandy, France in June 2004 for ceremonies commemorating the 60th anniversary of D-Day. Mackey spent a week touring the Normandy coast, interviewing Canadian, British and U.S. veterans, as well as tourists and locals along the way. The one-woman play she created tells the story of a Canadian Second World War veteran’s reluctant return to Normandy for the 60th anniversary commemoration.
“It was one of the most moving journeys of my life and I felt compelled to share that experience with other Canadians,” Mackey says. “I attended ceremonies, visited graveyards and walked the beaches and countryside. I interviewed dozens of veterans who had returned for the anniversary. For many, it was their first time back since the war.”
Jake’s Gift opens on the shores of Juno Beach, when Jake encounters Isabelle, a precocious 10-year-old from the local village. Isabelle’s inquisitive nature and charm challenge the veteran to confront long-ignored ghosts, most notably the wartime death of his eldest brother.
“Moving, poignant, exceptionally funny and timeless,” Karen Jeffery of British Columbia’s Sunset Theatre noted in a review. “One of the best pieces of theatre I have ever seen.”
Since January 2007, Juno Productions has performed Jake’s Gift in theatres, community halls, schools and Legions in more than 235 communities across Canada. The play has also been staged in the U.S. and England, as well as in Normandy as part of 70th and 73rd anniversary D-Day commemorations.
“Jake’s Gift is a love letter to all veterans and is my way of saying thank you to a generation of men and women who sacrificed much for the greater good,” Mackey says. “Every day, I become more aware of how quickly that generation is leaving us now…I will keep telling their story long after they are gone.”
Tickets to see Jake’s Gift cost $32 for adults, $30 for seniors and students, and $25 for children 14 and under. Tickets for military service veterans cost $25. $20 uGO tickets are available to university and college students with valid ID. $5 eyeGO tickets are available to high school students with valid ID. Suggested for ages 10 and up. Tickets can be purchased at River Run Centre box office, 35 Woolwich St. in Guelph, by calling 519-763-3000, or online at riverrun.ca/jakes-gift.
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