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Mary's Wedding Offers Romance and History in a Beautifully Staged Play


Mary’s Wedding, the Valentine’s Day timed production from all for One, tells the love story of English emigrant Mary and Charlie, a Canadian who fights in World War I. The story unfolds on the eve of their wedding, and the tale is a perfect Valentine experience, even in the weeks following. Running at the ArtsLab February 18-27, Mary’s Wedding features a cast of two: Cooper Beer and Jessica Munsie. Guest director Mary Beth Frank, a veteran of productions with Fire & Light, is guest director for the project, something she has been wanting to do for some time.

“I had done eight to 10 shows in four or five years,” Frank said. “I used to teach at Imagine Academy, and I was interested in spreading my wings, expanding my horizons to adult productions. I love kids, but I was just ready to work with adults.”

After having coffee with all for One artistic director Lauren Nichols, Frank found her opportunity with Mary’s Wedding.

“I was looking for something small for my first production with all for One, and I had seen another production by the same playwright and loved it and started looking for something else he’d written. Mary’s Wedding is small, romantic for the Valentine’s slot, and really quaint. And the writing is brilliant.”

The story is romantic, but it also touches on themes of loneliness and isolation with Mary grappling with the concerns for her soldier as he faces adversity in the war. Frank warns that the play may not be suitable for younger audience members due to loud explosions and artillery fire. But the themes are well understood by those who have faced the love and pain portrayed in the story.

“This play is for people who don’t normally go to shows,” Frank said. “Men really resonate with the war scenes and the struggles Charlie is going through. Women resonate with supporting people you care for deeply. It’s a love story set against a war story. I definitely encourage those who enjoy historical pieces, shows about World War I or World War II, to check it out. We rented a historically accurate prop gun which cannot be used in the traditional way because it’s built for the stage. But we’re making it historically accurate.”

For tickets to Mary’s Wedding, call (260) 422-4226 or visit artstix.org.

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