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Gallery 7 Theatre in Abbotsford presents virtual play A New Normal

Original play by local writer Shelly Picard available on demand starting May 28
Shelly Picard (left) and Sarah Wiget star in Gallery 7 Theatre’s latest production, A New Normal, written by Picard. (Dianna Lewis Photography)

Gallery 7 Theatre presents a virtual production of a new play by Abbotsford playwright Shelly Picard.

The play, A New Normal, will be available on demand starting May 28. There will also be two screening events live-streamed at 7:30 p.m. on May 28 and 29 with post-show artist chats.

Ken Hildebrandt, Gallery 7’s executive artistic director, said the production is about “new beginnings, about coming to terms with the past and moving forward with renewed passion and purpose.”

In A New Normal, Maggie is fiercely independent but now needs someone to rely on as financial strains threaten her living. Helen is challenged by her inability to function on her own in a modern world and is seeking her own independence.

Thrown together by diametrically different circumstances by becoming roommates, they scramble through the adjustments of day-to-day life and discover something to be treasured.

Hildebrandt said this “inspiring, often humorous and uplifting play” explores perception and judgment and how what the world sees is not necessarily the reality being lived.

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Playing the role of Maggie is Picard, who has performed in numerous productions at Gallery 7 Theatre, including Pride and Prejudice, Crossing Delancey and Lost in Yonkers.

Returning to Gallery 7 Theatre after a 10-year hiatus to play the role of Helen is Sarah Wiget. Though this is Wiget’s first performance on stage at the theatre, she has designed makeup for a number of productions, including Thunder at Dawn.

Rounding out the cast are Laura Kehler as Mrs. Bronson, counsellor to Helen and eventual confidant of Maggie’s; Tamara Charman as Esther, Helen’s estranged sister; and Trudy-Bridgette Smith as Caroline, a college student.

Directing is Langley-based director and actor Jacq Ainsworth, who has directed numerous productions, including Noises Off and The Comedy of Errors. This production marks his first directing project for Gallery 7 Theatre.

“My hope is that audiences will see characters they would want to welcome into their own homes, to find strength in the way they overcome their challenges, and find hope where they start to see ways out of their dark paths,” concludes Ainsworth.

Supporting Ainsworth are production designer Matthew Piton, sound designer Bethany Somerville, stage managers Nelly Fargeon and Brittany Suderman, digital technician and editor Aaron Dawson, assistant director of photography and editor Veda Maharaj, and production photographer Dianna Lewis.

Tickets are $5 each or $20 for households of four or more. The play contains mature content, including a discussion about a past sexual assault and a description of an instance of bullying.

Visit for tickets or more information.

Abbotsford News Staff

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