Unrealized dreams, strained relationships, aging parents — these ingredients for a mid-life crisis also present a gold-mine for situational comedy.
The latest Central Alberta Theatre production, Real Estate, by Canadian playwright Allana Harkin, draws from the deep well of discontent to provide a relatable play that mixes laughs with some heartfelt drama.
As soon as CAT director Dale Latam read the script, she was riveted by the realistic characters and witty dialogue: “It’s a well-written play about real people who are struggling” — and that’s something most of us can empathize with, said Latam.
Real Estate, which runs to March 30 at the Black Knight Inn Dinner Theatre, is about Joel, an author with writer’s block, who can’t afford to keep the lakeside home that once belonged to his parents.
With his dad’s health worsening in a nursing home and the bank about to foreclose on the house, Joel doesn’t need a distracting visit from his ex-wife Stella and her man-purse-toting successful boyfriend, Ted.
Just as things appear at their bleakest, Joel meets eager new real-estate agent, Emma, who is tasked with selling his house before the bank repossesses it.
Emma soon realizes that the 1950s cabin isn’t her only make-work project, but that Joel could also use a make-over, said Latam.
Will the eager-beaver realtor and the disillusioned writer discover they have more in common than they thought? Latam said audience members are in for an entertaining ride as they watch this story unfold on stage.
With a cast of fresh-faced as well as veteran actors, she has been challenged with creating a fast-paced production that will engage an audience while also leaving theatre-goers with some food for thought.
She believes Real Estate tells a truthful story about the choices people make and “finding value in personal relationships.”
Latam believes it’s possible to get stuck in a rut, unable to see opportunities that await. Sometimes an outsider can help us discover a more positive mindset.
“I just want people to know that life is full of ups and downs, but never give up. Life is an adventure.”
Tickets are available from the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre.