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A Review of Harvest by Sharon Grose

Web posted on September 06, 2012

Review - Harvest by Sharon Grose
Elmira Theatre Company's latest play, Harvest is based on real life experiences of playwright Ken Cameron's own parents. Picture a charming older couple, with no offspring interested in farming. The farm has been in the family for generations, and they are not quite ready to walk away from the farm completely. When they find "a nice young man" willing to rent the farm house they think their problems are solved. They can move into town, but still be connected with the land. When they discover the "nice young man" has turned their farm house into a marijuana grow-op, they are suddenly in the midst of unexpected, retirement adventure.

We all know family, or neighbours who have farmed all their lives, only to come to retirement age and have no off spring interested in taking over the home farm. It is never an easy decision, particularly if it is a farm that has been in the family for generations. There are many memories tied to the land especially if the farmer or his wife were born and raised on the farm.

In their quest to sell their farm, Allan and Charlotte Duncanson discover that their farmhouse is severed from the farmland. A neighbour is ready and willing to buy the land but has no interest in another house. They don't really mind because keeping the farm house gives them a reason to come back to the country. They can still tend the gardens, harvest the raspberries and vegetables.  It means that they don`t have to get rid of everything all at once when they move to town. 

Allan and Charlotte Duncanson think all their problems are solved when a nice young man, claiming to be a pilot with a green thumb, agrees to rent their farm house. But the pilot has a more lucrative cash crop than raspberries in mind when he moves into the farm house. Two months later, the Duncansons discover that their rental agreement has their retirement plans going all to pot-literally.

Not wanting to appear to be noisy land lords, the couple leave their renters to fend for themselves until they receive the farm house hydro bill. A visit out to the farm, has them calling the police and discovering no furniture just mould throughout the first floor of the farm house. They have rented to a man who has set up a grow-op, and the trouble begins.

Director Gord Davis directs Michele DiTomasso (Charlotte) and Trevor Smith-Diggans (Allan) through a whirl wind of emotional connect and disconnect with their family farm house.

Pictured are Michele DiTomasso (Charlotte) and Trevor Smith-Diggans (Allan) on stage at the Elmira Theatre until Sept 22nd. Photo by Sharon Grose

The couple work well together, as they play the various parts and it is a delight to watch them together on the Elmira stage. They are quick change artists, playing multiple roles on stage. These two actors move in and out of the various characters smoothly.

Charlotte and Allan have weathered their share of problems over the years and they are determined not to let this challenge get the better of them. They face this trouble together, and try to make the best of it. There are several touching moments and many occasions for laughter. This is a close to life comedy, with plenty of snippets of marital humour.

There are lots of great references to local characters and local places including Wallenstein, and Alma and some interesting references to farm family dynamics, and rural living. This play is sure to be a hit with rural folks.

Tickets are $18.00 per person and are available at Centre in the Square Box Office, located at 101 Queen street North, Kitchener, ON N2H 6P7. Telephone 519-578-1570 or toll free 1-800-265-8977 or CASH only at the door in Elmira, if tickets are available.

NOTE All performances are at Elmira Theatre at 76 Howard Avenue, Elmira, ON.

The Preformances are:
Thurs. September 13, 2012 8:00PM
Friday September 14, 2012 8:00PM
Saturday September 15, 2012 8:00PM

There is on matinee
Sunday September 16, 2012 2:30PM

Thursday September 20, 2012 8:00PM
Friday September 21, 2012 8:00PM
Saturday September 22, 2012 8:00PM