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Cast members needed for play featuring local history

NEW GLASGOW – It was a story that needed to be told, says the writer of a new play depicting the travels of a catechist of the Church of England who taught people along the Eastern Shore about faith in the 1840s.

Marilyn Haugen Strand holds excerpts from Joseph Alexander’s journal, a catechist of the Church of England who taught the word of God along the eastern shore in the 1840s. His words inspired her to write a play she’s preparing to put on in the area and for which she is seeking cast members. AMANDA JESS – THE NEWS

When Marilyn Haugen Strand began reading the journal of Joseph Alexander, she was struck by Alexander’s commitment, the willingness of the locals to learn not only about faith but also other forms of knowledge, and the actual words of Alexander showing the way of speaking in the area at the time.

“Any written word was like gold to them,” she said of the locals, many of whom were illiterate at the time.

Strand, a Lutheran pastor who is new to the area, is seeking cast and choir members for her new play, Catechisms in the Wilderness, which she wrote last winter.

After finishing up a Christmas production in Sherbooke Village, she decided to look into local history, asking archivists if there was anything she should explore.

That led her to Alexander’s chronicling of his education journey from Beaver Harbour to Cole Harbour.

The production in inter-generational with parts for people aged three to 93 with some or no acting experience.

In addition to a variety of adult roles and small roles for children, Strand is looking for three boys: aged 7 to 10, 10 to 14, and 10 to 16 as well as a girl aged 16 to 20 to play major roles.

Rehearsals are expected to begin in early April with most of them being held during the day on Saturdays at the New Glasgow Library.

It’s scheduled for three performances: June 13 and 20 at the Celtic Circle and June 27 at Sherbrooke Village.

Strand would like to hear from any community member who would like to be involved as an actor, choir member or back stage person.

She can be contacted at 902-870-4471 or through email at


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