Stevensville Playhouse is presenting "The Tin Woman" about a young woman who received a donated heart, starting Friday, May 10 and continuing through May 19.
Director Susan McCauley said she knew she would have to direct it.
“It is a relatively new show which won my heart the first time I read it,” McCauley said. “It is based on a true story by Sean Grennan. The Tin Woman is the story of a young woman, Joy, whose life is given an unexpected jump-start through the gift of a donated heart.”
McCauley called the production at the Stevensville Playhouse is “awesome.”
“We have the perfect cast,” she said. “The cast has embodied the characters. The Tin Woman uses humor and pathos to explore loss. Joy’s yearning to meet the still-grieving family who made the donation results in an ending surprising for all.”
The Stevensville Playhouse originally considered producing it on Valentine’s Day then considered Giving Friday Day (last week).
“We wanted to give back but in our research found that 92% of licensed drivers in Montana are organ donors, the highest percentage in the entire country,” McCauley said. “That is something to celebrate. This is more than a well-written, enlightening show, is an education on being a donor, or a recipient and the challenges for both parties.”
She decided to go a different route on giving and anyone who is part of an organ donor family may see the show for free and anyone who works in the medical community can receive two tickets for the price of one.
McCauley called "The Tin Woman" a “dramedy” a mixture of drama and comedy.
“It isn’t depressing because you truly laugh so much at the things that happen in the family unit,” she said. “You’ve had those times with your kids. Anyone could relate whether a parent or not. It is about relationships and how we each cope with challenging situations.”
McCauley said the play was taken from a true story. Everyone from Canada knows Joy, she said.
“I talked with the author and he even sent us a card wishing us good luck on our performance,” she said.
Jaime Williams stars as “The Tin Woman,” Joy, who receives a heart transplant.
Williams said the part is challenging.
“She goes on a journey of survivor’s remorse, ‘why me?’” Williams said. “For her to live someone else had to die. It is a journey of self-discovery.”
In the script Joy reaches out to the donor’s family and they develop a relationship.
“They heal each other, she helps the family heal from the loss of their son and they help her heal and realize why she is alive,” Williams said. “There are a lot of emotions. There are a lot of depression issues so you have to find that spot. There are a lot of relationship building so you have to find that spot.”
Williams said there is also a lot of humor in the production.
“As an actor you have to break in and out of these emotions,” Williams said. “It has been a challenge but also an amazing journey.”
The Tin Woman cast is Kevin Crews as Hank; Alex Kelly — Jack; Jaime Williams — Joy; Megan Folsom — Nurse/ Darla; Carrie Storrow — Alice; and April Floyd as Sammy.
The Tin Woman crew is Susan McCauley — director and set designer; Deb Goslin — assistant director; Karen Wandler — costume; Kyslei Williams — lights; and Jonah Renaud — sound.
“There is some strong language but it is not terribly offensive,” McCauley said. “Age 11 and up will enjoy it, younger won’t have the life experience to really appreciate it.”