Dancing on the Elephant by Lisa Hagen
Edna wants to escape her Cape Breton retirement home because she has alienated everyone, insisting she had affairs with their now deceased husbands. She conscripts newby Nora to be an accessory to the crime. The duo’s observations about why it’s better to have a male nurse give you a bath, or how to stay wasted so the nurse doesn't notice their dementia adds to their quest to regain agency in their own lives.
Overcoming nasty Nursey, they make good on their great escape only to be returned by Nora’s son, Damn Kenny, but not before Edna steals his towels, lamp and a wax removal kit which she wants to try out on her lady bits.
Chair exercise, carpet bowling, and incessant, weekly Ceilidhs illustrate the absurdism of growing old, but each gains confidence from the other to take on their fears. As Edna's dementia progresses, she lives in the past more and more and we see a glimpse of her life. Nora must step up as the leader and take on Nursey, who in turn becomes a better caregiver and mother because of the two women.
Produced by Theatre Baddeck, Nova Scotia, 2018 and by Lost & Found Theatre, Waterloo, ON
*Soon to be released as a feature film
Keywords: Seniors, old women, female, retirement, comedy, dramedy, nursing home, nurse, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, funny, humour, crusty, Alzheimers, dementia, old, senile
Running Time: 90 minutes
Content note: Contains mild swearing, discussion of war and implied abortion
Cast size: 3 actors
Female Cast: 3
Casting note: 2 women in their 80's suggest being depicted by 40+ year olds aged up. No specified races as long as they can do a Cape Breton accent.