Gracie takes the stage

ATP presents play on polygamous Mormon life

Photo courtesy of Alberta Theatre Projects

Photo courtesy of Alberta Theatre Projects

Gracie offers audience members a chance to walk in the shoes of a young woman living in a polygamous Mormon community and experience her dilemmas.

Presented by Alberta Theatre Projects (ATP), the play will run from Feb. 28 to March 18 in the Martha Cohen Theatre in Calgary.

“It doesn’t really judge,” said Lili Beaudoin, who plays the titular character. “It just offers a glimpse into this world.”

Gracie is a family drama that details the life of a young Mormon woman growing up in a community where women have a very specific role and family is everything.

“You get to see her through many different years until she is 15,” Beaudoin said.

As Gracie grows older, she must deal with her disillusionment and decide whether or not to embrace the outside world.

“She eventually finds her way on the other side.”

Gracie was written by Joan MacLeod and directed by Vanessa Porteous.

Beaudoin said she was impressed by how MacLeod’s play was able to capture a Mormon community while also giving her side of it. 

MacLeod has also written The Shape of A Girl, Another Home Invasion and The Valley, all of which were launched by ATP.

Beaudoin said the major challenge she faced for this production was learning all there was to know about Mormonism and the lifestyle associated with it.

“With Gracie, there’s so much research.”

Beaudoin is no stranger to the acting scene. Both her parents were involved with shows, which allowed her to enter the field.

“I was introduced into acting from a very young age,” Beaudoin said. “It’s always been part of my life.”

After graduating from Studio 58, a professional theatre training school in Vancouver, Beaudoin spent the next four years acting in a variety of productions.

A day after graduation, she took on the role of Miranda in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Some of her other productions include Love’s Labours Lost, Sister Judy, Showdown and numerous others.

She also does voice-over work for animated shows such as Beat Bugs and My Little Pony.

Beaudoin said her favourite aspects of acting are learning new things and being able to become new people.

“Every time I get a new role, I get to become a part of the world.”

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