Star power steps off the big screen and onto the Nelson Civic Theatre stage on Wednesday, March 19, when the Civic shows Canadian filmmaker Bruce MacDonald’s new film The Husband. Along for the screening is principal actress and Nelson native Sarah Allen.
Allen grew up in Nelson, where she found the Capitol Theatre stage early.
“The first time I saw Sarah on stage it was for Something’s Afoot, and she was about 12 years old. The director, Karen Aun, told me: ‘There’s one down there with star quality,’” says former Capitol Theatre manager Margaret Stacey. “Sure enough, as the show grew, she grew. It was the beginning of a great career. Sarah is a remarkable presence on stage.”
After graduation from LV Rogers secondary school, Allen completed the acting program at the prestigious National Theatre School of Canada, and later studied at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto. From drama festivals as a teen Allen went on to fringe festivals as a young actress, and then Hollywood called.
Allen has played in television, including the mini-series Human Trafficking alongside Donald Sutherland, recurring roles on Murdoch Mysteries and Little Mosque on the Prairie, and the lead role in the CBC series Jozi-H. Most recently, she played Rachel in the CBC series Best Laid Plans. Filmography includes The Secret Window, St. Roz, and On the Road.
The director of The Husband, Bruce MacDonald, has credits in television (Queer as Folk, DeGrassi: the Next Generation, Bomb Girls, and most recently, Cracked), but he is perhaps best known as a filmmaker specializing in the off-beat. Titles include Highway 61 and Roadkill, Dance me Outside, The Tracey Fragments, and Hard Core Logo. He has won 21 awards and 17 nominations for his work.
The Husband is billed as a “raw and open-hearted” dark comedy-drama about a man left to care for his infant son after his wife, a teacher, is imprisoned for as sexual affair with a minor. It won top prize at the Whistler International Film Festival.
“Having an actor or director at a film screening is always wonderful — it helps us understand what goes on behind the scenes,” says Civic Theatre manager Jason Asbell. “Having Sarah here will be especially great, because of the home-town connection. We get to celebrate one of our own.”
The Husband screens at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19, and people are encouraged to come early; doors open at 6:45 p.m. Advance tickets can be purchased online, and more information is available at civictheatre.ca.