Nelson actress Sarah Allen will attend a screening of her latest film, The Husband, at the Civic Theatre this coming Wednesday.
The L.V. Rogers alumna, now living in Toronto, plays a married woman about to be released from prison after serving her time for statutory rape of a 14-year-old boy. Now she needs to earn the forgiveness of her husband (played by Maxwell McCabe-Lokos), so that the couple and their infant son can be a family again.
As the film title suggests, viewers experience the drama from the husband’s perspective.
“You see how much he is suffering because of this horrible thing my character is guilty of doing,” Allen explains. “She’s served her time in prison and she’s waiting for forgiveness. But you don’t know if that’s going to be possible.”
The film has been described as a romantic thriller, and Allen is quick to point our that there’s comedic moments as well: “It’s not as dark as it sounds,” she insists.
The film, directed by Bruce McDonald, debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September. In December, it won the Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature at the Whistler Film Festival.
It’s one of several places you can see Allen on screen. Two of her television series are currently on the air. She’s in medical drama Remedy on Global Monday nights, and the Québécois police series 19-2 on Bravo Wednesday nights.
Allen said she knew from the time she was in middle school that she wanted to be an actress. Her drama teacher, Geoff Burns,
recommended she go to the National Theatre School on Canada. But the first time she applied to the school they didn’t let her in.
So, after high school she ended up working as a nanny overseas for a year, then coming back to Nelson and getting a job at Pacific Insight Electronics.
“I had no idea what else to do with my life,” she recalls.
Fortunately, Nelson’s theatre community brought her into their fold. She got back on the Capitol Theatre stage, playing roles alongside Jeff and Lisel Forst in Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and eventually landed her first paid acting gig with former Capitol Theatre manager Margaret Stacey.
“She gave me my paycheque along with a card that said, ‘here’s your first paycheque as an actor — it won’t be your last,’ and I believed her,” Allen says.
With a little more experience under her belt, she re-applied and was finally accepted to the National Theatre School. She graduated in 2002 and has been working in television and movies ever since.
It’s been around five years since Allen last visited Nelson. Her family, who used to run Ted Allen’s Jewellery on Baker Street, has moved away and she doesn’t have many childhood friends who haven’t also left for bigger cities. But the opportunity to attend the film screening was all the excuse she needed to plan a trip back to her hometown.
“I really miss Nelson,” she says. “I can’t wait to get there and do some skiing.”
The Husband will be screening Wednesday, March 19 at the Civic Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are available at civictheatre.ca.