It’s been over a year since Hunter Cardinal took to the stage in a scripted show. He’d done workshops over Zoom and a few improv performances during the 2021 Fringe Festival, but he is hitting the stage once again for a revival of the one man show Lake of the Strangers, created and co-written by his sister, Jacquelyn. (Both are Top 40 Under 40 alumni.)
“It feels amazing, but at the same time, I’m like, ‘Acting is hard,’’ says Cardinal. “I’m really looking forward to just standing on the shoulders of the entire production team that we have assembled. We have such brilliant minds…so it’s just so exciting and I feel like the luckiest person being able to ride this really amazing wave.”
Lake of the Strangers, co-produced by Fringe Theatre and Naheyawin, opens Fringe Theatre’s 2021/22 season with a one-night-only adapted hybrid show. A limited quantity of in-person tickets are available and the hour-long show will stream live on Fringe TV for anyone not quite comfortable sitting in a theatre yet.
The show is set in 1973 in Sucker Creek, Alberta, and tells the story of two brothers who embark on their last summer adventure together. The play includes pieces of ancient Nehiyaw mythology, family history and Cree language. “It’s not just a piece of theatre, it’s a storytelling show,” says Cardinal.
Lake of the Strangers premiered in 2019 in the Backstage theatre and won a Sterling award for Outstanding New Play.
A live performance from Jay Gilday takes place on the Lake of the Strangers set the night before the play. The music reflects on the themes of ancestry, relations and place that are present in the play.
Watch Jay Gilday at the Westbury Theatre in the ATB Financial Arts Barns on December 10 and return on December 11 for Lake of the Strangers. Tickets for each performance are $10.