Touching remembrance play returns to Alberta

Out of pure demand, playwright and actress Julia Mackey is bringing the remembrance themed Jake’s Gift back to Alberta

Julia Mackey and Dirk van Stralen are bringing the highly received Jake’s Gift back to Alberta with a performance at the Ponoka Legion on April 17.

Julia Mackey and Dirk van Stralen are bringing the highly received Jake’s Gift back to Alberta with a performance at the Ponoka Legion on April 17.

Out of pure demand, playwright and actress Julia Mackey is bringing the remembrance themed Jake’s Gift back to Alberta with a performance at the Ponoka Legion on Friday, April 17.

Last year Mackey performed in Bashaw and Elnora and she says a few of the ladies who were in Elnora at the time have ties to the Ponoka Legion; they are the driving force behind the play coming to Ponoka.

“They contacted us to back in the spring,” said Mackey.

“I’m so excited,” she added.

In what she is now calling an accidental tour, Mackey and her director Dirk van Stralen are returning from British Columbia for a 10-show Alberta-wide tour. “We’ve actually started to build a really nice little tour.”

The pull from Alberta to bring Jake’s Gift back was so strong Mackey says it surprised both her and van Stralen. “We’re just constantly amazed at the number of people who came back to see the show.”

With the recent run in central Alberta last September and November, Mackey had no idea she would be returning to the province so soon. “It’s been a nice problem to have,” she said.

She is also looking forward to perform the play at a Legion. “There is so much history there connected to the show,” she added.

Taking into account brief adult language coming from the mouth of an ‘old war veteran,’ played by Mackey, she says the show is a good outing for parents and grandparents.

“I think what’s true overall, it’s a great multigenerational story,” said Mackey.

She says the themes of Jake’s Gift are also something worth looking for. “Remembrance, friendship, forgiveness, all of these things are universal.”

The show will start at 8 p.m. and the $20 tickets will be available at the Legion.