The making of The Philanthropist: Part 3

August 24 is drawing near

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Who is the man wearing the top hat? Mike Boden has yet to reveal who will play the role of Jeffery Hale in The Philanthropist. It’s going to be one Hale of a story!

With the August 24 launch date of The Philanthropist fast approaching, we reached out to Mike Boden and Cheryl Rimmer to tell us more about the production. “Our multimedia team has been holding exciting and innovative sessions over the past few months, choosing images and visual designs to complement the narrative and enhance the audience experience, yet not detract from the acting,” says Boden.

“The Philanthropist’s multimedia team is composed of Émile Beauchemin (multimedia consultant), Julie Voyer (graphic designer), Mark Lepitre, Michèle Provencher, Kathleen Poulin and Cheryl Rimmer. It’s great to witness the chemistry and passion that transpires at our production meetings,” adds Boden.

Project manager and director Cheryl Rimmer echoes the sentiment. “This has been one of the most exciting opportunities I have had to bring my experience, enthusiasm and love of theatre, multimedia and history together,” she affirms.

“I was hooked from the beginning. From the first time I read the script of The Philanthropist, I had a vision that complimented how Mike saw this project, his project, which I respected from the get-go for its genuine approach and intention to tell the story of Jeffery Hale – his life and his little-known legacy. His intention has brought so many people together and has evolved into something that has truly embraced the community, which is so appropriate to the story.”

Rimmer continues, “Absolutely everyone involved is bringing their best. Cast, crew, artists, musicians, administrators, carpenters, tailors and muses all contribute equally. To say it a pleasure to work with such a dedicated, eclectic and talented group of people feels like an understatement, but it truly is a pleasure.”

Over 15 actors will take to the stage, each carefully chosen by Rimmer. “I have to say Cheryl has done a tremendous job in her selections. Her knowledge and experience in casting is obvious and she has so many contacts in the community,” Boden exclaims.

Speaking of Jeffery Hale, exactly who will play the man himself...? As Boden explains, there is a fair bit of mystery attached to this project. “First of all, our community doesn’t really know much about Jeffery Hale. Despite the fact that many of us were born at the Jeffery Hale Hospital, have taken our kids to the emergency, or have had a loved one stay in the rehabilitation or palliative care units, we don’t really know who he was. I want people to be curious, so I’m not quite ready to reveal the actor who will play Jeffery Hale at this point. What I can tell you is that he is a very engaging actor who has a strong stage presence.”

Boden is more than happy, however, to reveal the name of The Philanthropist’s costume designer, Mark Lepitre. “I have seen some of Mark’s designs. Not only are they are accurate representations from the era, I know they will look stunning on stage,” he exclaims. “Just to give you an example of the detail involved, he hand-sewed 30 buttons and 15 metres of trim on one single coat!”

“I consider myself lucky to have worked with many fine people on this production. Theatre can be a fickle business for some and a quirky hobby for others. But when you are involved in a community-based production like this, you get to work with all kinds people, and all of them are an inspiration. There is no room for egos, everyone pulls together. Everyone gives it their all, in their hope and desire to entertain the audience and to share something they feel worth sharing. It’s an incredible experience,” Rimmer concludes.

To learn more, visit the Web page.

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You may purchase tickets at or by calling Kathleen Poulin at 418 684-5333, ext. 1384.