Cast Spotlight: Shannon Lahaie

Time for our first Wait Until Dark cast spotlight! Shannon Lahaie stars as Susy Hendricks, a blind housewife living in 1960s New York.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do when you’re not rehearsing for Wait Until Dark?
    Outside of the show, I also write, rehearse, and perform with the sketch comedy troupe, Dame Judy Dench. We’ve been lucky enough to be accepted into The Toronto Fringe Festival this summer for the third time in a row.
2. How did you hear about the show? What made you want to get involved?
    I saw a facebook post shared by a friend of mine about auditions for the show. I had been saying how badly I wanted to do a play, and knew the film. I love the story and the character challenge of playing Susy, a blind woman having to outwit a group of con men. It was something that really appealed to me, I knew I had to do it.
3. What has been your favourite moment in rehearsal so far?
   I’d have to say the fight rehearsal was a standout day. It was a great bonding moment for us all to go around and practice choking and kicking each other, laughing and playing the whole time. Then to get to the detailed choreography of the individual fights, especially the end where Susy gets to kick some butt was really thrilling.
4. How do you prepare for playing a role like Susy? 
    I’ve never had a chance to play a character like Susy before. I feel like there’s so much to prepare. I want to avoid playing that showy blind default, constantly walking with hands out front. It’s also difficult in rehearsal, when I want to visually engage with my scene partners, and having to force myself not to make eye contact. It’s such second nature to me, so I really have to think about how else I can engage with my acting partners without using my eyes, playing with how Susy interacts with each individual differently. The script has many clues throughout about Susy and all her quirks at coping with her blindness, so I’m lucky in that way.
5. Why should everyone come see the show?
   It’s a wonderful thriller. There’s a lot to have fun with, and the energy of this cast is something I think the audience will get carried away with. It’s touching, mysterious, funny, and at times flat out scary. There’s so much to enjoy.
6. Any final thoughts?
    I’m so grateful for the chance to play Susy and work with this great cast of people. Also to my ever supportive partner, Andrew, who pushed me to submit to the casting, when I doubted if I could.
Come see the talented Shannon Lahaie onstage April 14-16th in the rehearsal hall at Tarragon Theatre. Tickets onsale now.
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Author: BygoneTheatre

Bygone Theatre was founded as a collective in October of 2012, and became an incorporated not-for-profit company in October of 2015. Our mandate is to produce theatre written or set in the early 20th century, focusing on historical aspects in design and incorporating a classic cinema aesthetic. ​ In 2019 Bygone Theatre was nominated for 14 Broadway World Toronto Awards, including Best Community Theatre and Best Play (Equity). We took home a total of 5 awards, 4 of which were for The Rear Window, including Best Direction of a Play (Equity); Best Original Lighting Design; Best Leading Actor (Play, Equity); and Best Featured Actress (Play, Equity). We took a hiatus our 2020/21 season because of the COVID19 pandemic, and used that time to develop our charitable initiatives. In August of 2021 we were nominated for the Toronto Star Readers' Choice Award for Best Live Theatre. Part of our mission involves inclusion and accessibility, and we strive to allow artists of all backgrounds and levels of experience the chance to have hands-on experience in whatever capacity they are most interested in; this has included youth outreach programs for high school students interested in production design, and acting opportunities for those who have never performed onstage.

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