Sun, November 30, 2008
Tale of tree resonates with actress
UPDATED: 2008-11-30 02:36:23 MST
By LOUIS HOBSON
In Lunchbox Theatre’s The Christmas Tree, Heather Lea MacCallum plays a woman determined to own the last tree in a city lot on Christmas Eve.
The Norm Foster comedy is directed by MacCallum’s husband, Martin Fishman, Lunchbox artistic director.
Before this week’s opening, MacCallum recalled another Christmas tree.
“It was at university the first year Marty and I started living together. As is the case in Norm’s play, it was Christmas Eve and I didn’t have much money, but I was determined to have a Christmas tree because Marty is Jewish and this was to be his first Christmas celebration,” says MacCallum, Fishman’s partner since 1973.
Off she went to a Christmas tree lot and bought one of the last trees. “We didn’t have a tree stand, so we stood it up in a large jar. I think together we had scraped together enough money to buy some cheap ornaments.”
MacCallum and Fishman have worked together since they met in theatre classes in Edmonton.
Their 21-year-old daughter Rebecca surprised them earlier this year when she announced she wanted to be an actress.
“Rebecca’s training has largely been in dance and she has choreographed some shows for Mount Royal’s Shakespeare in the Park, but now she’s determined to try acting. “I guess the decision shouldn’t surprise us all that much, given she was raised by an actress and a director.”
A little over a year ago, Fishman commissioned Foster to write The Christmas Tree.
“Marty was directing Norm’s play The Love List for Stage West. Norm had to fly in to replace one of the actors and it was then that Marty asked him to write a Christmas show for Lunchbox’s first season in the new theatre under the Calgary Tower.”
The Christmas Tree is one of 20 Foster plays currently in production. His other holiday comedy Dear Santa is playing in seven cities in Canada.